Reach out for pop hits from Motown
Princess Theatre, Torquay, tonight only
Motown was a record label that didn't just make successful music – it also made history.
Founder Berry Gordy and the black artists he signed played a significant role in the racial integration of popular music with a catalogue of hits that poured out of Detroit from the early 1960s.
Many of those songs – and the singers who delivered them – have become classics of contemporary sound, embraced and celebrated all over the world. So there were very rich pickings to plunder for the US celebratory show which is back on tour on this side of the pond and heading for the Devon seaside tonight. The I'll Be There 2013 Tour show is packed with 36 back-to-back hits originally delivered by a stellar line-up including the Temptations, the Supremes, Four Tops, the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Lionel Richie.
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This year is a very special one as far as Motown is concerned, according to show producer Michael Taylor. "It marks 50 years of number one hits from the world's favourite record label," he says.
To mark this occasion – and with a nod to Stevie Wonder – the producers and cast are preparing to sign, seal and deliver the biggest production in the show's ten-year history.
Here's just a snapshot of the three dozen songs on the menu – most of which I could sing along to: Stop in the Name of Love; Signed, Sealed, Delivered; My Guy; What Becomes of the Broken Hearted; I Heard it Through the Grapevine; Endless Love; All Night Long; I'm Coming Out; Why Do Fools Fall in Love; Get Ready; Ain't Too Proud to Beg; My Girl; I Want You Back; I'll Be There; Blame it on the Boogie and Dancing in the Street.
"There's dazzling dance moves and glittering costumes galore," says Michael. "Plus the incredible Magic of Motown band, tighter than Motown's house band the Funk Brothers in their prime. Five-star performances authentically revive the style and sophistication of all the Detroit legends."