There’s something about Motown songs that just makes you want to get up and dance, singing your heart out to these toe-tapping tunes. Well, luckily for this audience, that’s exactly what you can do if you go and see Dancing in the Streets.
I’ll admit I was sceptical. It was either going to be a fabulous, feel good evening or some horrendous attempt to tie classic songs into some wishy-washy storyline that is, quite frankly, embarrassing.
Thankfully, Dancing in the Streets is the former. It isn’t trying to be anything showy or ridiculous, it’s just exceptionally talented singers performing the greatest Motown hits. But there’s nothing wrong with that.
The first few numbers weren’t songs I recognised, but I picked up the melody and the chorus and clapped along with everyone else (dancing and singing is encouraged) and just enjoyed the music. There are also some incredibly powerful slower numbers like Endless Love, but these songs just aren’t as much fun for an audience determined to participate.
However, once the classics came out I was ready to be totally involved, the audience became more rowdy and we all just thought “sod it, let’s dance”.
The cast and band really give it their all, with particularly stunning performances from Jade Albertson and Michael Anthony Duke, although every single member of this company is a brilliant performer. The choreography (by Director Carole Todd) is perfect and performed exceptionally well and Tony Priestley’s costumes are absolutely fabulous – I mean they’re just so sparkly!
Act II is, as expected, much better than Act I because the favourites come out and everyone sings along to My Girl, Reach Out (I’ll Be There) and the incredible finale which includes Dancing in the Streets and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – who wouldn’t join in?
Let’s be honest – if you like Motown songs you’ll love this show. It’s not in any way pretentious – it is what it is, but if you’re willing to join in, you’re guaranteed a fun night… But someone has to be brave and be the first person to stand up and dance!
Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes
Dancing in the Streets was reviewed at the Richmond Theatre but is on tour around the UK. Click here for dates.