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  • ‘Motown: The Musical’ Bathes Us in Nostalgia

    According to the Playbill for “Motown: The Musical,” the show stuffs 67 songs into its two-hour-and-45-minute running time. Such abundance suggests that impresario Berry Gordy—who created the fabulously successful music factory and has written and produced this entertainment about its history—has strong convictions about what his audience wants. If you are looking to bathe in nostalgia evoked by beloved tunes while watching talented and committed professionals do their industrious best to locate the magic of legendary performers, this is the show for you. If you prefer a well-written story with multidimensional characters that digs beneath the surface and uses song with dramatic acumen, then steer clear.
    Gordy’s script unfolds in flashback, beginning in 1983 Los Angeles on the day of a 25th anniversary show that will reunite all of Motown’s greats, most of whom have since left the company for greener pastures. A miffed and mopey Gordy is refusing to attend, to the consternation of his staff. “You’re gonna turn your back on the dream you started 25 years ago?” one of them asks incredulously. “My dream started long before that,” he replies, and sure enough

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