Berry Gordy's musical legacy is set to be celebrated onstage in Chicago once again.

"Motown the Musical" returns with all its hits, smooth moves and bright lights to Chicago next week when it plays Oct. 3-8 at The Cadillac Palace Theatre.

The production relays the story of Berry Gordy and the rich musical legacy he built. The Motown sound stands on its own for not only its great creativity and mirthful messages but also for its ability to connect people of all races, backgrounds and ages.

"Motown the Musical" had its first national tour in Chicago back in 2014. The production features the music of the top groups that grew out of Detroit's Motown as it tells the story of Gordy's career as well as his relationship with the iconic Diana Ross. The show is based on Gordy's autobiography "To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown."

Actress/singer Trenyce, known from her appearance on season 2 of "American Idol," is stepping into the role of Diana Ross for this current touring production of "Motown." She said she's honored to be playing the superstar singer.

"Number 1, she was the first black icon," Trenyce said, adding Ross was a role model of style and elegance for young black girls. "I remember my mother speaking so highly of her."

"It's quite humbling," Trenyce said, about the opportunity to perform in the hit show. She also said it's an "honor to bring (Gordy's) words to life" on stage.

In addition, the actress/singer said Ross, The Supremes and all the other great Motown groups "erased boundaries."

"The music wasn't just for black people. It crossed all generations, races and was for everyone," she said.

Trenyce said she recently had the opportunity to meet Gordy, who attended a recent rehearsal for the touring production.

She said Gordy took the time to talk with the performers and gave some insight into the background of the show.

"He took the time to make sure (we) understood where he was coming from," Trenyce said.

The performer said the "Motown" production is also special for her because that music and music, in general, was always a big part of her life.

Award-winning producer Kevin McCollum's work on "Motown the Musical" began in 2009 after meeting with Gordy, who was ready to start talks about bringing his story and the story of the iconic record company to the stage.

Though the Motown soundtrack had always been special to him,  McCollum said, in a past interview, that  he was also struck by the cultural significance of Gordy's story and the dreams of the musical genius.

"The thing about this show is it's so joyous. It's a musical journey of how art and music can change the world," McCollum said.

Motown fans will enjoy a mix of tunes from the famous catalog in the show including songs by The Jackson Five, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye to The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and more.

About "Motown the Musical," Trenyce said "It's a great merging between music and theater. It'll take you down memory lane."


Entertainment Editor/Features Reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.