Motown the Musical (review)

Motown the Musical (review)
Motown the Musical (review)
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THE PLAY: On the eve of Motown’s 25th anniversary celebration, founder Barry Gordy reflects back on his struggles to create the iconic studio, overcome prejudice and keep the artists happy. Most of the story is told thru more than 40 hits, sung by greats like Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye.

 

THE PRODUCTION: With a jukebox musical like this, it’s all about the songs. The classics that are performed here (juiced up and abbreviated) are already proven audience pleasers. To bring ‘em home, they’re sung with incredible voices and presented with enormous energy.  Chester Gregory (who played Barry Gordy for the first time last nite) is one of the most impressive singers. Other standouts included Leon Outlaw Jr leading the Jackson Five, Allison Semmes channeling Ms. Ross and the truly moving “What’s Goin On.” The movable beams that frame the action create an interesting, ever-moving structure and the lighting and projections fill the stage with flash and color.

 

THE POINT: The scanty plot outlines the history of Motown, but what’s important is the music and every performance is slick: full of spirit, talent and energy.

 

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

 

Broadway in Richmond at the Altria Theater thru 1/10

 

Motown the Musical CLIFTON OLIVER (Berry Gordy) Clifton Oliver is honored to be a part of the Motown family. Broadway: The Lion King (Simba), In The Heights (Benny opposite Jordin Sparks), Wicked (Fiyero). Nat'l Tours: The Lion King (Simba), Rent (Benny & Collins), Ragtime (Ensemble). Regional: Pal Joey (Arkansas Rep.), Kinky Boots (Lola's standby for Bill Porter), West Coast Tour of The Scottsboro Boys (Charlie/Victoria), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Victor), Godspell (Judas) MUNY. Television: "Law and READ MORE ? ALLISON SEMES (Diana Ross) Chicago native. B.M. Opera at UIUC, M.M. from NYU-Steinhardt. Broadway credits: Motown the Musical, Florence Ballard & The Book of Mormon, Nabalungi U/S, Swing. Other credits include: The Color Purple National Tour, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, Candide. I want to thank you Bethany and everyone at Telsey, Renee, my CCC/ KACC/ GIAME families, Momma & Poppa Bear, Emile, QVD, and my friends for the unconditional love and support! READ MORE ? NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER (Smokey Robinson) Born in Bermuda and raised in Boston, MA. Studied at both The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School. 1st National Tour: In The Heights. Off-Broadway: Rent, Hurt Village. Thank you family, friends and SMS for your lurve and support. JARRAN MUSE (Marvin Gaye) A native Jersey boy couldn't be happier living his dream. God is good yall. Broadway/NYC: Motown The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dreamgirls; International Tours: American Idiot, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, 42nd Street. Regional Theater: Marriott Lincolnshire, Portland Center Stage (Will Parker in Oklahoma!), Goodspeed, Fulton Opera Houses, Pittsburgh CLO. Thank you to Mr. GORDY, Charles, and Telsey for this new opportunity to bring Marvin to stage READ MORE ? ERICK BUCKLEY (Ensemble) Broadway/National Tours: Valjean in Les Miserables, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Dave in The Full Monty, Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Gangster #1 Kiss Me, Kate, Roger in Grease

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