October 7-19, 2014
216-241-6000 or www.playhousesquare.org
“Ain't no mountain high enough; ain't no valley low enough” are more than just lyrics from a Diana Ross hit single for the once great Motown Records label. They pretty much sum up “Motown: The Musical,” currently on tour and on stage at PlayhouseSquare. The production's songs and showmanship soar, but the show's writing falls well below the low expectations set for jukebox musicals.
If you like the Motown sound, dynamic singing, and a good history lesson, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL will be your “thing.” It was definitely my thing! As the silver-haired lady, standing several rows in front of me, jumping up and down and waving her hands from side-to-side, kept yelling during the curtain call, “That was cool!”
I can honestly say I've never held hands with strangers at a musical performance. But I'm happy I did at MOTOWN THE MUSICAL.
It's a powerful moment that actress Allison Semmes creates as Diana Ross, striking out in her solo career with the seminal tune "Reach Out and Touch." Like Diana, she interacts with the audience, giving some a chance to sing at the microphone, and asks everyone to hold hands, sway and sing along.
To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.
Then again, this show never really makes a pretense of being anything other than a lavish jukebox musical — and that’s just fine for the audience savoring the electrifying talents bringing Motown’s halcyon days back to dazzling life.
This show faithfully recreates the magic and energy of the MoTown live performances from long ago with all the costuming and special effects that made them “A Happening”. Once the overly loud orchestra is toned down it will make for a great evening of entertainment. Tickets will be scarce for this one so buy them now.To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.
The orchestra, lead by conductor Darryl Archibald, sizzles all night long. The ridiculously good-looking cast is superb; ensemble members and headliners belt and hold notes longer than lungs should allow.
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.
This is an unrelenting assault on the eyes and ears. Close to sixty works tell the story of Berry Gordy, his record label and the larger than life figures of Smoky Robinson Diana Ross and Marvin Gay. I enjoyed the ensemble pieces more, because of their joyous choreography. There'll be "Dancin' in the Streets" with this show.
Click here to read the complete review at WestLife