By: Clayton Dusendang
Over here at Miller, we have hit the ground running making plans for our 2016-17 season. On Sunday, some Miller staff along with myself piled in our Miller van and hopped over to East Lansing to preview Motown the Musical at the Wharton Center. While I had a general idea of what Motown was going to entail in its story, I wasn’t fully aware of the magic I was about to witness on stage.
From the moment curtain opens, you are presented with a flawless cocktail of music, dance, costumes and set design. You are sent back in time to the early days of Motown, which for us Michiganders has a special place in our hearts since Motown’s birthplace is Detroit!
The musical follows the story of ‘The Chairman,’ Berry Gordy, and of many well known Motown artists including Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and more! I was enraptured by the amazing sound and fabulous set design. In the scene that took place at The Ed Sullivan Show, it really felt like you were at a live recording of The Ed Sullivan show!
Now, of course, these are actors and not the real Motown figures, but they all do an amazing job embodying their characters. One point that the Miller staff and I were completely raving about was the boy who plays little Michael Jackson, J.J. Batteast. He blew the crowd completely out of the water for encapsulating so much talent–and at only 12-years-old!
I was pleased to be able to see this show and be educated on the foundations and roots of the Motown genre. I’m even more excited to see this show a second time when it comes to Miller next as part of 0ur PNC Broadway in West Michigan Series from May 9-14, 2017! You can inquire about subscriptions for our upcoming season by visiting millerauditorium.com or by calling (269) 387-2300. With that, have a good one!