It was supposed to be rip-roaring musical journey through the history of Motown music. But, according to the critics, this musical is one step too far, and the overall consensus is that it’s rushed. Not surprising with 50 musical numbers from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
For The Hollywood Reporter, endless string of hits didn’t disguise the shortcomings of this musical. “You can’t hurry love,” goes their review, “but apparently you can hurtle through 25 years of pop history without depth or complexity if Motown: The Musical is any indication. With its narrowly self-serving perspective and simplistic connect-the-dots plotting, Berry Gordy’s book makes Jersey Boys look like Eugene O’Neill.” The New York Times are in agreement with their west coast contemporaries. “For all the richness of its gold-and-platinum-plated soundtrack, “Motown” would be a much more satisfying nostalgia trip if Mr. Gordy and his collaborators were more effective curators of both story and song, rather than trying to encompass the whole of the label’s fabled history in two and a half hours,” they say in negative review, to say the least.
Victor-Dixon and Berry Gordy at the Motown: The Musical Photocall
Motown, starring Brandon Victor Dixon as Berry Gordy, just hasn’t gone down well. The Associated Press put the final nail in the coffin, saying, “To be fair, Gordy's story is a remarkable one and should be told onstage, warts and all. His songs are the soundtrack of America, but letting him tell his own story has cheapened it. He didn't "knock it out of the park, baby."