When you’re setting a play in a country you’ve never visited, it’s certainly a good idea to run the piece by people with more intimate knowledge of the place. This was the task dramatist Charles Randolph-Wright dutifully performed in getting his new work, “Love in Afghanistan,” up on its feet.
“We just got Janet’s notes,” he was informed one day at Arena Stage, where the drama, about an American rapper who falls in love with an Afghan interpreter, begins its world-premiere run Friday. The Janet in question was Janet Napolitano, who, you might be aware, recently left her post as secretary of Homeland Security and who, it is reliably reported, is both an avid theatergoer and an acquaintance of Arena’s artistic director, Molly Smith.
“There were Post-Its all over the script!” Randolph-Wright said in astonishment, sitting in a kebab restaurant around the corner from his Greenwich Village home. On one page of this copy of the script, intended for friends, he playfully inserted the name of Abu Nazir, the fictional jihadist of the Showtime series, “Homeland.”
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The men of Motown the Musical now have absolutely no excuse not to look perfectly turned out at all times: BBraxton, the men’s grooming company founded by Tony nominee Brenda Braxton, has been named official barber for the hit musical. The new collaboration was inspired by the 30-year friendship between Braxton and Motown director Charles Randolph-Wright, who were castmates in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls.
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Celebrated radio personality Tom Joyner spoke with Motown founder Berry Gordy to discuss bringing the legend of Motown to the Broadway stage and theaters across America in an interview that aired nationwide on Tuesday, September 17 on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
Listen to the complete interview online HERE
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, featuring music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Berry Gordy began performances March 11 at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street), and officially opened April 14.
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show 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 many more.
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. 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.
Read the article at The Grio
Watch the original interview here