MOTOWN THE MUSICAL First National Tour Joan Marcus, 2014

Motown the Musical @KimmelCenter #BWYPHL

Say it Rah-shay By Jan 09, 2015 20 Comments

Below is my review of Motown the Musical, which I loved and highly recommend. It’s out of the Philadelphia area (boo!) but it’s playing across the country! Visit this link from Vivid Seats to find where it is playing near you!


I need to let you all in on a little secret…when I was teen I wasn’t hip (shocker!). That means instead of wearing big earrings, chains, asymmetrical haircuts and listening to that new hip hop and R&B station, Power 99, my radio dial was set to the  (to me) oldies stations: WDAS and WOGL. (We will get into my lack of fashion at another date; that’s a post unto itself). I was all about Motown Mondays because I just loved, loved, loved listening to old Motown. Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie (I don’t even have to say his last name) and of course, Diana Ross and the Supremes.

Krisha Marcano (Florence Ballard), Allison Semmes (Diana Ross) & Trisha Jeffrey (Mary Wilson)

Krisha Marcano (Florence Ballard), Allison Semmes (Diana Ross) & Trisha Jeffrey (Mary Wilson) MoTOWN THE MUSICAL First National Tour (c) Joan Marcus, 2014

Lord did I wear out those best of Motown records, cassette tapes and, later, CDs. Motown was familiar, it was gratifying when I would listen to the words because it was like they just knew what insecure Rachee was feeling, set it to music and made it all better. I share all of this to say that watching Motown the Musical was such a treat and I want to share it with you.


Motown the Musical celebrates the legacy of Berry Gordy Jr. and the legend that is Motown. My niece and I attended the show and we had a ball singing along with the hits and dancing in our seats. The show opens up with fantastic dance number featuring The Temptations and The Four Tops during a dress rehearsal for the show and they bring it! They are energetic, it’s almost tangible s they perform and dance and own the stage. The show keeps moving as we learn about Berry Gordy’s life and his desire to create and be something.


The history of Motown is fascinating and the small bites that were presented was enough to make me want to learn more about Motown and fall in love with the music all over again.

Reed L Shannon as Michael Jackson (center) with the Jackson 5 MoTOWN THE MUSICAL First National Tour

Reed L Shannon as Michael Jackson (center) with the Jackson 5 MoTOWN THE MUSICAL First National Tour (c) Joan Marcus, 2014

The entire cast was phenomenal although I would say that one of the highlights of the show was Leon Outlaw, Jr as Young Michael Jackson. He dominated the stage and sounded just like Michael but had an original sound. Jarran Muse as Marvin Gaye was also outstanding. He brought angst and emotion to this role and his voice was amazing.

The Broadway hit is being shown at the Kimmel Center now through January 18th. If you go, get there on time; this is one show the begins with great energy and rolls right along. For tickets call (215) 731-3333 or visit

About the show:

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is Broadway’s record-breaking smash hit that tells the true story behind the beat that changed minds, touched lives and took the world by storm. Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations – MOTOWN THE MUSICAL shows how these legendary artists and so many more created the soundtrack that transformed America. With over 40 classic songs such as “My Girl,” “What’s Going On,” “Dancing in the Street,” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” this explosive Broadway event is the next chapter of Motown’s incredible history – and an experience you’ll never forget.



I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Mandi Buckner says:

    I would love to see this show! My kids too!! I have always loved Motown music and I still listen to the oldies station. 🙂

    1. Rachee says:

      I am listening to it now! Love me some oldies!

  2. Brandi Riley says:

    This show looks amazing! THat's what I miss about Philly the most, shows at the Kimmel Center! I have to see if this is going to come to Oakland!

    1. Rachee says:

      It will be in LA April 28-June 7, San Diego June 9-14 and Costa Mesa June 16-28. I hope you can get to one of those shows. It was so much fun!

  3. Joyce Brewer says:

    Yes!! As a New Yorker I absolutely love musicals. My Mom took us to see Annie and Dreamgirls on Broadway. This is great for young people to see!

    1. Rachee says:

      It’s funny that you mention Dreamgirls. While watching I kept thinking that Motown’s story reminded me of the musical.

  4. Janeane Davis says:

    I did not get to see the show and I wish I had. Motwown was more than music it was history making, opportunity creating and a valuable lesson to entrepreneurs. Oh, yeah, it was also great music.

    1. Rachee says:

      We have to hook it up for next time! I had such a ball and you would have too!

  5. That looks like so much fun! I hope to get in more theater this year in DC. Definitely going to see if this is coming to town. Great share… love this.

    1. Rachee says:

      I am still singing! I love the theater and am so thankful that I get to go as often as I have been .

  6. Kita says:

    A musical for motown? This sounds great. Wonderful date night option too. I saw the movie but the musical is probably much better.

    1. Rachee says:

      There’s a movie! Oh snap! I am so looking for it to watch over and over again!

  7. Oh how I wish I could see this play. I love Motown and the “real” music from their time in Detroit.

    1. Rachee says:

      This is coming to Atlanta in August. Date night getaway (just saying!).

  8. MrsTDJ says:

    This show has been on my radar for sooooooo long. I’m an old soul too (38) and the Motown era makes me swoon! So glad you enjoyed the show!

  9. How great that you got the chance to go when you loved it so much as a youngster. It sounds great!! I always love a musical.

  10. Bernetta says:

    This is something I would love to see. Although I was a youngster (or not born) when the motown sound was born. I know all the hits and jams!!! Yesssss, i would be jamming in my seat at this play!

  11. Bree Brandes-Courtney says:

    This would be so fun to go sing along with! 🙂

  12. This show sounds amazing! I love musicals. Maybe when my daughter is older we’ll see something like this!

  13. Sandy Gram says:

    Aww, that looks like my kinda show! I love me some Motown! 😀

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