Keith Washington stars as the post Motown Marvin Gaye in My Brother Marvin

Keith Washington stars as the post Motown Marvin Gaye in My Brother Marvin

*This weekend, the curtain will rise at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles (Hollywood) for the highly anticipated stage play “My Brother Marvin.

The eagerly anticipated production was written by renown director and producer Angela Dunlap, and inspired entirely by Zeola Gaye, sister to the late music icon Marvin Gaye.

Zeola once again gave another candid interview to Electronic Urban Report/EUR publisher Lee Bailey. She told him how the tour had gone so far, and what Los Angeles theater goers can expect:

“The tour has been off the chain and everything is going well, I’m getting great reviews and I’m also helping people and that’s my main goal, is to help somebody out there by presenting my story, my family story.”

Marvin Gaye’s vocal style helped define the Motown era of music that prevailed in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s.  His first number one hit “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” scored in 1968, while “Let’s Get It On” became his second number one hit in 1973.  Marvin had many hits, but “Sexual Healing” established his biggest post Motown hit on the Columbia label in 1982.  The three previously mentioned songs made it on the Rolling Stone list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” (As cited in Wikepedia.)

The Grammy winning Marvin Gaye died on April 1, 1984, just one day prior to his 45th birthday after a brawl with his father ended tragically.  Though Marvin’s music lives on, for years there has been a looming curiosity over what really happened on that fateful day.  Despite Marvin’s obvious musical talents, the long stewing undercurrent of family dysfunction, steeped in addiction, depression and denial was the culprit that silenced Marvin’s voice forever.  Zeola Gaye originally documented her story in the book  My Brother Marvin, published in 2011.  Thanks to her collaboration with urban theater’s leading lady Angela Dunlap, Zeola courageously brings the Gaye family matters to life on stage in the hope of demystifying and de-stigmatizing these types of issues for other families who might be in need of help.

Now that Zeola has faced her own addictions and is successfully maintaining her recovery, EURweb.com was the recipient of candid details of the Marvin Gaye family trauma, the drama between Zeola and Marvin’s ex-wife Janis Hunter (who was married to Gaye from 1977-1981), and their subsequent triumph over tragedy. 

EURweb Exclusive: Zeola Gaye talks to Lee Bailey about “My Brother Marvin,” the stage play:

“My Brother Marvin” stars three leading men as Marvin at various stages of his life and career.  According to Zeola, it took three men to portray him because that’s how complicated her brother was. 

Harvier Hill-Roller plays young Marvin, while Anthony Grant plays Marvin, the Motown legend, and Keith Washington plays the latter Marvin who dazzled a new generation  in the 1980′s.

Emmy Award-winning Lynn Whitfield plays Marvin’s mother and Clifton Powell plays Marvin Gaye, Sr.

lynn keith clifton

Lynn Whitfield Keith Washington and Clifton Powell (Whitfield and Powell play Marvin Gaye’s parents in the play)

The Los Angeles, CA performance schedule for “My Brother Marvin” is as follows: Thursday, May 23rd at 8:00 PM, Friday, May 24th at 8:00 PM, Saturday, May 25th at 3:000 PM and 8:00 PM at the Pantages Theatre 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028.  Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000, and at the Pantages Theatre Box Office (Opens daily at 10AM). For more information on “My Brother Marvin,” log onto www.detroittouringco.com Follow My Brother Marvin on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MyBrotherMarvin.

“My Brother Marvin” made its’ off Broadway theatrical premiere in Detroit, Michigan in 2006 during the Christmas Holiday. It received rave reviews and would go on to play a limited engagement tour in theatres in Philly, Chicago, Oakland, Memphis, Oklahoma, Kansas City and Little Rock. During the 2006-2007 season, the play’s storyline was told from the sole perspective of Zeola Gaye and her book.

Recently, Zeola discovered the private memoirs of their mother and letters of their father, adding some very integral elements and scenes to the original storyline presented in the play. It was believed that Marvin’s mother, Alberta Gaye took her secrets to her grave, until the recent discovery of her hidden journals, in which she writes candidly about her husband, her family and of course her superstar son.

Now, the world will hear and see it all.  Zeola and her only other living sibling Jeanne are currently working on My Brother Marvin II.  Their brothers Frankie and Michael are also now deceased.