American performers – they’re loud, they’re brash.
MAGIC OF MOTOWN Friday 22nd August 2014 at 7.30pm
EMBASSY THEATRE SKEGNESS
Grand Parade, Skegness, Lincolnshire, PE25 2UG ~ Tickets: £21.50 Children: £10.00
Box office: 0845 674 0505 embassytheatre.co.uk easytheatres.com
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But, as any concertgoer knows, on stage an American artist will out-perform a British artist every time.
“Take, for instance, 50 years ago,” says Michael Taylor, producer of forthcoming stage show The Magic of Motown, headlined by Stateside singing sensation Andre Lejaune.
“America wowed the world with slickly-choreographed concert shows by Motown artists offering the full package.”
Artists like the Supremes, Temptations, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Mary Wells and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas oozed style, sophistication and vocal dexterity, according to Michael.
“This side of the pond things were, erm, different,” he says. “All the Beatles needed to do was turn up – nobody could hear what they were singing above the screaming – and for the likes of the Bachelors, Searchers and Peter and Gordon, a black suit and tie were their idea of a fashion statement.”
So why, if we’re led to believe Michael’s point of view, should it be that American artists shine brightest when the follow spots light the stage? Florida-born and bred singer Andre Lejaune offers an intriguing insight into what makes an American performer. “It goes back to what we’re taught in stage school,” says Magic of Motown leading man Andre. “The importance of establishing a rapport with the audience is lesson number one.
“You’re forever gauging their reaction. If what you’re doing isn’t gelling, you switch. They’ve paid their money to come and see you, so there must be something in your repertoire that’ll please them.”
Andre puts this invaluable grounding to good use as part of theatre box office smash The Magic of Motown. Featuring slick male harmonies and stunning female vocals, the production honours The Temptations, Supremes, Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and many more Tamla Motown legends.
It was not just the distinctive Motown sound created by founder Berry Gordy Jnr back in 1959 that set the label’s artists apart from all other artists of the era. For mass market appeal, artistes’ images were carefully controlled from dress and choreography, right down to their manners.
The Magic of Motown demands the same exacting standards from its performers. “And with dozens of costume changes shoe-horned into each show, ” says Andre, “at times there can be just as much going on backstage as there is under the spotlights!”
The Magic of Motown authentically brings to life million-selling hit song followed by million-selling hit song in one spectacular stage show celebrating the world’s most popular record label.
“The guys have been together for some time now,” says Andre, “and we tour the world with our show.
“However, we know all about the British concert scene – our first break was a gig at Butlins, Skegness!”
Today The Magic of Motown concert show starring Andre is recognised as the UK’s number one Motown concert show on tour in the UK playing huge arenas and massive open-air festivals.
“We still rehearse once a week – making sure our moves are on point and harmonies spot on,” says Andre. “We’d never want to let an audience down.” That American grounding raises its head once again.
Celebrating 50 Years of Number One Hits, The Magic of Motown Reach Out® 2014 Tour Is Coming To Town
Celebrating 50 years of UK number one hit singles, the Magic of Motown brings its brand-new 2014 REACH OUT® Tour to town. Songs like Dancing in the Street, My Girl, Where Did Our Love Go, My Guy and Baby Love rocketed Motown to the top of the singles charts in 1964, says show producer Michael Taylor.
“Incredibly, 100 more Motown No1s followed worldwide,” he says. “The Magic of Motown 2014 Reach Out Tour brings to the stage 36 of these chart toppers back-to-back in one critically-acclaimed production.” Direct from the USA, The Magic of Motown promises five-star performances that will authentically revive the style and sophistication of everyone’s favourite Motown legends.
“This year we’re proud to announce that the show will include more number one hits than ever before,” says Michael. Classic hits from the Temptations, Four Tops, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie and The Supremes are packed into the two-hour spectacular.
“As well as dazzling dance moves and glittering costumes galore,” says Michael. “the elusive, authentic sound of Motown is recreated by our incredible Magic of Motown band.”
The group, especially put together for the show, celebrate their tenth year together on this tour. “In their capable hands,” says Michael, “you can guarantee that the score will be – with a nod to the great Stevie Wonder – uptight. . . alright and out of sight!”
In 1964 Motown crossed the Atlantic to become a musical phenomenon on these shores. The labels’ touring concert show, the Motown Revue starring Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, (Little) Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross and the Supremes, paved the way for Motown’s chart-storming success in the UK. That year the UK singles charts were peppered with Motown songs.
To mark the occasion, The Magic of Motown brings an all-new production for 2014 to the stage with a 100-date nationwide tour.
Male lead in the show Andre Lejaune promises many new numbers added to the show’s already hit-packed score.
“Come and celebrate 50 years of number one hits,” he says. “With the Reach Out 2014 Tour, the magic of Motown is truly coming to town.”