Saturday, February 4, 2017

MOTOWN The Musical by Carol Kaufman Segal
Motown The Musical has returned to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre with all of the wonderful cast of stars portraying the real characters who gained musical star status through the indomitable Berry Gordy.   This is his story as well as theirs, the history of Motown.
Motown The Musical is written by Gordy, based on his book To Be Loved, The Music, The Magic, The Memories, and stars Chester Gregory as the inimitable man.  Charles Randolph-Wright directs this lavish production that overflows with music (I counted 31 songs in the program) from the Motown era as well as songs written for the production by Barry Gordy and Michael Lovesmith.
The story tells of the 25 successful years Gordy had in building Motown,  how he made successful musical stars of Diana Ross (Allison Semmes) and The Supremes, Smokey Robinson  (David Kaverman) and The Miracles, Marvin Gaye (Jarran Muse), Stevie Wonder (/Elijah Ahmad Lewis), and The Jackson Five, only to lose it all.  Many cast members perform various roles of people who helped build Motown from its beginning until its end. The entire cast is realistic and extremely talented in their roles.  Raymond Davis Jr. and CJ Wright, who alternate in the roles of Young Gordy, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, almost steal the show!
Terrific dance numbers performed by marvelous dancers enhance the production (choreographed by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, Associated Choreographer, Brian Brooks).  Music supervision and arrangements are by Ethan Popp.  The outstanding scenic design is by David Korins, and all of the fabulous costumes are by Emilio Sosa.
Opening night at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre was an exceptional evening with an appreciative crowd that filled the theater to capacity.  After the finale, the audience was enthralled by the appearance on stage of Berry Gordy himself along with Smokey Robinson.

Motown The Musical plays Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM, and 8 PM, and Sundays at 1 PM and 6:30 PM, through February 12.  The Hollywood Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles.  Tickets are available online at, or, by phone at (800) 982-2787, or at the theatre box office which opens daily at 10 AM.


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