| Jun 6, 2013
| 9:13 AM
It's signed, sealed and soon to be delivered: "Motown the Musical" is to kick off its first national tour in Chicago next spring, with a 12-week engagement at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., from April 22 to July 13, 2014.
"Why would I start...
| Jun 6, 2013
| 12:41 PM
Ever since the first national TV broadcast in 1967 of the Tony Awards, then its 21st year, a delicate dance has been tapped out between the handing out of trophies for artistic theatrical worthiness and the entertainment of the ever-fickle folks at home....
| Jul 12, 2013
| 8:23 AM
I may have never been so embarrassed for another human than the day my college English professor demonstrated America's desire for westward expansion by playing Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street." He danced with an arrhythmic bounce as he...
| Jan 16, 2013
Back in the early 1970s, the singing group Jackson 5 was so popular, it even became the subject of a Saturday morning cartoon series that used its fictionalized adventures -- such as having to do farm work or play for......
| Apr 24, 2012
| 10:01 AM
They start the show with a ridiculous graphic of Gavin in his rowboat on the dance floor, getting overwhelmed by a giant wave. Oh, silly dancing show, it's fun when you have a little bit of a big budget.
It's Motown night and one can only hope that they'...
| Jun 11, 2011
He's been called the godfather of Rodeo Drive. And it's not all hyperbole. Before Beverly Hills was the land of designer logos, before it was teeming with tourists and rolling with Rolls-Royces, the city was home to Fred Hayman, the proprietor of the...
| Jan 28, 2011
When a record label's female vocal groups include the Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas, it's easy to see why the Marvelettes are often relegated to footnote status. But the Detroit group has a unique distinction in the saga of Motown Records —...
| Feb 1, 2012
| 6:58 PM
Don Cornelius, who died Wednesday at 75, was a civil rights pioneer disguised as a dance-music-show host. He used to sign off the “Soul Train” show he founded in Chicago by wishing his viewers “love, peace and soul,” and devoted...
| Aug 23, 2011
| 12:13 PM
The songwriting world lost two titans Monday when Nick Ashford and Jerry Leiber died within hours of each other.
Ashford, 70, cowrote a string of hits with his wife, Valerie Simpson, that helped define soul, R&B and funk in the ‘60s, ‘70s and...
| Aug 28, 2011
When Berry Gordy Jr. wanted to borrow $800 from his family to found Motown Records in 1959, he knew that the most formidable resistance would come from his oldest sister, Esther.
"You're 29 years old and what have you done with your life?" his sister...
| May 21, 2012
| 2:58 PM
When Black Ensemble Theatre opened its beautiful new building in November, it did so with a show, "The Jackie Wilson Story," that not only was under-rehearsed but was merely a pro forma remount of a hit from the past. The second, far more successful...