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‘Motown the Musical’ launches tour in Chicago, and hometown headliner thinks that’s Supreme

May 7, 2014 – 10:54 am
Allison Semmes is Diana Ross in MOTOWN THE MUSICAL First National Tour 2014

Preview: It was no great leap for Chicago native Allison Semmes to take on the role of Diana Ross for the national tour of “Motown the Musical,” which launches May 8 at the Oriental Theatre. Semmes grew up listening to the Supremes and other Motown sounds on her mom and dad’s vinyl LPs: “My parents say when I was about 3 years old, I was harmonizing with the vacuum cleaner.”

Theater 2013-14: B’way in Chicago spotlights ‘Phantom,’ ‘Wicked’ and new Motown musical

Sep 9, 2013 – 10:29 am
Earl Carpenter and Katie Hall in The Phantom of the Opera - UK Tour (Alastair Muir)

13th in a series of season previews: Even as “The Book of Mormon” nears the end of its Windy City run, Broadway in Chicago is preparing for three more hit musicals — a new UK touring import for the 27-year-old “The Phantom of the Opera,” the 10th anniversary tour of “Wicked” and the first national tour of “Motown the Musical,” the story of Detroit vinyl mogul Berry Gordy, who made famous The Supremes, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. There’s also a local angle in this season’s lineup of shows.