Motown the Musical is much more than a showcase for its music it’s also a lesson in American musical history.
I saw this production at Manchester Opera house during the recent UK tour. It has enjoyed a successful spell in London.
I was fortunate to win these tickets and wasn’t sure whether I really fancied the show. Don’t get me wrong I love a trip to the theatre and Motown music formed the backdrop to my teenage and school years. I usually research shows I go to see but in this case I hadn’t.
Motown the Musical
With just $800 borrowed from his family, Berry Gordy founded Motown records and launched the careers of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and many more. Motown the Musical brings this story to life and follows the record label through the decades up to the point of the 25th Anniversary celebration.
The show starts at the end e.g. the day of the 25th Anniversary party where Berry Gordy feels disillusioned and rejected by many of his artists. The initial dialogue is with him and his life long friend and brother in law Smokey Robinson. From this scene the show follows the story back in time from the start of Gordy’s story.
The initial music depicts The Temptations and The Four Tops tip toeing around each other in competition singing their collective songs. The vocals and choreographed moves that were the ‘norm’ of the time are on display. So slick and suave with sharp shiny suits. The original boybands! I love watching these old acts on Youtube and I felt really nostalgic seeing them portrayed on the stage.
I was hooked from this first scene – singing along, proud that I remembered all the words! The show continues at a fast pace with so many memorable songs Featuring over 50 classic hits including My Girl, What’s Going On, Dancing in the Street, I Heard It Through The Grapevine and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.
The show continues to flow through the years, Smokey Robinson an ever present. It portrays the relationship between the iconic songwriting team of Holland Dozier and Holland responsible for so many hits.
There is a portrayal of so many stars we have known and love from The Supremes featuring Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson Five.
I’ve read many stories of Diana Ross being a Diva and this is how she is portrayed throughout the show. She had a long standing relationship with Gordy but ultimately leaves him and his label after being offered more money by RCA records. In this production Miss Ross was played by Karis Anderson of the band Stooshe. She plays her well although I thought her voice mimicked Ross’s best at the lowest softest notes. The wardrobe worn by her and the Supremes was amazing – oh to be 20 years younger and 6 sizes smaller!
I have to give a special mention to the young actor who played Michael Jackson in his early days. Yami is a local Manchester lad who got the role after attending open auditions – he was so like the real thing! His vocals and movements were great to see.
What I really liked about the show was that the History of black people and civil rights ran as a backdrop throughout the story. Events portrayed included the assassinations of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King through to the Black Power movement, strongly supported by Marvin Gaye.
I attended a Monday night show and I don’t think it was the liveliest of audience. The cast encourages the audience to join in with songs and the final seat has the audience on its feet. I suspect on a livelier night the audience could be dancing in the aisles.
The music of Motown has now been around for 60 years and is definitely here to stay!
Motown the Musical tells the thrilling tale of the man who broke barriers, fought against the odds to create something more than a record label. Discover the story behind Motown, the personal relationships, the professional struggles, and – of course – the music that made history, defined the sound of a generation and got the whole world moving to the same beat.
Motown the Musical continues to tour around the UK after leaving Manchester and I highly recommend it if you are a music fan.
Any trip to the theatre is turned into a special occasion with a pre show dinner. The Ivy Manchester is virtually next door to The Opera House, a fabulous venue that I reviewed in February.
Thanks for reading
Romance can mean so many different things to so many different people.
Even dictionary’s have different definitions – one I found that I liked stated it as a noun – to mean a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
I have also seen it describes as a thoughtful expressions of love.
Having been married for 33 years and together with my husband for 38 years I think we must be getting something right. We are very happy and friend have commented on our relationship, how close we are and always laughing. I think there is a lot of romance in our relationship but maybe not in the classic way that it is to others. We do not do grand gestures like public displays of affection or flowers delivered to the door.
