Christopher Henrikson
January 18, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Actor-director Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle) is going to unusual lengths to promote his latest movie, The Five Heartbeats, a bittersweet drama about a fictional ’60s soul group of the same name. In the three weeks before the film’s February release, the Heartbeats (Leon, Harry J. Lennix, Townsend, Michael Wright, and Tico Wells) will join real-life soulmen The Dells for a 10-to-18-city concert tour. As to how live the opening act actually will be (given the recent trend in prefab vocals), Townsend says, ”It’ll combine singing and taped tracks. I’m a singer,” he says with a laugh, ”but some of the other guys don’t have the greatest voices.”

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