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When we set out to see
Motown: The Musical
in previews last week, we did so with an emotion vaguely reminiscent of reluctance. We're not "musical people," we thought to ourselves. But then we sat down in the orchestra seats, we started smiling when the overture played, and we didn't stop grinning until the final bow. The play, which chronicles the love and life of Motown founder Berry Gordy and Diana Ross, includes numbers by Michael Jackson, Smoky Robinson, The Commodores, Stevie Wonder, and many, many more. Turns out, truth is: We love Motown music. We love a true story with an almost-happy ending. We love throwback style. We love crystals. And crystals there were, in plenty.
Tony Award nominated costume designer ESosa partnered with Swarovski to make larger-than-life (but still true-to-life) looks that complimented the songs and the actors perfectly, which is important when you're dressing legendary figures like Ms. Ross and her Supremes. For us, the highlight came when a fully-crystalized back drop and a figure-flattering, drop-waist silver number to match aided Valisea LeKae (who plays Diana) in a call-and-answer number with the audience. The whole stage was shining, the whole crowd was singing, and we couldn't for one second remember LeKae wasn't the "real thing." As for all those crystals? Well, you'll have a hard time keeping up with all 247,000 jewels that ESosa used in the show, so we'll just give you a sneak peek slideshow of the best looks before you go see the musical for yourself.
Motown: The Musical , Lunt Fontanne Theater, 205 W 46th Street (at 7th Avenue); 212-575-9200.
Photographs by Joan Marcus, Courtesy of Swarovski