Also the romance has built during our relationship, I think true romances grow and evolve. They are never perfect from the start, we both think that we love each other much more now than at the beginning. Our opinion is that you think you love someone when you get married but as time has passed you know you do after a few years. Shared experiences and values.
We are a happily childless couple and that may have an impact on our closeness – we are everything to each other. Having each others sole attention – well Mr Fitz may argue that he shares me with Manchester City Football Club! To understand that last sentence you may want to read my previous post about why I love football.
We may give each other a card or we may not – it’s not something we get hooked up on if one forgets or doesn’t bother. We do not need one day of the year to express our thoughts – we do it daily.
Romantic gestures to us are small things, more gestures of love and caring – a brew in bed at weekends, Mr Fitz surprising me with my favourite take away fish and chips! Recently I had a nasty chest infection and I was having to sleep sat up on the couch, he got up in the middle of the night and offered to go to the 24 hour chemist to get me supplies. The silly text message during the day that doesn’t make sense to anyone else but us!
I read a lot these days about girls wanted to be treated like a princess and to them this means being bought expensive gifts and getting their own way about everything. This is the total opposite of my view on life. Each person is equally important in a relationship. Each person can have different viewpoints on many things and it is important that both persons viewpoints, hobbies and interests are respected.
Mr Fitz and I do lots of things differently and although extremely close and loved up we are by no means joined at the hip!
In summary it is the silly things that are romantic gestures to us – one Valentines day he bought me a card and a pasty from a well known high street bakers! To me that was funny and sweet. I’d much rather that than expensive flowers. I’m fortunate to have been on the receiving end of so many small romantic gestures that have meant a lot to me and count my blessings to have romance in my life every day.
Anyway thank you for reading this and I wish you all a Happy Valentines Day
What is the most romantic thing that has ever happened to you – I’d love to know please comment and let me know or email me
Excellent service is always a huge plus in any restaurant. We recently visited Fado Rock in Corralejo Fuerteventura and found the service here to be of the highest standard. If you haven’t yet read the resort review then feel free to take a look now.
I review all restaurants against the same criteria’s. I have outlined these on my sister blog, please pop over to read my process.
Name of Restaurant
This is one of a chain of restaurants around the Canary Islands. It is a large airy restaurant away from the main high street but on the seafront. This review is made after our second visit, our first was on our holiday last year.
Reason for Visit
I visited with my husband on the Saturday evening of our holiday. We stay in an apartment and tend to eat breakfast and lunch there. For evenings we often have a takeaway. Our winter break is not one where we dine out every night.
We arrived at 7pm and were the first diners there. I was a little worried that we were the only ones there but needn’t have worried as it soon filled up. It is a lovely large, clean well decorated restaurant. There are discreet images related to batman in the logo, but as yet I haven’t worked out the connection between the name and the film! One thing I noticed was how the cutlery is placed on the table – it is attached to the wine glasses instead of placed on the table in the traditional way. I thought this really eye catching. The waiters take it out of this set up and lay it down for you so that you don’t have to worry about dismantling it and dropping the knife and fork everywhere.
Time To Get Served/Attention
We were met and seated immediately. Given the choice of all the tables we chose a position by the window. However as it was after dusk the view was not the same as it would be in the height of summer.
Having eaten here before we knew that the portions are very generous, therefore I chose not to have a starter. Mr Fitz chose a tomato and onion salad which was so fresh and delicious served with a slice of aubergine crisp and a chopped chives. Before the starter was served we ere give a free appetiser each – a small deep fried cheesey nibble.
For main course I chose pork fillets in Roquefort sauce and Canarian potatoes. Mr Fitz chose the Fado special kebab which was huge! 2 kebabs, 1 was mixed meat – steak and chicken, the second one was large chunks of fish.
We did not have a dessert as we were full – to follow we were given a shot of honey rum, a local speciality drink.
We were so full that instead pf moving home for a drink, we decided to go back to our apartment and watch something downloaded on our tablet.
