BALTIMORE, Md.—At 10 minutes before opening curtain, audience members were a-buzz while anticipating the start of the wildly exciting Broadway production ‘Motown the Musical.’ The show debuted a six-night run at the historic Hippodrome Theatre at France-Merrick Performing Arts Center.
At the outset, the show created a literal bang—as the live pit-orchestra exploded with the upbeat sounds of a Temptations-Four Tops medley featuring the groups’ greatest hits. The scenic backdrop was the legendary Motown-25 TV celebration from 1983. Immediately, the audience was introduced to back-story drama, as Motown exec Suzanne dePasse tries to convince Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. that the artists have returned to Motown, primarily because they still have an allegiance to his early guidance, and that he too should attend the show. Realistically, it was later revealed that not all Motown stablemates were Gordy lovers. Most rifts involving artists and Gordy were financially-related, a point ultimately revealed when Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye were continually in public battles to achieve their independence and sign lesser-binding contracts with the all-powerful Detroit-based, West Grand Boulevard firm.