The incredible Magic Of Motown is heading to Sunderland Empire on 8 April! We sat down with lead man and producer Andre Lejaune for an insight on what makes his show one of the biggest successes in British theatre history.


Magic Of Motown 2 700 x 700


VIBE: This is Magic Of Motown’s 16th year – How does that make you feel that it’s been going strong for so long now? 

AL: Well, you know, it’s amazing. I think about that a lot and I say, ‘well we must be doing something right’. For people to actually consistently comeback, time and time again, to see or show. I say we must be doing something right. So, I’m praying and asking God ‘continue to give me the ideas and the changes necessary to keep it fresh.

VIBE: The show has been seen by millions of people over the years, what do you think it is about the Magic Of Motown that keeps people coming back again ands again?

AL: The key is keeping the show fresh. If you talk about Motown from the beginning, the formula that Berry Gordy had when he started Motown was amazing. And it blew people’s minds. But he had a plan, you know, this plan was a plan for longevity, not just a plan for here today gone tomorrow like some of your other artists that come in now. He had a plan, he got an awesome band with him, the Funk Brothers, put together the music and everything. Then the icing on the cake was entertainers like Lionel Riche, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and all those people. That’s what it is. 

The formula for the actual Music Of Motown is undeniable. As a matter of fact you can be anywhere in the world, on a plane, in an elevator, if you hear a Motown song you’re gonna want to tap your feet – you know what I’m saying? – you’re gonna wanna do that, because that’s Berry Gordy’s formula. Then what we’ve done, or what I’ve done, I just kept that same thing alive. As far as the uniforms, the outfits, the choreography as well, and keep trying to make sure people are getting what they want – the choreography, the harmonies and things like that. That’s the key, it’s kind of a lot but you’ve got to keep it fresh. And every now and then we change ‘cause, Motown’s a lot of songs. So we have to switch and change and make sure we don’t stick too long doing the same ones. But some of the hits have to stay, there’s some songs that the audience just expect and we give it to em! 

It’s getting more difficult and more difficult now, as time goes by, to keep the songs fresh! But it is what it is man and people love what we do, they love the way we do it and they keep coming back which is amazing for us! 

VIBE: When did you fall in love with Motown, how did it all start from you?

AL: Well, Motown in America, it’s well know, I never ever thought I’d be able or have the privilege of doing my own show. Motown, we grew up with it you know? Mom having parties in the house, we were dancing around to The Jackson 5, it was just one of those things you grew up with. So I decided to come over to England and try to put on a show. People were always telling me go over England, people will love your Motown show over there. So I came over here with the other guys in my band and we hit rock bottom you know? As in, we didn’t have much money, we had to start from scratch. Some of our boys were virtually homeless – the agent that brought us over here, I guess he had a deal and it fell through! But it all worked out, someone saw us, liked up and decided to set us up with a string of small shows, And it all started from there really! I wanted to keep Motown alive, and that’s what we’ve been doing, doing it correctly too! 


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VIBE: What’s your favourite part of the show – do you have one song that stands out more than the others?

AL: I’m a huge Stevie Wonder fan, I’ve done a Stevie Wonder focused show in the past, so it’s still my favourite part of the Magic Of Motown show too. 

VIBE: The tour has already started of course, in February, and you’ve got shows booked all the way up until March 2023 – Andre, I’ve got to ask, how do you keep yourself motivated and energised with such a gruelling tour schedule?

AL: Honestly, the audience give you your energy. That’s how I keep myself motivated. Every audience is different as well, you never know how they’re going to react on the night. Some nights you can feel like not even going out there but once you get on the stage and see that you’re making some people’s days, the smiles on their faces, that’s the energy that keeps you going.

VIBE: Finally Andre, for those that haven’t seen the show before, what can they expect when they come to see the Magic Of Motown for the first time? What’s in store for them!

AL: The first time you see Magic Of Motown, you can expect to see an authentic Motown show. The iconic choreography, the harmonies, the sparkly outfits. We do about 25 quick changes, different outfits, you’re gonna see glitz and glamour, you’re gonna listen to an awesome band that plays music just like the originals. Prepare to tap your feet, shake your heads and clap your hands… because it’s party time! 

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