Friday, March 11, 2016

Lively Motown Production at MMT

Kris Roberts was great as Aretha.
Mill Mountain Theatre's winter musical interlude, The Music of Motown, brought a full house to its feet tonight in Night One of a two-night run. This was--not surprisingly--an older crowd and for the first time in a while, a crowd that was racially mixed.

The music productions keep interest in MMT high during the dark days between plays, cost little to produce and have been extremely popular, often selling out. Motown hit all those high spots, in addition to bringing in the older patrons of the theater.

Patrick Clayton as Marvin Gaye.
A four-piece band and three singers provided a lot of music. Kris Roberts, a New Yorker who played the female roles in the performance brought the house down with two numbers ("Midnight Train to Georgia" and "Respect!" by Gladys Knight and Aretha Franklin). Mike Jemison, another New Yorker, and Patrick Clayton from Flat Rock Playhouse near Asheville did the male gig and Clayton delivered a solid duet of "Endless Love" with Miss Roberts. The trio, all of whom are quite young, have impressive theatrical resumes and bring stage presence to the production.

The veteran band included music director Seth Davis on keyboards, Mike Havens on bass/guitar  and Sam Nash on drums.

The production goes off again tonight and there are reportedly a few tickets left. Go see it. Tickets are available from the Center in the Square box office by calling (540) 342-5740 or online via Mill Mountain Theatre’s website at

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