Excellent service all round, in fact it is second to none. 2 staff accompany every dish and are so attentive. Drinks orders are quick. The serving staff also have a great humour and are so friendly.
We would highly recommend this restaurant. Great decor, staff, service and food.
Would I Visit Again
Definitely yes without hesitation.
Do you have a favourite holiday resort and restaurant? I’d love to hear your comments.
Thank you for popping by today and if you liked this maybe look at my review of Hawksmoor in Manchester on my sister blog beespiesandrainyskies.info
On World Prematurity Day I just had to pay tribute to this day after working in Neonatal care for over 30 years. Even after retirement I still worked some part time hours in the field for a while. I finally hung up my stethoscope 12 months ago, I felt these precious babies and their families deserved someone with a sharper brain to care for them than me with my menopausal brain fog.
Throughout my time it has been a privilege to work with such fine specimens of humanity – the babies!
When I’ve told people what I do many people have commented “oh that must be hard” “that must be sad” but no. It’s quite the contrary – it’s uplifting and inspiring.
These little beings that arrive at the most inconvenient times, many weeks early are as tough as teak. Parents and families are scared of their small size and shiny skin, many looking like little skinned rabbits in the early hours after birth. Those of us who care for them aren’t, we know they are strong, tough, durable and will fight to do what’s necessary to cling to life. Sadly some don’t get to stay here but have to join the heavenly band of angels, but thankfully the majority make it in the end.
World Prematurity Day has been allocated to raise awareness and pay tribute to this unique world. They have my utmost respect and I am in awe of them and their families.
Many of the babies I cared for in my early career are now parents themselves, some are fine big rugby players, clever, talented adults.
Parents as well cope with more than they think they can. Premature births often happen when a mother of family also have another traumatic event going on – these preterm babies don’t care! Mother can be days away from a house move, death of a close family member, another child already in hospital. The birth of a tiny, frail baby is another burden they fear they cannot cope with – but they do! They manage to deal with a whole host of things whilst still managing to visit daily, sometimes for a stay of over 100 days. They do remain sane and come out smiling.
The professionals who work in the field, support these fragile tiny bodies as if they were a family member, they listen to stressed parents, wipe away tears of sadness and laughter, encourage parents to have some ‘me’ time. These professionals also grieve with bereaved parents and celebrate with parents as tiny milestones are reached.
On World Prematurity Day I salute you all.
If you follow my blog you will know that I took early retirement from my nursing role after a 38 year career.
I have heard many people say “I don’t want to retire I wouldn’t know what to do with myself” Well occupying myself and keeping busy has not been a problem at all. In fact Mr Fitz says he doesn’t know how I found time to go to work! When asked about retirement I always say it’s the best job I ever had.
This post is supposed to outline a typical day, to be honest I’m not sure I have one, but after a long nursing career with strict shift times and routines I find I do continue to build structure into my day.
Mr Fitz gets up for work around 4.45 am and leaves around 5.30. In the summer I often stay awake after that or doze until around 6.30 but now it’s getting darker I find I tend to fall back asleep until around 7.30. Having said that I do stay up later than him.
I’ve developed a terrible habit of making a cup of tea and taking it back to bed a couple of days a week when Johns working. Whilst having my morning cuppa I may catch up with something I’ve recorded on Sky, at the moment it’s Great British Bake Off. Or I answer Emails, watch Youtube, relist Ebay sales that have ended overnight or print out postage labels for sales that have occurred overnight and update or write my To Do List plus enter some competitions, usually on Social media.
Following my brew I will then make my bed and package up any Ebay sales. I may then either go off to the gym. If I’m going to the gym I like to get it over with early! Then I can shower and move forward with the day.
I know some people like to set a timer for tasks or block out sections of the day for activities on their calendar I don’t do this formally but do mentally block out my day in my head. I may also prepare dinner early, as you may be able to tell I am more productive in a morning so like to do as much as possible that’s important.
