'Motown: The Musical' cast joins Melissa Harris-Perry

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Motown: The Musical has been a hit on Broadway and some of the people behind the show’s success recently talked to MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry.

According to the musical’s site, the play “charts Motown founder Berry Gordy’s incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more.”

Director Charles Randolph Wright and stars Brandon Victor Brown and Valisia LeKae join Harris-Perry in discussing the story behind the Broadway show and how they brought history to life onstage.

theGrio report: ‘Motown’ actress Valisia LeKae delivers as Diana Ross

“It’s outrageous,” said Wright. “Berry Gordy was my idol growing up. I grew up in the South, and we didn’t have a lot of role models, not a lot of heroes of color—and to see a person like him, it gave me permission to dream and walk out the door and be anything that I wanted to be. So working with him was extraordinary, because I got to see how he did it, how he thinks. He knows more about entertainment than all of us combined.”

The musical has been nominated for four Tony Awards, including LeKae’s nomination for playing The Supremes star Diana Ross – who was among the audience members on Saturday night’s show.

“Having her in the audience is very comforting for me because I always feel like she’s with me but to know that she’s there and she’s publicly coming out to support Mr. Gordy and this show means a lot,” LeKae says. “I truly do love so being able to bring her story to life, it’s such a gift for me.”

theGrio report: First look – ‘Motown: The Musical’ on Broadway

The play, which is currently in it’s 13th week on Broadway, has received rave reviews. The New York Post says it is, “Thrilling & electrifying – familiar yet completely fresh,” while The New York Times hails it as “a joy ride! Something close to rapture spreads through the audience.”

LeKae adds more and says that the play captures the ” beautiful love story between Mr. Gordy and Ms. Ross, and we don’t get to see that a lot with African-Americans.”

She says: “Here we are, promoting such a wonderful thing—not just love, but friendship and forgiveness.”

Click here to watch LeKae and Brown, who plays Berry Gordy, perform the hit song “You’re All I Need to Get By.”

Follow Lilly Workneh @Lilly_Works