“To get to [the people’s] heart, you have to get to their feet.” – Berry Gordy
And that’s what Motown Records and its hit-making artists did. Despite operating during the time of overt de facto discrimination, the black-owned powerhouse and its iconic Motown Sound persevered and, quite literally, moved a generation. Broadway Sacramento caps off its successful 2015-2016 season retelling the company’s vibrant origin story with Motown the Musical.
The musical’s book, penned by Motown’s founder Berry Gordy, begins and ends with Motown 25th Anniversary Show. Filling most of the 160 minutes of stage time are a series of flashbacks, highlighting the trials, tribulations, and artists that shaped the legendary independent record company. (You’ll see everyone from Marvin Gaye to Rick James.) Of course, Berry Gordy’s love affair with Diana Ross is examined as well. Projected TV clips and the company’s changing fashions give temporal clues for the 45 years covered during the show.
Lean on character development, the musical instead makes room for the legendary Motown catalog to shine; of the over 180 hits produced under Gordy’s leadership; 66 Motown songs were infused throughout the production. Diana Ross’s campy, interactive solo debut at the Frontier Hotel and any The Jackson 5 number were the hands-down highlights of the already spectacular show. Also impressive was the fact that many cast members played up to five different characters, makes sense given Motown’s revolving door of talent.
In Motown the Musical you’ll learn the lessons of loyalty, pride, competition, but most importantly, never giving up on your dreams.
Don’t miss your chance to hear the music and magic of Motown the Musical. The Motown Sound takes over the Community Center Theater stage now through Sunday, May 29. For ticket and show details, click here.
Disclaimer: While this is an all ages show, the “n-word” is used briefly in during the traveling Motortown Revue scene. There is also an implied (though hilarious) sex scene.
***This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Social Media Coordinator Jamila B. Khan.