The next part of my morning is either filled with cleaning the house, Photographing and listing items for my Ebay shop, writing or preparing blog posts or sitting down and entering competitions on the various platforms that I use.
I may stop for a quick lunch around 12.30, nothing heavy as we eat dinner early due to John’s working hours.
Obviously there are days when the routine is different and I’m going out to meet friends or family and be a lady that lunches. And on Friday’s that’s the day I spend quality time with Mr Fitz.
And of course there are days when I have a job as a TV background artist when I am out all day working of course.
It’s rare that I go out in the evening unless I go to watch Manchester City play a night time game or I have an event to attend that is part of a competition prize.
Prior to retirement I promised myself that I would catch up and watch all the films I’d wanted to view but hadn’t, or TV Boxsets plus read many books I wanted to read too. I am still waiting for that to happen, I need to timetable more of these relaxing activities into my week. I have to admit though after 3 years I am beginning to do that and try and watch at least 1 film a month, not much but it’s a start.
Once Mr Fitz is home we tend to relax, eat dinner and watch TV soaps, drama’s or live sport.
Weeks fly by in retirement – I’m sure much faster than when I was working.
What do you do when you’re at home -totally relax or like me structure your day?
This post is part of the #Blogtober18 series hosted by Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos click the link below to see many other posts from other bloggers involved in this
If you have read my about me section you will know that I am a passionate football fan. I attend all of Manchester City’s home games and occasional away games at home and abroad.
I first attended local football matches around the age of 4 when my dad used to take me. I started to go and watch Manchester City after I left school at 16. That is a lot of years!
The English football season runs from mid August through to mid May. This takes us through the darkest months of winter, often venturing out in all weather conditions. I thought I’d talk about my suggestions for appropriate clothing to wear on chilly days.
The main rule is to layer up when it’s very cold and wear sturdy comfortable footwear.
On the coldest of days this is a must. Thankfully there are many styles on the market and it’s easily found in supermarkets, high street stores like Next and Primark. Last winter Primark sold fur lined black leggings. These are the warmest item I have ever found and outwardly there are no signs of the fur. Thermal underwear looks quite stylish these days.
On chilly and cold days a good coat or long jacket is necessary. My choice is a long warm padded coat with a hood. One that is showerproof but not waterproof. I state a long coat as sitting in a concrete stadium on a plastic seat for around 2 hours can get very cold. If yur coat is long it protects you from a cold seat, keeps your thighs warm and if it is a wet day and you have to walk from your car or public transport your bottom half can get very wet. A long coat provides some protection, there is nothing worse than sitting through a game with wet jeans/leggings. A hood provides protection from wind and rain, large umbrella’s are not allowed inside football grounds. I wear a thick padded and belted coat from Marks and Spencer Per Una range that I have had for a couple of years now. Here is a similar one I would recommend
As I said earlier layering is ideal. As well as thermal layers I tend to wear another couple on top, perhaps a warm fleece shirt and then a cardigan or sweater/sweatshirt. This helps trap air and keep warmth in. I wear a festive jumper bought in the team colours at matches over the Christmas period.
Thick soled comfortable shoes or boots are ideal. The thick sole try to minimise cold creeping in from cold concrete flooring. I wear Ugg Bonham Chelsea boots, like these, with jeans or knee length leather boots over my leggings. Needless to say thick socks are essential. In snowy conditions wellies are perfect.
Hat and scarf
Needless to say many fans wear their teams colours as a scarf and/or a hat. This is what I do when it turns cold.
So if you area female who is contemplating attending a football match in winter, either with friends, partners or children I hope my suggestions were helpful.
You may know by now that this post is part of Blogtober18 hosted by Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos.
Many other bloggers are involved including:
If you’ve read one of my previous posts about what I love about Autumn, and my Blogtober 2018 post about 5 things I love about Autumn, you’ll have seen that I love cosy evenings at home.
