The Magic Of Motown Wows Bradford
Phil Hopkins, Arts & Travel Editor
Motown the Musical takes two and half decades of Berry Gordy’s life and distils it into one of the most powerful, life-giving musicals that touches the very soul of those watching it.
And the same was true at Bradford Alhambra last night as a capacity audience showed its appreciation almost instantly, clapping and cheering relentlessly as the musical biopic took us through the ups and downs of the label’s iconic founder Gordy’s life, as he mentored and introduced the world to some of the music industry’s biggest names from Diana Ross to the Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips and the Four Tops.
There is only one criticism of the production team – they were selfish to have stolen so much talent and put it in one show! How must the West End be coping!
The performances were outstanding, the choreography split-second, the harmonies perfect and the charisma – Motowntastic!
Most musicals have one, maybe two numbers that you remember but the programme best sums up the content of this show ‘Music and Lyrics from the Legendary Motown Catalogue’……and the hits kept coming.
It was the best of the best talent and Cordell Mosteller stepped in to take the role of Berry Gordy in the absence of Edward Baruwa, and did a fantastic job. A ‘swing’ or ‘understudy’ is one of the most challenging roles on the stage.
Such performers usually have to learn several parts but, more to the point, step up to the plate and deliver, often with very little notice. Mosteller, supported by Karis Anderson as Diana Ross, and excellent anchors, Nathan Lewis as Smokey Robinson and Shak Gabbidon-Williams as Marvin Gaye, gave it his all and never faltered once.
Motown – started with an $800 loan from Gordy’s family - was the legendary record label that went on to change music history, creating the soundtrack for a generation, and with a live orchestra pounding out the likes of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I’ll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop! In The Name Of Love, My Girl, and I Heard It through the Grapevine, there was barely time to take musical breath.
This was a dynamic, scintillating cast and a show that featured show-stopping choreography and a complex production weave of music, digital scenery, dancing, music and lighting…….but they pulled it off perfectly. Not to be missed.
Motown the Musical
at Bradford Alhambra
until Saturday 20th April 2019
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The Magic Of Motown Wows Bradford, 11th April 2019, 13:00 PM