Motown the musical
Everyone has heard of Motown records, they made some of the most famous singers
in the world into household names including Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5 and of
course Diana Ross. Not everyone, however, will know the story behind the label and
its famous founder Berry Gordy.
I was lucky enough to see this show in the West End and so went into this touring
version with high expectations, and I wasn't disappointed!
From the moment you hear the first notes and the large iconic logo starts changing
colour infront of you you are drawn in. The show tells the story of Berry Gordy and
his struggles to get Motown up and running and how the stars later started moving on to other labels. It starts and finishes at the 25th anniversary concert and the large LED screens allowed video footage from the actual concert to be shown in the background, which was a really nice touch.
The scenery in this touring version is a mixture of physical sets and LED screens. Normally I don't like screens but in this case they were brilliant! They were done so well that it was very hard to tell the scenery was screens for the majority of the show with the 3D effects created absolutely superb. It helped to draw you into the story straight away without scenery needing to be flown in and out with the physical props adding an extra layer.
The music is of course the main star of this show and high praise should go to the stunning orchestra made up of 11 musicians, a large orchestra for a touring show. They bring the music to life and get the audience singing along on a number of occasions. Of course the orchestra wouldn't be able to bring the music to life without the actors performing the songs.
For this performance the role of Berry Gordy was played by Cordell Mosteller who is listed in the programme as an understudy but you would have never known! His performance was superb and the chemistry he shared with the other characters, particularly Karis Anderson (Diana Ross) was magical. He held the story of the show together superbly and made my emotions go on a rollercoaster.
Everyone in this hugely talented cast gives an outstanding performance to portray a brilliant story in an emotional but clear way.
If you want a night of fun, with a heart warming story, some top quality music and the best acting you've seen in years then this is the show for you.
Reviewed by Daniel Keen at the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent.
Motown The Musical is touring the country until 4th January 2020. For more information and tickets visit the shows website.