One of the hottest new shows heating up on the Broadway stage in New York City is Motown The Musical based on the life and career of Motown founder Berry Gordy.
Joining Pat Prescott in studio is one of the young stars of the musical, Raymond Luke Jr., who just so happens to be a Southern Californian native. At just 13 years old, Raymond scored the role of a lifetime portraying not only young Michael Jackson in the show, but also young Berry Gordy and Stevie Wonder.
Pat talked to this rising young talent about getting this huge part in the musical, his transformation into the King of Pop and what this experience has been like for him.
“When I found out I got the part, I couldn’t believe it, because I didn’t know that I could embody [Michael Jackson],” he told Pat.
He explains that his typical day getting ready for the show consists of warming up his vocals, gets dressed to play Berry Gordy, then switching to Stevie and around 45 minutes later preps to become Michael. On top of his rotating roles throughout the musical, Raymond adds in school work during any break he gets, but to him, it’s all a breeze.
Raymond explained that his favorite of the three roles to play is young Berry Gordy, because it allows him to expand his acting chops more. The easiest role, he says, is playing Stevie Wonder, but admits portraying the King of Pop is no easy task.
“You really have to embody this character, sing the right notes, his moves, slides, spins, everything. To me that was the hardest,” he explained.
After getting comfortable with his roles, Raymond says that he looks forward to performing to different audiences each night.
“Everyday it’s something new,” he said. “I feed off the crowd…at the end of the day, the crowd gets us excited.”
Motown The Musical features dozens of hits released on the label including “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” plus tells the stories behind the hits from artists like Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more who transformed Motown into a hitmaking empire.
Motown: The Musical is now playing in both New York and Chicago. For tickets and show info, visit motownthemusical.com.
Listen to our complete conversation with one of the stars of the play, Raymond Luke Jr. in the segments below.
Part one: Raymond talks about getting the part in Motown The Musical.
Part two: Raymond explains his typical day preparing for the show.
Part three: Raymond breaks down each role he plays as Berry, Stevie and Michael.
Part four: Raymond talks about the importance of the audience.
Part five: Raymond talks about the auditioning process and meeting Berry Gordy the first time.