Berry Gordy is looking for a star singer.
And no, this isn't a flashback to the heyday of Motown Records.
The 81-year-old founder of Detroit's famous record label is working on "Motown: The Musical," a Broadway musical based on his own experiences. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright and scheduled to open in spring 2013, the production is now looking for one multi-talented boy to play young versions of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Gordy himself.
"It's the truth about Motown, how it happened, why it happened, and who the people were and the ups and downs of the whole thing," Gordy told Rolling Stone, though David Hinckley at the New York Daily News wonders what behind-the-scenes drama will get left off the stage.
While Motown Records jumped ship for Los Angeles decades ago, Detroit still has plenty of talented young musicians (maybe a few crooners who performed in the Mosaic Youth Theatre production, "Now That I Can Dance -- Motown 1962" will try out. The new star must be an original talent between the ages of eight and 11, and be an original talent. Gordy said he was looking for "the same chills" he felt after seeing Michael Jackson perform at age 10. Performers can apply online, a far cry from casting in the '60s.
"Motown" is not the only recent production to turn the spotlight onto Detroit. In the Pulitzer Prize-finalist "Detroit," Lisa D'Amour follows the relationship of a husband and wife, played by David Schwimmer and Amy Ryan, and their friendship with offbeat neighbors in a suburb that may as well be metro Detroit. The play opened in Chicago to good reviews, landed in London, is on its way New York and will hit its namesake early next year with a Hillberry Theater production.