A SENSATIONAL SHOW THAT'S BOUND TO GET YOU DANCING!
Motown The Musical is typical of the plethora of jukebox musicals where back catalogues of artists or groups are used to create a full-blown musical.
It’s a formula that has been used successfully with Beautiful, Jersey Boys and Cilla, but unlike these, Motown The Musical has a very sketchy plot that’s light on dialogue and lacks both depth and substance, consequently it teeters between a concert and a musical.
The show tells the story of the legendary record label Motown that started in Detroit and changed music history creating the soundtrack of a generation.
With just eight hundred dollars borrowed from his family, Motown’s founder Berry Gordy goes from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul, discovering and launching the careers of Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson to name but a few.
But its not all sweetness and light we also get a look at the dark side of those times with segregated concerts, race riots and the assassination of President Kennedy and King.
The story is told in a pacy and spectacular way with the help of ingenious projection, lighting and moving screens that border on technical brilliance.
However many parts of the Motown journey are rushed through or just left un-explained and after a long first half seemingly all has been told and what follows at times is just padding and irrelevant.
The cast is energetic and versatile and master the characters of the great Motown Artists brilliantly singing and dancing their way through over 50 Motown hits. They double and treble roles and its a very long time since I saw a musical where they do so many costume changes, including shoes at such a break neck pace.
Motown the Musical is a nostalgic show and one with an enormous feel good factor. It’s also a happy show full of great iconic songs guarantee to send you dancing and singing all the way to the car park.
The show runs until Saturday 20 April at The Alhambra Bradford. Call 01274 432000 to book.
Liz Coggins is a member of The Critics Circle.