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BWW Review: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN at MTH (Virtual)

Spend an hour in Motown

"The Music of Motown" is the third original cabaret show in a series of video streamed entertainments from Musical Theater Heritage in the wake of the great Covid-19 pandemic. Covid has eliminated live audience performances for the time being. Each new iteration becomes a little technically better than the one that preceded it. The music is always fine. This show is one R&B lovers should not miss.

BWW Review: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN at MTH (Virtual)
Ron Lackey

"The Music of Motown" is hosted by the warm friendly presence of Overland Park's Ron Lackey in front of his jazz combo "2Proud2Beg." Ron is a big teddy bear kind of guy who you wouldn't be surprised in the role of the licensed worship pastor that he is, in fact, on Sundays. Backing up Ron (keyboard) are Darrell Mayberry (guitar), Nate McLendon (various reed instruments and saxophone) and Bryan Alford (drums).

Joining Ron are great singers Willlis White, Keshanna Cook, Linnaia McKenzie, and Douglass Walker. The music is pure Barry Gordy Detroit Motown mainly from the 60s, 70s, and 80's originally performed by R&B stars Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Jackson 5, and Stevie Wonder. Lackey's band and the singers offer professional and enjoyable versions of Gordy classics during the hour long cabaret shows.

BWW Review: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN at MTH (Virtual)
Linnaia McKenzie

Selections include "Get Ready," "Dancing In The Streets," "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," "Do You Love Me," "Heat Wave," "Same Old Song," "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch," and many more. If you were a fan of "Bandstand" and the early R&B standouts, The Music of Motown is an enjoyable cabaret show for you. Willis, Kesanna, Linnaia, and Douglass are exactly who you would like them to be for this material. All are strong performers along with Teddy Bear Ron who has this music driven deep into their souls.

BWW Review: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN at MTH (Virtual)
Douglass Walker

The show was recorded at the Crossroads Hotel in The Watering Place surrounded with indoor plants selected for their connection to Afro-American heritage. Also offered are artworks of several local African-American artists all of which which can be purchased separately. The production design is by Mark A. Exline. Location and Gallery Curator is by Gyneisha Johnson. Producer and director is MTH Executive Artistic Director Tim Scott. Excellent sound is again delivered by engineer Jon Robertson and audio assistant Hannah Zimmerman.

BWW Review: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN at MTH (Virtual)
Willis White

"The Music of Motown" is available for home viewing through February 1. You can buy access online at the Musical Theater Heritage (www.musicaltheaterheritage.com) website. These shows are being produced in lieu of live performances cancelled by Covid-19 in the MTH theaters.

BWW Review: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN at MTH (Virtual)
Keshanna Cook

Even after the emergency is passed, I should be pleased to see similar shows continued as part of the MTH offerings. The experience gained by actors and crew will be invaluable. The ability to go back and see the archive will be a great addition.

By the way, Barry Gordy is still with us at age 91.


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From This Author Alan Portner