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  • Bill Chastain

Motown Magic

“Motown the Musical” is definitely worth seeing if you’re younger than 40. The music, the sets and the dancing are incredible.

If you’re older than 40, it’s must see for all of the above reasons, but mostly for how the music will resonate with you.


Based upon the book, To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, the Memories of Motown by Berry Gordy, the Broadway Show “Motown” currently is playing at the Straz Center. While the back story of the Motown label is fascinating, what I experienced dealt with where the show took me.

Being in that audience last night, I time traveled back to the ’60s, soaking in the tunes of Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and so many more of the artists that recorded on the Motown label.

Suddenly I found myself in the front seat of my father’s pickup, the windows are down because there is no air conditioning and I’m battling him to turn up the radio so I can hear The Supremes sing “The Happening.” Or I’m inside the room I shared with my brother at our house on Dale Avenue. After clicking on the radio, I wait 15 to 30 seconds until old reliable comes to life blaring the sounds of Martha and the Vandellas singing “Dancing in the Street.”

Until last night, “Jersey Boys” ranked as my favorite Broadway musical. Well, time to move over Frankie Valli, “Motown” has climbed to No. 1 on the charts. Solid gold.

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