Behind the Scenes
For over 50 years, the music of Motown has conveyed an ongoing celebration of life, love, and community, as stars like Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, and James Brown collaborated with legendary songwriters such as Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, and Smokey Robinson. These collaborations are behind the moments of musical magic captured in Dancing in the Street.
In fall of 2018, the primary cast came together for the first rehearsal at The Cutting Room in New York City. For the producers from Greenberg Artists and Schirmer Theatrical, listening to Shayna Steele, Michael Lynche, and Chester Gregory harmonize, the talent in the room was palpable. When asked about his connection to the music of Motown, lead vocalist Michael Lynche shared that he grew up on this music: “I think each of us singers are of the generation where our parents had this music playing throughout our youth. I had a great childhood and this music continually takes me back to happy memories.”
Since its world premiere with the Long Beach Symphony in October 2018, Dancing in the Street has been performed by orchestras throughout the US, including orchestras in Detroit, Virginia, Santa Barbara, Chattanooga, Greenville, Hartford, Grand Rapids, Dallas, Oregon, Louisville, St. Louis, Buffalo, Greensboro, and North Carolina, among others.
- Dancing in the Street
written by Marvin Gaye, Ivy George Hunter and William Stevenson, recorded by Martha Reeves
- You Really Got A Hold On Me
written by Smokey Robinson, recorded by The Miracles
- Man’s World
written by James Brown, Betty Jean Newsome and Dwight Grant, recorded by James Brown
- Reach Out I’ll Be There
written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, recorded by The Four Tops
- Touch Me In The Morning
written by Michael Masser and Ronald Norman Miller, recorded by Diana Ross
- Just To See Her
written by Jimmy George and Louis Pardini, recorded by Smokey Robinson
- How Sweet It Is
written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, recorded by Marvin Gaye
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
written and recorded by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson
- Song For You
written by Leon Russell, recorded by Donny Hathaway
written and recorded by Stevie Wonder
- Let’s Groove
written by Maurice White and Wayne Lee Vaughn, recorded by Earth, Wind & Fire
- I Feel Good
written and recorded by James Brown
- My Guy
written by Smokey Robinson, recorded by Mary Wells
- My Girl
written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, recorded by The Temptations
- Endless Love
written by Lionel Richie, recorded by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross
- Could It Be I’m Falling In Love
written by Melvin Steals and Mervin Steals, recorded by The Spinners
- Don’t Leave Me This Way
written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Cary Gilbert, recorded by Thelma Houston
- (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
written by Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner, and Carl William Smith, recorded by Jackie Wilson
- All Night Long
written and recorded by Lionel Richie
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)
written by Stevie Wonder, Lee Garrett, Lula Mae Hardaway, and Syreeta Wright, recorded by Stevie Wonder
ALL ARRANGEMENTS LICENSED BY SCHIRMER THEATRICAL, LLC
Dancing in the Street is a co-production of Schirmer Theatrical and Greenberg Artists, part of their joint Symphonic Experience catalogue. Set list subject to change.
There’s no need to sugar coat it since her impressive credits speak for themselves. Shayna Steele’s colleagues praise her ability, her dedication and drive to perfecting her craft as a professional singer and knockout performer. With a voice that the London Jazz News says “unleashes enough voltage to light up the West End”, Shayna Steele has made her mark as an in-demand vocalist in the studio and on the stage.
At the age of 15, Broadway (Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Hairspray) and international vocalist Shayna Steele’s appearance on Ed McMahon’s Star Search was her first experience performing in front of a nationally televised audience. After losing by a 1/2 star, Steele returned to her hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi to finish high school and pursue a music degree before exposing herself to the cutthroat “reality” of the business. “I was embarrassed and defeated. I wanted nothing more than to go home and crawl in a hole.”
A completely unexpected call in 2005 would drop her squarely in the middle of a genre she had absolutely no experience with: Electronica. Hearing that Moby “needed a screamer” for a track off his new album Hotel, a mutual friend recommended Steele, resulting in the disc’s second single “Raining Again.” Two years later, she was back, laying down vocals for “Extreme Ways (2007)” – Moby’s theme song to The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy and Jason Bourne films – and in early 2008, “Disco Lies“, the first single off of Moby’s 2008 release Last Night. The song reached #1 on the US Billboard Dance charts and went on to be featured in J.J. Abram’s summer blockbuster Cloverfield and the movie The Backup Plan starring Jennifer Lopez. Her voice has remained highly in demand with vocals on the Hairspray film soundtrack, Sex and the City 2 soundtrack, NBC’s Smash, 2008 Summer Olympic highlights on BBC and the 2021 release of In the Heights (Motion Picture Soundtrack). Steele has made television guest appearances on HBO’s The Sopranos and she reprised her Broadway role with the “Dynamites” in NBC’s Hairspray Live.