I love throws and candles to make my lounge cosy to snuggle on the sofa watching great TV or a fabulous football game. I also have a ‘thing’ about bedding and like to refresh my bedding every season. No that I am retired and living on an NHS pension I do a lot of my shopping at supermarkets. I feel they sell great quality items that are on trend and at great value prices, often mimicking high end brands.
Here are a few of my finds this season
I have one on each sofa that I use to throw over me, hence the name, whenever I feel a little chilly.I think they are invaluable and for families with little ones or even when your big people are poorly they are useful for making your ‘patients’ feel extra comfortable.
Here are my pick this season
A change to seasonal bedding gives your bedrooms a super quick makeover, changing the look instantly. Last year I tried brushed cotton sheets for the first time when the temperature dropped outside. Even though I still have hot flushes and frequently throw my covers off they are still a lovely product and so soft to sleep on.
Other seasonal touches
Thanks for looking I hope you found something you liked. This post is part of the Blogtober2018 promotion.
Some of the other bloggers participating are Sarah at Sarah Beth Blogs
and it is hosted by Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos
Click on the link to see more
This is going to become a monthly thing – looking back at the previous month reviewing what I got up too. My first post in this series was last month a combined look at July and August
We started the month with a house guest – caring for Henry a Jug – Jack Russell/Pug cross. This is the second time he has holidayed with us. Its fabulous having a dog for company. Mr Fitz and I have always had a dog until we lost our last boy, Murphy, our beautiful border terrier. We chose not to replace him, I’m happy with that decision but it doesn’t mean I don’t really miss having a dog around, my heart wants a dog but my head tells me it’s not right for us at the moment with our many opportunities to travel. I have written about pet bereavement and losing Murphy, take a look if it is a subject of interest to you.
Where Did I Go:
I spent quality time with my brother and sister in law and we visited a local town, Poynton, for a look around, gentle walk and a coffee. We all enjoy exploring local areas now that we are all retired. It;s great to have the free leisure time to really see places.
As you will know again and again, Mr Fitz went on our first cruise holiday as the focus of Mr Fitz’s 60th birthday celebrations. I will elaborate much more on this in future posts. But the cruise with P and O on Oceana was absolutely fabulous and we cannot wait to do it again.
My niece left for Leeds University and I took her out for lunch and bought her some items to make her room homely and comfortable.
I enjoyed afternoon tea with my friends at The Holiday Inn in Manchester, a prize won by one of them and kindly shared.
I spent a lovely afternoon and evening celebrating my friend Janette’s birthday enjoying food and cocktails at The Slug and Lettuce Deansgate Manchester – you can read my review of this over on my sister blog.
As usual I haven’t read nearly as much time as I would like. Not wanting to read anything too serious I returned to read book number 18 in a lovely series of 19 books by Rebecca Shaw. The one I’m reading now is Village Rumours. The series is about one delightful fictional village, Turnham Malpas, in England. The lives are all intertwined in great stories. There are 19 in the series so I am near to completing the lot. However, they do not have to be read in chronological order. After the first couple when you have got to know the main characters, I don’t think it matters too much. I certainly haven’t read them in order and have possibly missed 1 or 2 in the middle. A really pleasurable read.
I have started to rewatch Murder on the Orient Express but have not completed it. This film was one of those fims that actually got me to venture to the cinema when it was released. I dislike the cinema, I will discuss this one day. Now it’s being shown on Sky I want to see it again. Being a huge Agatha Christie fan I am very critical of actors playing her main characters. David Suchet plays Poirot exactly as I see him in my mind, but I do think Kenneth Branagh is a close second. I also wish to say that I think the cinematography is magnificent.
