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MOTOWN ON DECK (article first published : 2008-03-28)

The Phantom Ship at uShaka Marine World is the venue for the musical Motown On Deck, taking place at the Upper Deck restaurant. The stars of the show are Clive Gumede, Pume Zondi, Khaya Mthethwa and the Solid Gold Band.

From the moment the trio appears on stage: gents smartly clad in white suits, white shirts and white shoes, and Phume, diva-like in a black and white dress, I could see they were aiming to please! It was impressive to watch youngsters successfully perform the Motown hits. The musical backup from the Solid Gold Band flowed smoothly into the next soul ballad.

We were entertained by the music of Smokey Robinsonís Take A Good Look At My Face, the Temptationsí Just My Imagination, Marvin Gayeís Grapevine, Peaches and Herbís Reunited and Tina Turnerís Roll It. Other songs and artists featured in the first half of the show included Letís Get It On, Pappa Was A Rolling Stone, Youíre All I Need, My Cherie Amour, You Are The Apple Of My Eye, The World Is A Great Big Onion and Gladys Knight and The Pipís Neither One Of Us.

The second half of the show aptly started with The Temptations hit, Rock The Boat. The costumes were designed by fashion guru, Kevin Ellis. Pume Zondi was sexy in a green, shimmer pants-suit. The guys wore pink/orange sequined jackets and black pants.

Choreography by Shelley Haggard was superb and well-mastered. What made the show a success was the mere fact that the artists appeared to be having such fun performing the Motown Hits and were not afraid to interact with the audience members.

Motown Hits featured in the second half included the music of Earth, Wind and Fire, the late Luther Vandross and Diana Ross. Boogie Wonderland started a medley of songs of Tributes to Motown Legends. Included in the medley was Sugar Pie Honey, Mr Postman, My Girl, Stop In The Name Of Love, Reach Out, Iíll Be There, I Feel Good and Ainít No Mountain High Enough.

The Motown On Deck trio took the audience on a soulful trip down memory lane. The trio together are Black Magic!

Motown On Dec produced by Wayne Scott and directed by Charon Williams-Ros, runs on Friday evenings 19h00 for 20h00 until May 31. Tickets at R130 pp include an eat-as-much-as-you-can buffet dinner and dessert. To book contact Gary on 031 328 8000. Ė Pauline Dalais




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