By Kathy Walsh
DENVER (CBS4) – Motown comes to downtown Denver this week.
“Motown: The Musical” has a five-night run at the Buell Theatre at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. It’s the story of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and many more.
Gordy shattered barriers in the 1960s as a black business owner promoting black artists. The songs that came from his record company are classics.
CBS4’s Kathy Walsh met David Kaverman, the actor who plays acclaimed singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson.
“He (Gordy) didn’t want to make music for black people. He made music for everyone,” said Kaverman. “Mr. Gordy’s vision the whole time was, ‘We’re not going to release a song unless it’s going to be in the Top 10.’ When you put the best out there, it lasts.”
Kaverman gets to give his best as Motown-great Robinson. He portrays the smooth singer/songwriter in the national tour of “Motown: The Musical.”
“I try to go out there have a good time and just think of this jazzy dude. He’s such a cool guy, you know.”
Kaverman met Robinson on opening night in Los Angeles.
“He was like a little anxious to see himself up there and see this new person do it,” said Kaverman.
Robinson talked to him afterwards.
“He gave me a good hug and he just said, ‘Good job.'” Kaverman said. “People said, ‘Smokey’s not a man of many words,’ so that he said anything at all means you did great.”
Seeing the show and Smokey and the other stars will have you dancing in your seats and, perhaps, dreaming of what it was like to make music in Motown.
“Motown: The Musical” opens Feb. 15 for a five-night run at the Buell. For tickets and information, visit denvercenter.org.