I’ve often thought that the music-loving part of my soul belonged in the Motown era. My favorite jam is “I Want You Back.” The voices and the music of that era are so filled with passion and great beats!
Knowing this, you won’t be surprised that I let out an audible yelp when I was walking downtown and saw the “MOTOWN THE MUSICAL” poster up on the side of The Paramount Theatre. Clear off the schedule! It’s date night (Brandon loves this music too).
I had the chance to interview Jesse Nager, the actor who plays Smokey Robinson in this touring production. Read on for my interview with him AND a chance to enter to win tickets to the show!
Pictured: Jesse Nager as Smokey Robinson, Julius Thomas III as Berry Gordy. Photo by Joan Marcus.
My interview with Jesse:
Q: What do you love about being in MOTOWN THE MUSICAL?
A: The legacy and the cast. It is incredible that these MOTOWN icons and executives consider us the next generation of MOTOWN artists. Its such an honor and privilege. And this cast! They inspire and motive me every day. They are so ridiculously talented.
Q: How would you describe the show in 3 words?
A: Fun. Memories. Dynamic.
Q: What number is your favorite to perform?
A: “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me.” It’s a great song. Bu also takes place in a turbulent, important time in the show and in the history of America.
Q: What number in the show that you aren’t in do you love the most?
A: Jackson 5 MEDLEY. The opening of “I Want You Back” is the greatest musical lick of all time.
Q: How do you relate to your character?
A: Smokey was a fun and kind leader. I always try to exemplify those characteristics with my cast.
Q: How does the music and the story of the show relate to today’s audiences?
A: It’s amazing. These songs are timeless. They tell stories about the human experience. Therefore, they will relate to any generation. Also, everyone knows this music. It’s around everywhere: tv commercials, movie soundtracks, etc. Everyone knows all these songs, whether they think they do or not.
Q: What are you looking forward to doing offstage during your visit to Seattle?
A: CRAB! I’m a foodie, so I love the Seattle seafood. I’m also excited to hike and explore the nature of the Pacific Northwest. It’s very different than New England, where I am from…but mostly, the FOOD!
Q: What advice do you have for other performers out there?
A: Study. Work. Immerse yourself in the world you want to thrive in. It doesn’t come easy. American Idol, YouTube aside, if you want a career you have to put in the time and the work.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not performing?
A: Eat! Travel (I am in Costa Rica on our week off)! And find cool ways to renovate my home that I just bought!
Thanks for your time, Jesse! I can’t wait to see you on stage.
About the show (in their own words): It began as one man’s story… became everyone’s music… and is now Broadway’s musical. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Now, experience it live on stage in the record-breaking smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL! Tickets here.
Photos by Joan Marcus