Review: ‘Motown’ musical big on songs, light story

April 14, 2013 • Entertainment

This theater image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown shows Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye in “Motown: The Musical,” performing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York. (AP Photo/Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Joan Marcus)

NEW YORK (AP) — There are 36 songs in the new Broadway show “Motown: The Musical.” Actually, that’s just in the first act — 36 songs, not including a reprise of “You’re Nobody ’til Somebody Loves You.” It’s like a jukebox went completely haywire.

To be sure, the songs are probably the best America has ever produced: “War,” ”What’s Going On?” ”My Girl,” ”You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” ”Dancing in the Streets” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” But, still, 36? In comparison, “The Book of Mormon” has what now seems like a stingy 16 songs in total.

The 2½-hour show, about Motown Records under founder Berry Gordy, opened Sunday at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre completely unbalanced: The songs are staggering, the book utterly flimsy.

Both are due to one man: Gordy, who clearly knows what makes an indelible hit song, but also has an inability to write objectively about that skill. As the book writer, Gordy comes across almost divine, a true visionary who literally changed the world and race relations but Login to read more

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