The Magic of Motown – Review – York Grand Opera House

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By Kirsty Reid, October 2019

After a frantic week at the office, I was certainly in need of a pick-me-up and what better way to boost one’s mood than with music. Not just any music, though – Motown.

Having being performed across the world, The Magic of Motown has had crowds clapping, toe tapping and dancing in the aisles for 13 years – it has even been seen by the Queen at a Royal Variety Performance.

Though Motown hasn’t quite made my Spotify playlist, I am partial to a few of the classics and I was excited to see what this show had to offer.

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Walking into York’s Grand Opera House, there was hardly a space seat in sight. As mum and I got comfy in our chairs, it soon became clear I was very much one of the younger concertgoers.

The energetic crowd, whom I’d guess were mostly aged been between 40-60, were buzzing with excitement as they eagerly awaited the start of the performance.

It wasn’t long before the fast-paced tribute show was underway and it was everything I’d imagined it to be – uplifting and incredibly infectious.

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“Great pizzazz”

Dazzling costume changes brought plenty of glitz and glamour to the evening. Switching outfits every couple of songs, the ladies donned sultry ensembles where the guys wore suave suits. The music is, of course, what my fellow audience members have come for and despite lacking a little soul, the songs were performed with great pizzazz.

The show is fronted by seven singers, three women and four men, backed by a brilliant band. The performers all had strong vocals and worked the dancefloor with ease – much to the delight of the audience.

Featuring 40 back-to-back classic hits, we were entertained with renditions of songs by The Supremes, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight to name but a few.

magic of motown review york grand opera house october 2019 dance

It is impossible to pick out a favourite from the night, with a wide range of tracks there was plenty to enjoy. ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ and ‘Blame It On the Boogie’ had many groups up on their feet boogieing to the beats and those who weren’t dancing, were almost certainly singing along.

A lucky young woman was singled out of the crowd to be serenaded. After a slightly awkward climb (over stage equipment) on to the stage, the lady looked like she was having the time of her life as she gracefully swayed to ‘My Cherie Amour’.

With many concertgoers wanting to dance along, perhaps a venue with a dancefloor would have been better suited to really bring this tribute to life. That said, the show promises an unstoppable party packed with Motown hits and that’s a promise it certainly fulfils.


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