Dancing in the Streets

Previewed 7 July 2005, Opened 19 July 2005, Closed 22 April 2006 at the Cambridge Theatre
Transferred 27 April 2006, Closed 22 July 2006 at the Aldwych Theatre
Transferred 1 August 2006, Closed 14 July 2007 at the Playhouse Theatre

The musical Dancing in the Streets in London - a spectacular celebration of the most prolific hit-factory ever!

Motown Records was a prominent force in breaking down barriers around the world and, equally as important, was responsible for producing some of the world's most influential and enduring songs of the 20th century. Dancing in the Streets in London re-creates the energy, style and music of the stars of the Motown stable. Together they will certainly have you dancing in the aisles!

Dancing in the Streets will take you through the Motown repertoire made famous by artists such as The Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Lionel Richie, The Supremes, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas and many more! Dancing in the Streets comes into London's West End following extensive UK regional tours and features a full ensemble company of singers, dancers and band.

Musical devised by Keith Strachan.

The original cast featured Anthony Francis, Robert Grose, Paul Hazel, Siam Hurlock, Joel Karie, Paula Kay, Alana Maria, Nathaniel Morrison, Ray Shell, Vanessa White-Smith, Dwayne Wint, Roger Wright, and Jacqui Zvimba.

Directed by Keith Strachan, with choreography by Carole Todd, designs by Sean Cavanagh, costumes by Tony Priestley and Barbara Williams, lighting by Ben Cracknell, and sound by Ben Harrison.

"Having been around the country before this West End run - coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the first visit to the UK of the Tamla Motown Revue - the 13-strong company, supported by on-stage musicians, form a well-oiled machine. They gyrate, finger-click and turn on their heels in perfect synchrony, bringing an aura of silken assurance to dance moves so fussily precise they risk courting ridicule nowadays. Above all, the company sing not just with hark-at-us virtuosity but with unbridled soulfulness. They remind you why these songs are timeless, catching the melancholy and heartache that run through the most up-tempo, infectiously jaunty numbers. The stand-out act of impersonation has to be Nathaniel Morrison's uncanny recreation of Stevie Wonder, sunglasses, seal-cub head movements, spasmodic jerks and all. But this is a true ensemble effort that, uniting young and old, black and white in the aisles, makes you not only grateful for the music but proud to be part of the free-living, fun-loving West" The Daily Telegraph

"Forty years ago, the music of Tamla Motown came to London. It was performed by the first wave of its greatest stars, and the theatres were half empty because we didn't know any better. There is, therefore, no excuse for missing out this time round. Those original stars have dispersed to distant galaxies, but the music they introduced us to has lost precisely none of its sassy sheen. Dancing In The Streets is not an intellectual entertainment. There is no attempt to place the wonderful music that suddenly poured out of Detroit in the Sixties in any kind of context. This is simply a recital of the magical music that was conjured up in a tiny little establishment on an ordinary street in a less than photogenic city. Quite a considerable quantity of pop moves were invented in the Sixties, and they get a mightily affectionate reprise here." The London Evening Standard

"Yes, it's only a juke-box musical, and, yes, the West End has already seen more than enough of them. But when the juke-box is as potent as this, the usual reservations can be laid to one side. As a celebration of the Motown era, Dancing in the Streets has enough verve and unabashed high spirits to win over all but the most curmudgeonly audiences. . As hit follows hit, you begin to realise that the production, skimpy though it is in some respects, fills an important gap. It's always possible to read about the atmosphere of the Tamla machine's live shows, but actual concert footage seems to be in short supply. How many times, for instance, have you actually had a chance to relish the extravagant choreography of the Temptations -seen here in their mildly geeky, pre-psychedelic threads - or the demure hand gestures of the Supremes? Taken on those terms, the performances of the dozen or so young singers becomes an inspirational history lesson, as well as a reminder of how modern soul music has been fatally drained of, well, soul. . Any devotees of R&B who don't enjoy the show should check their pulse immediately." The Times

"From Baby Love and My Girl to the title song, the era that produced some of the naffest clothes in showbiz comes electrifyingly alive. Not that you'll learn anything about Tamla Motown, the Detroit-based label founded by recording industry legend Berry Gordy Jr... If you want history, read the excellent programme. The show, conceived and directed by Keith Strachan, is a concert, pure and simple, recalling the success of such Motown headliners as The Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and the great Stevie Wonder. While the soundalike singers, backed by a punchy eight-piece band, set the joint jumping, the clothes and wigs provide a reminder of horrific fashion excesses. Those without a passion for Motown will hate every gaudy minute. But I found its exuberance infectious. To recall The Four Tops' 1965 hit, well almost, I couldn't Help Myself liking it." The Sun

"This theatrical equivalent of a compilation CD of tribute bands has been thundering round the country for ages, and arrives in the West End with a cast of talented virtual unknowns who have been drilled within an inch of their lives by Keith Strachan's direction... Relentlessly upbeat, it drives a happily deluded audience out of its seats, oblivious to the poor imitation they are getting." The Sunday Times

Dancing in the Streets in London at the Playhouse Theatre opened on 1 August 2006, and closed on 14 July 2007