After spending eight years as a Broadway ensemble member in shows such as Rent and Hairspray and six years in the background supporting artists like Bette Midler, Rihanna, and Kelly Clarkson, Shayna stepped out on her own with the release of her 3rd studio album Watch Me Fly following the huge success of her album Rise (Ropeadope Records) in 2015 which reached #3 on the U.S. iTunes jazz charts. Her self-penned song “Gone Under” from that same album was personally selected by Michael League of Snarky Puppy to be arranged for their Family Dinner, Volume 1 (Ropeadope Records). The song and Shayna’s performance was the first single to be released on the Grammy® Award-winning band’s album, which has now reached over 1.8 million views on YouTube to date. Steele has appeared as a soloist and guest artist with over 40 symphony orchestras throughout North America. Her most recent solo concert Nothin’ but the Blues, written and conducted by Maestro Jeff Tyzik, is one of many highlights in her symphonic solo career. A Portland Press review of Shayna’s performance with the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Portland, ME) said her “…blues program ranked among the PSO’s best.” – Steve Feeney (May 24, 2021) Shayna recently returned to school 25 years later to finish what she started. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Music Studies at Berklee College of Music where she is currently on the Dean’s List. She continues to tour all over the world with her band playing her original music, is a regular guest artist with GRAMMY® Award winning trumpeter Chris Botti and is recording her 4th studio album set to release in 2023.
Chester Gregory is an award-winning singer, actor, and producer, who was last seen starring in Motown The Musical as Berry Gordy on Broadway. Gregory’s additional Broadway credits include Hairspray (Seaweed), Tarzan (Terk – Original Broadway Cast), Cry-Baby (Dupree – Original Broadway Cast), and Sister Act (Eddie – Original Broadway Cast). His national tour credits include roles in Dreamgirls and Sister Act, as well as his one-man show, The Eve of Jackie Wilson. Gregory’s acting credits include roles in August Wilson’s Fences and Two Trains Running.
Gregory has received many awards, including the Jeff Award and an NAACP Theatre Award. He has also been presented with the keys to two cities: one for his hometown of Gary, Indiana, and one for East Chicago. Gregory was selected to be an Honorary State Representative for Indiana and received an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, Columbia College Chicago.
Michael Lynche is a new breed of soul singer with completely classic influences. Traces of Donny Hathaway, Al Green, Luther Vandross, Sam Cooke, and James Brown all seem to flash in this uniquely talented performer. “Big Mike”—as he was known while winning over the hearts of a nation during his stint on season 9 of American Idol—has talent so versatile that he’s played in venues spanning from intimate clubs, to 20,000-seat arenas, to opera halls with 100-piece orchestras. Through it all, Lynche has always had one singular goal: to spread a message of love wherever he goes.
A Florida native turned New Yorker, Lynche performed throughout the United States as part of the American Idol LIVE! Tour, released two studio albums, toured as an opening act for Boyz II Men, Lalah Hathaway, Faith Evans, and Lyfe Jennings, and toured the world sharing honest stories through soul music. Since 2012, Lynche has been frequently featured as a guest vocalist with Maestro Jeff Tyzik and collaborating on the creation of new symphonic concerts, including “Kings of Soul” and “Dancing in the Street – The Music of Motown.” Lynche has performed with orchestras all over the US and Canada, including the Dallas Symphony, Utah Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Eric Metzgar is an in-demand drummer and versatile collaborator who offers his musicianship to various jazz/pop artists and symphony orchestras worldwide. He has had the opportunity to play with numerous first-rate performers including Jeff Tyzik, Sutton Foster, Joe Locke, Jimmy Greene, Shayna Steele, Byron Stripling, and Delfeayo Marsalis.
Metzgar is a passionate educator deeply invested in music teaching and learning. Each summer, he teaches at the Cape Ann Jazz Workshop under the direction of saxophonist Alexa Tarantino. He maintains a private studio and serves as a clinician at grade schools and universities.
Metzgar holds a BM in Drum Set Performance and an MM in Music Teaching and Learning from the Eastman School of Music. He lives in New York City and tours frequently around the world.
Shubh Saran is a New York-based guitarist, composer, and producer who has performed globally with his band throughout the United States, India, Canada, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Mexico. Having grown up in six different countries, his career has been shaped by a mixture of influences. Saran’s intricate compositions fuse sounds from modern jazz, neo-soul, and rock with classical and contemporary Indian music. In October 2021, Saran independently released his second full-length album and fourth overall release titled inglish – a groundbreaking work that explores concepts of assimilation, global identity, and native culture.
Pitchfork described inglish as “a heartfelt exploration of the ups and downs of being part of the world’s fastest-growing floating tribe—part global citizen, part cultural refugee,” and named the album to its list of Best Jazz and Experimental Music of 2021. DownBeat described inglish as a “scintillating musical brew,” and awarded the album three and a half stars. Before moving to New York City to start his music career, Saran studied at Berklee College of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. In 2017, Saran made his critically acclaimed debut with the release of Hmayra, and later followed up with H.A.D.D. (2018), and Becoming (2019). Throughout his career as a recording artist, each release has represented a different introspection for Saran.
Producer & Arranger
Producer & Booking Agent
Schirmer Theatrical is a concert production company specializing in the creation of symphonic experiences, film with live orchestra concerts, and theatrical productions.
Greenberg Artists is an artist management and concert production company striving to bring the highest level of talent and musical integrity to audiences around the world.