Broadway’s iconic interpretation of a band of girls rising to pop-music power is reviving and is playing a brief engagement at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theatre, which happens to be setting for the opening and closing scenes of the musical.
The original glitter and crispness was lent to the show in 1981 by director-choreographer Michael Bennett who staged the musical with a force of movement that this production is attempting to honor.
It succeeds for most of the part but Tom Eyen’s book bogs things down in the second half of the act when the musical trips over its attempt to attach the plot with a sudsy, saccharin ending.
The show which is a roman a clef about the rise and fall of the Supremes, still holds up the vibrant portrayal as beautifully as the transmutation of 60’s R&B into pop and the artistic content which the black performers of that era had to perfect in order to achieve a crossover success.
Although the original staging and choreography still stands supreme in comparison to Longbottom’s version, but he has done a fine job with several numbers.
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