Review: “Motown the Musical” is a crowd pleaser at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre

DETROIT — “Motown the Musical” returns to the Fisher Theatre in Detroit for a 13-day run, April 18-30, 2017.

It began as one man’s story and one man’s dream.  Berry Gordy (Chester Gregory) shattered barriers and changed America’s music in a pop-music revolution.  The musical pays tribute to the black music explosion called “Motown.”  Gordy went against the odds when WJBK radio refused to play colored music.

Gordy’s journey began when he wanted to become a boxer, while watching Joe Louis on television. Eventually he bought a modest house in Detroit and named it “Hitsville USA.”  With his skill as a songwriter, he envisions finding a record label.  And so he did.  He signed on many stars such as Diana Ross (Allison Semmes), Smokey Robinson David Kaverman), Marvin Gaye (Jarran Muse) and more.  Over 40 classic hits were featured such as “ABC”, “I hear a symphony”, “What’s going on” and “My girl”.

“Motown the Musical” was produced by Kevin McCollum and Doug Morris, and choreographed by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams. There was about a 25-minute intermission between the acts.

I overheard that Berry Gordy was in the audience watched the performance.  And so it was true, because at the end of the musical, he came on stage and said a few words: “I am very humbled to come back to Detroit.  Detroiters are the best people in the whole world.”  He introduced the Motown Orchestra and thanked everyone for their support.  That was awesome to me.

Detroit is really the best place to see this show because just down the street is Hitsville USA where it all began.  This one man’s dream became everyone’s music.  I enjoyed the performance and recommend it to everyone.  The musical numbers were fantastic as everyone raised their arms in the air and swayed to the beat.

Performance times for “Motown the Musical” at the Fisher Theatre, located at 3011 West Grand Blvd., in Detroit are:  Tuesday through Saturday evening 8:00 p.m., Sunday evening 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees 2:00 p.m.   Tickets start at $39 (includes facility and parking fees) and are on sale at Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 800-982-2787 or online at Broadway In Detroit  Tickets are also available at the Fisher Theatre box office.

 

 

“Motown the Musical” is now playing at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre for its hometown show. (Photo ©Joan Marcus)

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