Monday, May 26, 2014

Review of Motown: The Musical (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Motown: The Musical. It was by Berry Gordy and it was directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. The music is Motown music. It is about a man named Berry Gordy (Clifton Oliver) who falls in love with a girl named Diana Ross (Allison Semmes). It is about how Motown Records was started by Berry Gordy listening with his parents to Joe Louis winning a boxing match against Nazi Germany. And he knew he wanted to do something for the community. So he got a bunch of people to sing Motown music with his friends Smokey Robinson (Nicholas Christopher) and Marvin Gaye (Jarran Muse). Then he met Diana Ross and he called her big eyes. It is also about how Motown Records changed. I really liked this show. I was smiling the entire time because I recognized and loved all of the music and all of the performers were great. Afterwards, my cheeks hurt because I had been smiling so much!

I thought that the Temptations (Lynorris Evans, Robert Hartwell, Marq Moss, Ramone Owens, Rod Harrelson) and the Four Tops (Grasan Kingsberry, Rashad Naylor, Christian Dante White, Elijah Ahmad Lewis) at the beginning of the show were awesome. It made you want to dance, so that made you know what this show was going to be like. You were going to want to dance through the whole show. Each group was trying to sing one of their songs while the other was trying to do one of their songs, but like a competition. It was there to show that maybe they didn't like each other very much back in the day because they were basically competing to see who was better. But I think they were doing that just for television because afterward they were chatting and laughing like good friends.

I thought that the Jackson 5 (Leon Outlaw, Jr., Rod Harrelson, Rashad Naylor, Robert Hartwell, Lynnoris Evans) were all amazing. I thought that Michael Jackson (Outlaw) was great. He was one the best kid singers I have ever heard in my life. He seemed so happy while he was singing. He just seemed like he was so alive singing "ABC" on stage. He made the audience clap so hard to the song "ABC." It was just amazing. I really liked their outfits (costumes by Esosa). They were crazy awesome.

Diana Ross seemed like such a sweetheart. She sounded exactly like I wanted Diana Ross to sound. She was a beautiful singer and I think she sounded just like her. One of my favorite parts was when she sang "Reach Out and Touch" which I thought sounded beautiful. I don't know if it is true every night, but, the night I was there, when she asked people in the audience to come up and sing, all of them sang beautifully. Then she told everyone in the audience to sing along and hold hands with the person next to them, even if they didn't know them. And we all swung hands as we sang. The audience loved it because it was like being at a Diana Ross concert. I also really liked when Diana Ross sang "Stop in the Name of Love" with Mary Wilson (Trisha Jeffrey) and Florence Ballard (Krisha Marcano). I liked the dancing a lot because it was so sassy. I memorized the dance (choreography by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams) because I liked it so much. My favorite move was the twirling snaps!

Berry Gordy I think seems like a very nice guy but he is kind of clueless. Like he's clueless when Diana leaves for another company, and he doesn't really seem very sad. Diana has to make a choice between what is professional and what is personal. And she chooses what is professional, but I think she should have chosen the personal and stayed with Motown. And also, when he tries to sell Motown, he doesn't know that would be bad. Good thing he doesn't do it! You like him anyway because he's such a nice guy and he is trying to make this world a better place…if he can. And he can! He makes the world a better place by making Motown music possible.

People who would like this show are people who like amazing singers, wanting to get up and dance, and twirling snaps. I think people should definitely go and see this show. I had so much fun seeing it, and I think everyone would!

Photos: Joan Marcus

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