On Sunday evening, The Source Magazine was on the red carpet for the 2013 Tony Awards, which broadcasted live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on CBS. Presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing the annual awards show brought out some bold-faced names.
We had the opportunity to speak with “Motown The Musical” star Valisia LeKae on the red carpet. She was nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for playing Diana Ross.
How did you feel about you nomination?
I feel amazing. I’m so thrilled to be here it’s such an exciting time and the award season is wrapping up with the Tony’s and so it’s just an amazing moment and I’m so blessed to be here.
What was the greatest challenge of tackling the role of Diana Ross?
Well she’s such a beloved character; I haven’t found it challenging I found it nothing but a blessing. She’s been very welcoming and she’s been to the show twice and I spent the last two years preparing for this role and I feel like everything that I have done in my life has prepared for this moment, so I find it not challenging but just full of joy and a blessing actually.
What should audiences expect when they come to see the musical?
They should expect to be inspired and educated and they should walk out of the theater dancing in the streets. They should also find out a lot of information about Mr. Gordy that a lot of people don’t know about him. The fact that he gets to tell his story and that he penned is magnificent.
You have an amazing charm and energy in the show!
Well my motto. And it was a motto of Diana’s as well, is spread love, give love. To be able to sing these songs, a lot of them are just based on love and I consider her to be the ambassador of love and so to be able to portray this character, you have to come from the heart and I know I’m a tiny girl, but I’m full of love and surprises. And I also love love love love being with the audience. It’s a moment where I really get to just be at home with everyone.
Have you met Diana Ross?
Yes she’s been to the show twice. She loved the show and she’s so proud of Mr. Gordy, she loved the whole experience she just loved being able to watch it. She had to come back twice!
What are your favorite songs to sing in the show?
Well a lot of it is my favorite – not just the stuff that I sing but I love “My Girl,” I love “Get Ready Dancing in the Streets.” A lot of the stuff that she sings is great, “Reach out touch,” “I Hear A Sympony,” I mean the list can go on and on.
What most surprised you about the Motown era in your research?
Well you know I grew up with this music so I wasn’t surprised by a lot of it but it’s a very historic moment for Motown. There’s a lot of history and the lyrics are very profound so the fact that we get to relive it again is very special.
What has it been like collaborating with the iconic Berry Gordy?
It’s been a dream because I truly do love him. He’s been so good to me and we spent the last two years working on this project together and to finally see everyone receiving it very well is magnificent.
What was the audition process like for you?
It was really actually very simple. I went into the room, had my audition, they were pretty amazed and from there I started working on the workshops.
After the show, what are some things you would like to do?
Well I have dogs so after the show I have to walk my dogs, but I’m so tired because usually a lot of the days have been very long and I have to get up extremely early and I don’t get to bed until one in the morning so I’m ready to hit the bed by the time I get there.
IBM, was the official information technology partner of the Tony Awards. Audemars Piguet was the presenting sponsor of the Tony Awards Red Carpet and Green Room. United Airlines was the official airline of the Tony Awards. Nexxus Salon Hair Care was the official beauty partner of the Tony Awards.