Katie Flaherty (from left), Theresa Beach, Maureen Ruscheinsky, Barb Pozdnikoff and Danica Block belt out The Four Tops’ hit I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) during the Vernon Community Music School Glee Club’s Musical Journey to Motown presentation at the Powerhouse Theatre. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Katie Flaherty (from left), Theresa Beach, Maureen Ruscheinsky, Barb Pozdnikoff and Danica Block belt out The Four Tops’ hit I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) during the Vernon Community Music School Glee Club’s Musical Journey to Motown presentation at the Powerhouse Theatre. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Musical memories from Motown

Vernon Community Music School Glee Club hits (mostly) all the right notes

I have often told people my favourite city in the world is Motown.

I’ve never set foot in Detroit physically, but mentally I’ve been there thousands of times thanks to the wonderful music that came out of the Motor City in the 1960s and 70s, courtesy of Berry Gordy’s record company.

Who doesn’t instantly recognize the legendary guitar intro to The Temptations’ My Girl? How many of us have stretched out our arm during Diana Ross and the Supremes’ Stop! In The Name of Love? How many of us have sang background vocals to Aretha Franklin’s Respect (Sockittomesockittomesockittomesockittome)? And haven’t we all, at least once, tried to dance like Michael Jackson?

All of this was reiterated to me Thursday night at the Powerhouse Theatre, as I had the opportunity to take in preview night of the Vernon Community Music School Glee Club’s production of Glee Club Takes a Musical Journey to Motown.

Director Therese Parent gathered a cast and chorus of 17 and took the audience through a magical musical journey.

Watch performers make Motown memories below

Starting from Lindy Blakely and the cast doing The Tempts’ Get Ready to the finale with the group performing Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, and Kool and the Gang’s Celebrate, and the 17 other Motown classics in between, my feet didn’t stop tapping.

Kim Anderson, Michelle Fleck and Anita Baturin did three numbers as The Supremes (including Stop!…). Speaking of legendary intros, the second half of the show kicked off with Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine, with Baturin on lead vocal.

Among the other highlights: Mayah Martselos sounding amazingly like a young Michael Jackson as she led Parent’s Jackson 5 through I Want You Back; Alexander Corzo-Johnstone getting one of the largest rounds of applause, and a resounding YES! from some audience members, as he sang The Contours’ Do You Love Me?

And then there was Darby.

Yes, Vernon’s Darby Mills, she of the Darby Mills Project and former lead singer of the Headpins, belting out Franklin’s Respect. You could have heard Darby at the Towne Theatre. What a rendition. And what an addition to the already impressive lineup.

A couple of other importants things to note from the production. Great costumes. Great sound: a five-piece band creating the magic put out on all those Motown hit records by The Funk Brothers, Motown’s studio musicians. And the choreography. Nothing says Motown more than the dance moves created by artists like Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Supremes, The Four Tops. Parent’s cast did a wonderful job.

Kudos to all involved. I can’t imagine it was easy to go up on stage and belt out songs that have endured for 50 years and counting, especially when there were some glitches with the microphones and speakers. It was a fun, 90-minute evening.

As Parent told the audience at the beginning of the show, she loves this music. She grew up with this music. Her parents played this music. She loves the story of Motown.

Me too.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Michelle Fleck and Brandon Thacker sing the Earth, Wind and Fire classic September during the Vernon Community Music School Glee Club’s Musical Journey to Motown presentation at the Powerhouse Theatre. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Michelle Fleck and Brandon Thacker sing the Earth, Wind and Fire classic September during the Vernon Community Music School Glee Club’s Musical Journey to Motown presentation at the Powerhouse Theatre. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Just Posted

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Two arrested after attack at Vernon home

Police spotted around 43rd Avenue linked to Wednesday assault

Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton has been re-elected as Regional District of North Okanagan Chair Nov. 18, 2020. (Richard Rolke - Morning Star file)
North Okanagan district re-elects chair, vice-chair

Acton, Shatzko re-elected for third lap as chair, vice-chair

An Armstrong resident shared video of a beaver gnawing away on a stick to Facebook Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Robyn Civic Adnoh photo)
WATCH: Beaver gnaws away in Armstrong wetlands

A resident captured video of a beaver chewing happily in a local creek Friday

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
Kelowna hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced the Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Damage to window panes at the downtown Salmon Arm Askew’s location could still be seen on Dec. 4. It was apparently caused by a pellet gun overnight on Dec. 2. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Windows damaged by pellet gun at both Salmon Arm Askew’s locations

Window panes were shot multiple times overnight on Dec. 2.

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

Most Read