I did however manage to watch a whole film though on Sky, Mr Fitz chose All The Money in the World. The true story of the kidnapping of John Paul Gettys grandson in 1973. John Paul Getty was the worlds richest man at that time. I was 13 when it happened and I vaguely remembered the story unfolding, particularly the shocking package sent to the press by the kidnappers in an effort to ensure the ransom money was paid. A shocking true story presented well. All I can say is that his mother was one tough cookie!
What I watched on TV
Autumn always brings great TV. I got caught up like many others with the BBC drama The Bodyguard. A fabulous gripping drama, from the writer of The Line of Duty, that had twists and turns and kept you on the edge of your seat right to the end. I haven’t come along a single person who guessed the final plot line.
I also love to watch reruns of old TV shows on Sky, either Dram channel or UK Play. At the moment I am enjoying reruns of London’s Burning about the staff at a fictional London Fire Station. Dated but still enjoyable.
What I Bought
Bits and bobs for my cruise, mostly toiletries and travel items.
My best find was a local shop that sells new and pre loved Pandora charms and jewellery. I love my Pandora bracelet and I got a voucher for my birthday to purchased my first stacking ring. My bracelet is full and has been recently updated but the best thing about this shop is that they have a swap system. You an sell or swap unwanted charms. As mine had recently been updated I had a couple that I did not want anymore. I managed to swap 3 with a £2 admin fee for a pair of Pandora earrings valued at £40. I was really pleased to find this
My husbands 60th Birthday surprise night away and a makeover of our en suite bathroom. I haven’t got a confirmed date for this but we are starting to choose a style and colour scheme.
That is a brief snapshot of my months activity. Have you read any good books or have some good TV or films to recommend for me, I’d love to hear from you
Autumn is my favourite time of year – it always has been and the approach of winter holds no fear for me at all.
Here are 5 of my favourite things I love about Autumn (there are more but I don’t want to bore you!)
- Sunny days with that lovely crisp bite of coolness in the air. I’m fair skinned and although I have loved this summers heatwave there is something about the clear skies that arrive in early autumn making it my favourite time of year.
- My wedding anniversary – I got married on September 28th in 1985 – yes a long time ago! Obviously I love this date in autumn when I can celebrate another year of happiness with Mr Fitz. The year we got married it had rained all summer, but the sun shone on our happy day, in fact it was a perfect kind of day like the one described above. In fact apart from only 1 year in our 33 year marriage it has been sunny on our anniversary. A perfect autumn day with my favourite person.
- The colours of nature. In my opinion there is nothing more beautiful than the colours of the trees as the season changes. Designers and graphic artists try so hard to recreate fabulous visual images but that clever lady Old Mother Nature manages it all by herself without any technology. There is nothing nicer than a favourite long walk in the crisp air surrounded by the beautiful autumn colours.
- Football – yes I know it’s not everyone’s favourite sport but if you’ve read about me you’ll know I’m a massive football fan and my whole social life revolves around supporting Manchester City. Although I watch any football I can. In Autumn the UK football season is in full flow. Wall to wall Manchester City. Premier League fixtures every week, apart from International breaks when the National teams play – which I dislike. Then there are Champions League fixtures inter spaced with The Carbao Cup. I love it, not only visiting the stadium but watching on TV. This leads me nicely onto my next love
- Cosy nights in. I absolutely love Autumn for these. My favourite possession is my home. We bought this house after I retired, using some of my Pension Pot to buy this dream home. Even though I have a busy social life I love being at home as much as possible. Autumn brings the opportunity for cosy nights in. What I love is subdued lighting, candles and sitting with Mr Fitz watching fabulous TV. TV drama’s increase in number at this time of year. Autumn brings one fabulous show after another. I prefer drama’s to the usual crop of reality shows such as X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. Having said that following retirement I have watched every series of Great British Bake Off. I watch in awe at the contestants creations.
Those are 5 favourites in a nutshell, but if you want to know more I have previously written more about why I love Autumn.
Here are some of the other blogger involved in this campaign. Pop over and take a look at their posts
Thanks for popping by I really appreciate it