6abc Loves the arts: Motown the Musical

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6abc Loves the Arts: Motown The Musical. Karen Rogers reports during Action News at 7 a.m. on May 14, 2017. (WPVI)

Get ready for a blast from the past! Motown the Musical is coming to the Academy of Music.

When the show came to Philadelphia two years ago, it was the most successful run in the Academy of Music's history. Now it's back with an all-new cast ready to wow audiences with chart-toppers from the '50s-'80s.

Motown the Musical was created by the label's pioneer Berry Gordy Jr., who got his start as a featherweight boxer before becoming a heavyweight in the music industry.

"As a boxer he knew how to fight, and Motown was basically fighting a lot of the prejudices and a lot of the assumptions that African-Americans couldn't compete in the greater world of pop music," says Kimmel Center Programming Director Frances Egler.

The show opens in 1983 during Motown Records' 25th anniversary concert, which Egler called a "huge success and big event." "It starts from there and then sort of flashes back and tells the whole story of the label."

Egler says audiences can relive moments from some of the biggest legends in R&B and pop music: "From the Supremes and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles to Jackson 5 and Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye."

Be prepared to dance and sing along to more than 50 classic hits, from "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" to "Baby Love". "Anything that you would think of when it comes to R&B and pop music from the 60s, Berry Gordy had a had a hand in it," says Egler.

The show premiered on Broadway in 2013 and began touring a year later and, at age 87, Gordy is still actively involved in the production of the show.

"Just like his music he has a hand in everything," says Egler. "If you love Motown, if you love great music and dancing, then you'll love this show; it does not disappoint."

Motown the Musical is at the Academy of Music May 30-June 11th. For tickets and show times to go to http://theartsinphilly.org.
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