In an interview ahead of Sunday’s 2-hour CSI series finale, franchise creator Anthony Zuiker told Deadline his next venture would be Broadway, and now we have details of the project. Zuiker is re-teaming with Tony-nominated producer Matthew Weaver (Rock Of Ages), with whom he worked with years ago on a Harlem Globetrotters movie script, to pen Soul Train The Musical. MediaWeaver Entertainment, who acquired the theatrical stage rights to the musical variety TV series Soul Train last year, is producing.
Created in 1970 by Don Cornelius, Soul Train is the longest running, first-run, nationally syndicated music program in television history. The series deeply influenced a generation and broke racial barriers by famously introducing the world to new music, artists, dance moves and styles on a weekly basis. The project is personal for Zuiker, who grew up in the Soul Train era and found that the music from that period got him through some difficult times.
“I speak from the heart when I say that Soul Train touched me deeply. It has impacted this country on so many levels, bringing joy and hope to so many people out there, including me,” said Zuiker. “I am truly honored that Matthew Weaver and the rights holders have trusted me to share this important story and look forward to bringing “Soul Train” the musical to Broadway.”
Soul Train the musical will be a “lyrical narrative,” weaving together the personal story of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius with more than 20 classic hit songs from the TV series including “Proud Mary” (Ike & Tina Turner), “I’ll Be Around” (The Spinners), “Loving You” (Minnie Riperton), and “Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me ” (Gladys Knight & The Pips).
Soul Train predominantly featured performances by R&B, pop, soul, and hip hop artists in addition to funk, jazz, disco and gospel performers. The show highlighted a cast of diverse dancers as well as the legendary Soul Train dance line. The legacy of Soul Train lives on through the annual Soul Train Awards, which honors the best in urban music and entertainment.
Weaver is producing, alongside MediaWeaver Entertainment. Jeff Tick and Nick Stern are co-producers, Paula Kaminsky Davis is associate producer, and Tony Cornelius is executive producer.