Will stage theatergoers be
treated to love, peace and soul on the Great White Way? They will if Magic
Johnson gets his way.
The entrepreneur’s latest
business venture is producing a Broadway musical about Don
Cornelius and the groundbreaking television show Soul Train.
Johnson and his business partners bought the rights to Soul Train,
which ran from 1971 to 2006, last year for several million dollars.
The plans are to construct a musical storyline around the dynamic and
memorable soul dance music. The Soul Train musical would be similar to
Broadway shows like Green Day’s American Idiot and Mamma
Mia, which highlighted the music of ABBA.
While insiders first speculated there could be rights issues over the use
of music by various artists featured in the show’s episodes, including that of
James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Michael
Jackson and many others, people close to the project were confident that
wouldn’t be a problem.
and sudden suicide death of Cornelius in February sparked a renewed interest
in the Soul Train brand. In addition to the musical, talks of a film or
TV show have reportedly been discussed.
Cornelius, a former radio host, started Soul Train in Chicago with
only $400 dollars and grew it into a multimillion-dollar franchise, which went
on to change the face of Black music, its artists and how African-American
culture was perceived around the world.
No word yet on when the Soul Train musical will hit the stage.