Review: Broadway’s ‘Motown: The Musical’

Motown on BroadwayMotown: The Musical is serenading Broadway on stage and into the hearts of audiences attending the show. Filled with high energy and classic song favorites, this stage production is a must-see. The musical depicts the journey of legend and founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy. It is a creation of his brilliant idea to start a record label that helped to launch and catapult the careers of some of the biggest names in music’s history like The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and more! The musical’s storyline explores the decades of Berry Gordy’s life prior to beginning Motown, and the road while inching toward success he would soon find. But of course, the journey had a few off-key notes along the way. Motown: The Musical features about 60 songs that were hits on the charts, influential melodies that make you feel good, and the memorable sounds that encourage you to sing along! Families can attend together with children–there is only a brief bedroom scene and a few references to the violence and war at the time Berry Gordy was on the rise. However, through song and dance, the cast of the Broadway hit have channeled their best talents, giving audiences a superb and exciting show of a label that now has 54 years worth of history! Here are five cool facts you may not know about Motown and Mr. Berry Gordy:

Founder Berry Gordy was once a professional boxer before he was drafted into the US Army for the Korean War in 1950.

In December 1961 “Please Mr. Postman” by the Marvelettes was the first song to make it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

The top-selling Motown album to date is by Boyz II Men, their 1994 album “II” sold 12 million records worldwide.

Born in Georgia in 1929, Berry Gordy is the seventh of eight children.

Marvin Gaye was known as the “Prince of Motown” for his numerous musical contributions to the label, including number one hits like “How Sweet It Is” and “Ain’t that Peculiar.”

-Elishia Peterson

Elishia Peterson is a blossoming freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. Her work has been featured on publications including Crème Magazine, Cred, and Examiner covering budget fashion stories. She recently earned her Masters degree in Writing Studies which has pushed her to strive to be creative in her craft.

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