Backstage with Arielle Crosby of "Motown The Musical"

Damn Bradley Jang

Theatre newcomer, Arielle Crosby, is no stranger to the stage. A native Detroiter, Arielle has been singing all of her life and has been performing since the age of 11. It all began with winning the city-wide Delta Sigma Theta sponsored Jabberwock Talent Competition and led to performances across the eastern/southern region of the US and countries around the world. These stages range from Carnegie Hall in New York to Palau de la Música in Barcelona. Her theatre career began with T.J. Hemphill's 'Perilous Times", Detroit's longest-running original musical and led to several performances at the acclaimed Stagecrafters Baldwin Theatre of Royal Oak, MI. Two of those performances included "Dreamgirls" and "In The Heights", both of which won the BroadwayWorld Regional Award for "Best Musical". Arielle recently made her professional theatre debut as the Narrator in Detroit Public Theatre's production of the Off-Broadway hit "Murder Ballad". She is currently in the national tour of Motown which comes to Vancouver. Onstage Blog had a chance to chat with her.

OSB: What is Motown The Musical?

Arielle Crosby

Arielle Crosby

AC: The musical chronicles the story of Motown's founder, Berry Gordy, Jr. and how he went from featherweight boxer to music mogul. The story also includes the many artists involved with the company over a span of two decades and shows how Motown changed music and society forever. 

OSB: Who's your character in the show?

AC: I actually portray several characters in the ensemble. Most notably I portray Esther Gordy (Berry Gordy's elder sister), Martha Reeves (lead singer of Martha & The Vandellas), and Lula Mae Hardaway (Stevie Wonder's mother).

OSB: How is Motown an important musical movement?

AC: One thing Mr. Gordy specifies about Motown is that his music was for everyone. Pop music and R&B were not two separate entities relegated to specific races; popular music transcends race and should be accepted by all.

OSB: Are the themes in the show relevant today?

AC: I believe the themes are just as relevant today as they were when the story took place, maybe even more. We must unite and look past what someone looks like and see everyone for the human beings that they are.

OSB: What's your favorite song/ part in the show?

AC: It's difficult to narrow it down to just one specific part. I'd have to say it's a tie between The Jackson 5 medley and every number done by The Temptations. Although, I do quite enjoy performing Dancing In The Street.

OSB: What has been your favorite part of the tour?

AC: Being able to visit all of these places I probably never would've been able to visit otherwise. In fact, this marks my first time in Vancouver as well!

OSB: Why does Vancouver need to see this show?

AC: Aside from the strong message of unity and the history, it's such a fun show with great music. It'd be a shame for anyone to miss out on this incredible production.


Check out more about Arielle at

 "Motown The Musical" (National Tour)  runs at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, B.C

 February 6th -11th 2018. 

Tickets and showtimes here: