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Get Out More............................Musical Review

DANCING IN THE STREETS (Alex Theatre)

23-09-2009

Dancing in the Streets

A Motown spectacular leaves Terry Wills eardrums vibrating – but otherwise unmoved.  Although he does acknowledge the mass appeal.

Lovers of Jazz, Swing, MOR, Rock, Rap and many others (all with dedicated followers that simply cannot get enough of their favourite music) must bow down in recognition of the fact that there are no greater enthusiasts than those that grew up living and loving the sounds of Motown.

In truth the talented eleven singers/dancers, backed by eight enthusiastic musicians, simply set out to entertain an audience with their versions of the acknowledged smash hits that down the years have become so familiar and irresistible.

Basically it’s two hours of non stop chart busting hits originally made famous by the likes of The Four Tops, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas, Lionel Richie, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.

From The Supremes ‘Stop In The name Of Love’ , ‘Give and Take’ and ‘Baby Love’ to Stevie Wonder’s lilting ‘For Once In My Life’, through The Four Tops’ ‘Reach Out I’ll be there’, via Jimmy Ruffin’s ‘What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted’

Enough's enough. What’s the point of trying to remember a show that barely pauses for a breath but simply concentrates on providing what their audience has craved for?

A succession of hit songs to leave them pleading for more.

Each and everyone in the cast portray their undoubted appreciation by giving 100% effort and application.

The ‘girls’ in shimmering colourful dresses, the ‘boys’ in smart tailored suits or smart casual clothes. Add to this sharp synchronised choreography and it’s almost hard to fault the overall production.

I did say almost! The one drawback, which tends to be a familiar feature of so many musical shows, is the sheer volume emitted from the backing group.

At times it was very difficult to hear the lyrics but when I made this comment to a fellow reviewer during the interval he simply smiled and said, “Well what else did you expect”? Point taken.

The final number?  What else but Dancing in the Streets’ summed up the evening. The audience already on their feet for the closing stages of the show were more than happy to stand, clap, cheer, and roar for ‘more’. Seemingly a standard feature of the ever- growing number of tribute shows for young and old alike.

For lovers of Mowtown music this has to be the show for you. Me? I can take it or leave it but in saying that it would be churlish to deny the fact that ‘Dancing in the Streets’ will be appeal to it’s followers and seems set for a successful week at the Alex.

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