What's Goin' On: Marvin Gaye Stage Drama in Detroit Sparks Real One

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Not all the action in "My Brother, Marvin," a play that ended a six-day Detroit run Sunday, is on stage at the Fisher Theatre.

Two women from Marvin Gaye's life -- his sister and his second wife -- are sparring over the drama about the late Motown singer, as Susan Whitall sorts out in The Detroit News.

His younger sister, Zeola Gaye, 67, wrote a memoir that forms the basis of "My Brother, Marvin." . . . Gaye's second wife, Janis Hunter Gaye, who goes by Jan, isn't happy about the play.

Jan TweetIn a recent tweet, pictured at right, the 57-year-old former wife dismisses the play as "unreasonable exploitation."

In comments to Whitall from Providence, R.I., she criticizes a TV ad for the play that focuses on the singer's 1984 death after being shot by his aged father.

"That's ghoulish. It's morbid, it's a fascination with his murder and completely and utterly exploitative. It pulls in the kind of audience that I don't think deserves that. These are people who loved Marvin, and they're not going to get what they deserve. . . .

"How about showing what a great brother he was, and hey, you should listen to this fantastic music. . . .

"It's sad that Marvin's grandkids, who never met their grandfather, that this is all they have to look at as far as people who claim to be their family. That's a pretty sad situation."

For her part, Zeola Gaye responds to critical tweets from nephew Marvin Gaye III by repeatedly posting: "I bring the truth to the world about my brother Marvin & Family."   

Read more:  The Detroit News
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