As noted by Playbill.com, four-time Grammy winner Questlove will executive produce alongside Cornelius’ son Tony, “CSI” creator Anthony E. Zuiker, and Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee. Playwright Dominique Morisseau, director Kamilah Forbes and choreographer Camille A. Brown are also attached to the musical.
In a statement to Deadline, Tony Cornelius said the musical will honor the “accomplishments, creative vision and legacy” of his father, who died in 2012 at age 75. He added, “A Broadway musical only emphasizes the impact Soul Train has had on our American fabric.”
“With many years of experience working directly with my father, I’m forever grateful and deeply humbled by the impact Soul Train has had on the culture at large both here and abroad,” he said. “For 37 years, and with purpose, through music, dance and style, Soul Train brought Love, Peace & Soul to a national audience.”
Morisseau said in a statement:
“I am so excited to help bring the narrative of one of our culture’s most influential and legend-making endeavors to the stage. Having grown up on this series and being immersed in the culture around it, I never knew what it took to make it the iconic staple that it is. Through the socio-political challenges both internally and externally, Don Cornelius’ uncompromised vision, and the revolutionary dance culture that the show made visible to the mainstream, there are a million handprints on what we know as Soul Train.”
“We’re thrilled that our extensive search for the best creative minds for Soul Train has yielded some of the finest talent in their fields, whether that be storytelling, dance, music, or direction. That this process also led us to a historic first—having African-American female artists as the creative core of a Broadway musical—only makes us more excited about the journey,” added Weaver, Tick, and Gay in a joint statement. “Don Cornelius created a television show that became a cornerstone in American Culture, and we are so humbled and honored to be bringing it to the stage with their brilliant vision.”
In related news, BET recently picked up a second season of “American Soul,” a drama series based on the Soul Train story.