Motown sound still motoring on

Magic of Motown

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre 


Michael Taylor's Magic of Motown was a resounding success.  Fifty years on and the music sounded as fresh as the glory days of Motown.  This was the second performance of the day and the audience was treated to a great show with no sign of fatigue.

 The show opened to Diana Ross (Natasha Burnett) and Marvin Gaye (Andre Lejaune) singing an uplifting Ain't No Mountain High Enough and it just got better from there.   With non-stop interpretations of 30+ great hit songs, high energy routines and fabulous costumes.  

The cast, seven members tonight, but varies from show to show, is undoubtedly very talented.  Hard to say whose was the best performance but audience reaction gave Leroy the gong.  We never believed that we were in the presence of greatness but the show never failed to please either. The finest moment, for me, was Midnight Train to Georgia, with dancing, backing and vocals of note. 

Andre Lejaune's choreography is tremendous with all routines reminiscent of the heydays of such great stars as the Four Tops, Jackson Five, Smokey Robinson, Temptations and Diana Ross and the Supremes.  


Highlights of the show were tracks such as Heard It Through The Grapevine; This Old Heart Of Mine; Get Ready, the boys routines were certainly the best.  A good sport from the front row joined in with Going Loco Down in AcapulcoMy Girl and My Guy were audience favourites.

 Not being a particular fan of Lionel Richie Endless Love did seem ENDLESS, but the audience loved that section.  The Jackson Five tribute was outstanding and Natasha carried off the Michael Jackson songs perfectly.  The best song of the night according to audience reaction was actually  Richie's All Night Long.  Andre's Stevie Wonder impersonation was aimed to amuse but fell short of the mark.  However, he came into his own when he did Wonder his way.     

The band did a great job, loved the Motown brass section and when they weren't blowing their hearts out they had the moves.  The bass was great during Superstition.

 The costumes totally captured the look of Motown over the decades, but did seem a little budget at times.  That said, the girls looked fabulous, sometimes with diamonds, sometimes with little black numbers and sometimes with beautiful beaded and sequined gowns.  Not to be outdone, the guys costumes were equally magnificent, perhaps more lavish, with much attention paid to their footwear to complete the look. But, please do something with the Diana Ross wig and the Jackson Five hi-viz jackets, more evicative of workmen than stars of the show.

 With some audience members dancing in the aisles throughout the second half, a lengthy standing ovation and encore, the show can claim a resounding success. I totally loved it and would go again tomorrow. 05-02-11

Lynda Ford 

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