The Five Heartbeats, Robert Townsend’s story about the trials and tribulations of a band of five talented guys in a musical group during the rise of Motown, is on its way to Broadway.
The story is loosely inspired by the behind-the-scenes rise of such groups as The Temptations and The Dells.
The Broadway play will “tell a similar story with music that people know from the movie, but there is a composer, Grammy-Award winner, a guy who has won some big awards who already said he will write an original song for us,” said Townsend. He told Deadline that he is in negotiations with a Broadway producer and is writing the Broadway play with Kennen Ivory Wayans,” his original partner on the The Five Heartbeats’ movie script.
Taking this story to Broadway will bring it full circle for Townsend, who started his acting career in theater — first in the Windy City as part of ExBag (which later become the Chicago Theater Company) and then in New York acting Off Broadway with Woodie King, Jr. and the New Federal Theater troupe.