Enjoy Celebrity Radio Review Motown The Musical Shaftsbury Theatre West End…
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL follows the legendary career of Berry Gordy and the creation of his musical empire, Motown Records.
This show, still in previews, is already sold out and charging top prices, £100+ in the stalls – so now is the perfect time to offer my thoughts….
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is terrific fun, bright, loud, exciting, polished, perfectly cast and (disappointingly) exactly what I expected. There were absolutely no surprises or nothing I haven’t seen before.
Let me be clear, there are 5*moments in this show and remarkable vocal brilliance and choreography throughout.
However, this show crams so many hits in this 2.15h jukebox, it feels rushed and confused at times. Nothing lasts more than 90 seconds….what a waste.
3* Musical with a 5* Cast.
Here’s our audio / visual review via YouTube:
They clearly haven’t wasted money on the set, it’s virtually invisible, they’ve put their money into the cast (I hope). Sadly, it does feel at times like I’ve seen it before – nods to Jersey Boys & even Mamma Mia at times bring back cosy memories.
I adore Motown, have family in Detroit and this music means a lot, some of it felt a little soulless, disrespected and thrown away with being cut (less than) half way through most songs.
Cedric Neal steals the show as Gordy, his voice is delicious, powerful, moving, pitch perfect and totally effortless. He’s the epitome of a leading man, West End Star and powerhouse performer. He IS the show.
I liked Lucy St. Luis as Diana Ross, however, the audience participation section in act 2 was one of the worst, most cringe worthy 5 minutes of theatre I’ve seen in 20 years. It has to be axed – this is not pantomime and nor do I pay £100+ to hear members of the public crucify this wonderful musical. Classless.
The story begins in 1983, on the evening of the 25th anniversary celebration of Motown, and Berry Gordy is looking back on his career. From there we get a high energy, fast paced none-stop soundtrack from our lives.
The producers brag “over 40 classic songs such as “My Girl”, “Stop! In The Name of Love”, “Dancing in the Street”, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and more” – that’s the problem, 20 done perfectly, in full, would have sufficed.
There’s no doubting this show will run and run, but then again, so did We Will Rock You – it doesn’t mean it was well written, it just mean’s people LOVE the music.
The orchestra at MOTOWN is superb and the horns really give the show kick. So vital.
The cast collectively gave 100%, maintaining that energy will be a struggle. Their moves and precision was only to be admired.
The show does have heart and true meaning, sadly though I fear the punters simply want the hits.
It’s as if this has been written for the Vegas ADHD crowd. Calm down, we can focus for more than 20 seconds!
So that’s my review – 3* musical with a 5* cast.
Review by Alex Belfield from Celebrity Radio 17th Feb 2016.