Sunday being that special day when all good offspring do something nice for mom, I offer three choices of solid family fare, each on stage nightly, plus a couple of matinees. though Sunday.
The price of tickets is wide-spread but even the most expensive falls way below the current prince in a larger market.
Beginning at the top, look at the national tour of “Motown: The Musical,” which says it all in the title. Playing in the marvelous Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo, “Motown” begs to be the “true” story of Berry Gordy, founder and ruler of the record label that took its name, in a condensed version, from the nickname — Motor City — of Gordy’s home town.
Who cares if the theatrical version is slanted obviously to making Gordy the “good guy” (it’s based on his autobiography, he wrote the script and is a producer). The important thing is that, in two and a half hours, it brings back an era and a musical genre that molded at least one generation.
I dare you to sit still when The Temptations, the Supremes, the Commodores, the Vandellas, the Four Tops, the Marvellettes, the Contours and the Jackson 5 hit the stage. Ditto for Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. All are incredibly close to the sound of the originals.
Even if you cannot name each of the 59-plus songs, some in part and some complete, recalled in the solid vocals, you won’t be able to sit still — and feel free to sing along!
Most of the 28 cast members play several roles, but Gordy (Chester Gregory), Ross (Allison Semmes), Gaye (Jarran Muse) and Robinson (David Kaverman) never miss a beat or a ceiling-shattering note!
Have to admit my favorite was young Michael Jackson (Raymond Davis Jr./CJ Wright). The boys alternate, so I don’t know which one played the burgeoning superstar the night we went (it should be noted!), but from the talent level of the adult cast, both must be outstanding!
For show times and ticket information call (269) 387-2300 or (800) 228-9858.
To borrow from The Supremes: the next show, like “Motown,” ends on Sunday.
It is “Singin’ in the Rain,” offered at the Lerner Theatre by Premier Arts.
Can’t comment on the show as I haven’t seen this production yet but will say that the film, and just about all the stage productions I have seen (and I can’t count how many) have proven to be extremely entertaining and a great way to spend several hours with a totally family-friendly musical.
The ticket price is right, so it’s not too costly to take a chance. Sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
For show times and reservations, call (574) 293-4469 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final part of the musical trilogy is the South Bend Civic Theatre production of “Big River,” based on Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” with music by the late “King of the Road” Roger Miller.
The “Muddy Water” will be flowing through May 21, with Huck, Jim, the Duke, the King and Tom Sawyer dancing and singing in the SBCT Wilson Auditorium.
Another musical aimed at the enjoyment of the whole family. For additional information, check my review, also on this website!