Although Motown was a bit before my time, that doesn’t mean I’m a stranger to the music, growing up with hits from Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder and much more being played by my parents on tapes in the car and on the radio.
Although I didn’t know the history, Motown the Musical tells the story of Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records and the story leading up to Motown 25th anniversary with all the goodness of the amazing music of the era, and the fantastic vocals of all the cast involved.
The opening scene features the rehearsals of The Temptations and The Four Tops having a bit of a sing off between the two bands, each interrupting the other before being stopped by the coordinator. The scene cuts to Berry Gordy’s home, who refuses to attend the 25th anniversary, as the Musical starts the journey of Motown and the great music along with it. Reece Richards who played Jackie Wilson nailed Reet Petite as the whole crowd cheered and danced along.
Obviously the main story of Motown is around the success of Diana Ross and her relationship with Berry Gordy throughout the years of her career, but it also touches on the racial segregation of America, the assassinations of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King and the competition between the artists brought on by Berry Gordy. The young Michael Jackson won the crowd over easily with his fantastic singing and dancing, it was as good as watching the real thing!
Edward Baruwa (Berry Gordy) and Karis Anderson (Diana Ross) play their roles brilliantly, with their on stage presence together is flawless. Coupled with the amazing sets and vintage clothing made by the production team, you really get a sense of the time periods and it makes you feel like you’re reliving the past.
If you’re in two minds of watching the show, it’s definitely something for anyone to enjoy. The history of Motown has some amazing twists and turns that will keep you entertained whilst the amazing vocals of Karis Anderson will keep you hooked on the songs for weeks.