I wish someone could have pinched me as I read that Motown, the Detroit record label that helped discover the talents of the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations and Smokey Robinson, was coming to Broadway in the form of a musical. I couldn’t believe it and then again I could.
It will make for a great musical. Decades since it began, the “Motown Sound” is still woven through music we hear today and now we get to travel back to where it all began: Motor City. As much as I like Minnesota, despite the brutal winters, I wouldn’t mind being a New Yorker just to see “Motown: The Musical.” I haven’t even seen it, and already I know the music will be more than memorable. It’s set to premiere in April.
Yes, you might be thinking, “You could just plan to fly there and see it.” Well, not so much. I will be married in June, and the wedding is my priority until I say, “I do.”
I’m 29 years old, but my friends say I’m an old soul. It’s true. Any given day you could get in my car and hear Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Four Tops or Stevie Wonder. Don’t get me wrong; you’ll also hear some modern R&B music too, but the oldies are favorites of mine. For as long as I can remember, that has been the case.
My love of music comes from my father. Music was always one of the best things about riding in the car with my father (I call him “Papa”). The sound was always clear and the bass was just right. My younger sister and I used to joke we could hear our father coming from around the corner because he played his music so loud. As I got older, I thought it might be because he couldn’t really hear it. Over time I learned it was just his way of enjoying his tunes. I’m guilty of keeping my radio cranked at times, too (but only when the song is really good).
I can only imagine how exciting it will be to hear the sound of Motown under the lights of Broadway. According to the news article, the musical will portray Motown’s first 25 years through the eyes of Berry Gordy, Motown’s founder, who is played by Tony-nominated actor Brandon Victor Dixon. For those who know the story of how Motown got started, the scene will be a familiar one. From the $800 Gordy family loan that got it started to the triumphant “Motown 25” show in 1983 where Michael Jackson wowed us with his famous moonwalk, those lucky enough to go will be more than entertained. More than half of the two-and-one-half-hour show is set in Detroit, where Gordy’s courtship of a young Diana Ross is a key source of drama. The unique sound of Motown is the soundtrack. That soundtrack includes music from Michael Jackson, the Supremes and more. This show has been in the works for years, and Gordy said in the article he waited so it could be done right. I’m glad the wait is over. The music of Motown is timeless. I figure if I can’t go see the musical, I can certainly play the music of the Jackson 5 at my wedding reception.