I had my second to last show of the season at the Pantages this past weekend. The group that I have gone with this season has looked at the offerings next season and we’ve decided not to buy the entire season for 2015-2016. There are a couple of shows that I’d like to see, but it will be more cost-effective for me to just get the few I want instead of all 7.
I am sad that this season is wrapping up and I won’t have as many shows to see this coming season, but I’m also super grateful that I splurged and did a season this year. It was totally worth it and I’ve had a great time.
The show this past weekend was “Motown”. I knew a bit about the show and that it was going to be filled with musical numbers. So when we got to the theater, I was pretty excited.
I know that some of the reviews for this show aren’t too great. The guy who it is about wrote the musical, so it really does portray him in the best light possible (even if that might not be the truth). And there’s not a ton of plot in the story.
But the songs were worth it! There were a handful of songs that were written for the musical, but there were over 40 songs that were songs that were done by Motown Records and even I knew pretty much all of them.
The audience was singing along most of the time (and there were a couple of people who were a bit obnoxious about it but I think that they might have been drunk). The show was more of a concert feel than a musical to me.
But the most magical moment came in the second act. There’s one young actor who plays Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson as a kid. In the first act he played Berry Gordy and Stevie Wonder. And while he was cute and a good actor, it was nothing compared to the second act.
That’s when he played young Michael Jackson and his true talent shined. This kid (Nathaniel Cullors) was magnificent! When he started to sing as Michael Jackson, you could hear almost the entire audience gasp in wonder at the voice he had. A few moments into the song everyone was rooting for him as a performer and ready to give him a standing ovation.
After his first song, I thought that maybe that was the end of seeing young Michael Jackson, but we got to see (and hear) him again. And again, the audience ate it up.
As an audience member, it was such a fun moment to watch. But as an actor, it was truly breathtaking and special to watch an entire audience fall in love with an actor. You could feel the energy in the room and it was giving me goosebumps.
That’s a moment that as an actor you dream to have happen to you. To witness it happen for another actor was almost better.
After the show ended, we all agreed in the group that that kid really stole the show and was one of the most talented performers in the show. And the cast in general was the most talent cast vocally of any of the shows that we have seen. So many cast members played 3 or 4 incredible real people and none of them seemed to be pretending to be them, they just were them.
I highly recommend everyone going to see “Motown”. I don’t believe that it got the praise it deserved on Broadway because it is not really a traditional musical. But as an entertaining show, it was one of the best I’ve seen.