Captivating a packed house for opening night at the Community Center Theater, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL took Sacramento by storm with electrifying performances and a seemingly endless array of hits spanning the course of four decades.
Lead by the extraordinarily talented Chester Gregory portraying Motown founder Berry Gordy along side the wonderfully engaging Allison Semmes as Diana Ross, California Musical Theater delivers an entertaining journey through an important period of modern American history.
From the very first notes that filled the auditorium, the magic of Broadway fully engaged my senses while making meaningful social commentary. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is a reminder of the hardships faced by those who overcame the barriers of inequality to produce sounds that became the soundtrack for generations. With cameos throughout the production by an immensely talented ensemble cast portraying icons from Marvin Gaye to Stevie Wonder to a young Michael Jackson, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is among the most entertaining theatrical productions I have ever had the privilege to see.
While the storyline was relatively predictable at times, the lavish sets, toe-tapping, Top 40 soundtrack of Motown hits, and charismatic cast reminded me of just how enjoyable a night at the theater can be. It didn’t take long for the audience to feel like a part of the experience, with cast members Allison Semmes and Jarran Muse encouraging participation during many of the songs.
Despite the gravity of the underlying subject matter, the script offered just enough comic relief to keep a smile on my face throughout the evening, that is, when I didn’t find myself singing along to the classic hits that are such a significant part of American culture.
The overall experience was a strong reminder of just how important it is to invest in the arts, and how a quality production can bring the community together to share a memorable night in downtown Sacramento.
For more music fun, check out California Musical Theatre’s summer lineup of Music Circus performances.