Motown The Musical-An Epic Performance

Entertainment, Theater — By on May 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Cover and Inside Photo-Julius Thomas III, who played Berry Gordy Jr., Berry Gordy Jr. and Smokey Robinson. Photo by Kim Webster.

By Buddy Sampson

Motown The Musical is epic. If you want to see a musical history of a Black mogul, Berry Gordy, it is a must see. In fact, every family should attend this finely tuned, simply marvelous theater production.

“Motown The Musical,” is essentially the story of how Motown was originated. In fact, there is a very funny scene in the play that depicted Gordy and Smokey Robinson attempting to come up with the name of the company. It traces the life of Gordy and how he built the company, Smokey Robinson’s role and relationship in Motown with Gordy, the artists they developed and the personnel that Motown hired that gave the company its distinctive worldwide brand.

Supremes Krisha Marcano (Flo) Allison Semmes (Diana) and Trisha Jeffrey (Mary) . Photo by Kim Webster.

Jarran Muse, who played Marvin Gaye is pictured with Berry Gordy Jr. Photo by Kim Webster.

Of particular note was Julian Thomas III, the actor that played Gordy, Allison Semmes, the actress that played Diana Ross and Jesse Nager, who played Smokey Robinson.  The play effectively used the music of Motown to tell the story, and tell it with flair. Two numbers particularly stood out, “Ball of Confusion,” and “What’s Going On.” Those numbers told a visual story of the turbulent times of the sixties and seventies and illustrated the pure wizardry of Marvin Gaye, played by Jarran Muse. It also spotlighted Diana Ross’s role in Motown and her relationship with Gordy.

Eva Mejl, an amazing fashion designer, was caught at the after party of Motown The Musical, showing at The Pantages Theater. Her ensemble is an example of one of her designs. Visit her website at Photo by The Scoop LA.

Mickey Stevenson (R) and daughter Ashley. Photo by Kim Webster.

Attending the premiere were several celebrities, including Gordy himself, Smokey Robinson, Claudette Robinson, Sidney Poitier, Joanna Shimkus, Toni Braxton, Obba Babatunde, Norm Nixon, Danny Bakewell, Niecy Nash, fashion designer Eva Mejl, and many more.

This production, featured at the Pantages Theatre, and running until June 7th is a play for the entire family. Everyone will recognize the hits of Motown and the rich and epic, storied history of the company.

Now featured at the Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028. For more information visit

Special thanks to Linda Stewart for inviting us to get The Scoop!

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