"Motown the Musical" Opens in Syracuse

Skaneateles High School Graduate Returns Home with National Tour

The national tour of "Motown the Musical" kicked off it's week long run in Syracuse last night (May 16th) and while it may be the first time the show is in Syracuse, a cast member is enjoying a homecoming. Skaneateles High School graduate Gabriella Whiting is a member of the ensemble playing various roles in the show and is so excited to be performing in the city she grew up in.

"Motown the Musical" tells the story of Barry Gordy building the legendary label of Motown and launching the careers of artists such as Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and so many more. The crowd goes crazy for hit after hit that was produced by Hitsville, U.S.A. It's not uncommon for audience members to sing-along or even get up and dance in the aisles, which Whiting says she enjoys. 

While Whiting may not be old enough to remember experiencing these songs being on the pop charts, she notes that everyone knows them and can relate. All the songs are feel good songs that take you back to when you first fell in love or had your heart broken. Barry Gordy produced songs that brought people together and Whiting notes how relevant that is today.

A fun surprise for Whiting was bringing out two individuals who have helped prep her for the professional stage. Yvonne Hassett is the owner and artistic director at Absolute Dance and has seen Whiting progress from a small dancer to a professional. Mickey Kringer is the vocal music & drama director at Skaneateles High School and said she always had 'the eye of the tiger' and it wasn't long until she would be doing this for a living. Whiting graciously notes how she wouldn't be where she is today without the assistance of these two educators. Kringer also noted how happy he is that an alum such as Whiting is willing to come back and help current students.

Both her former teachers will be seeing Whiting on stage this week while "Motown the Musical" is in Syracuse. If you'd like to get tickets, remaining performances will be tonight and tomorrow (May 17th & 18th) at 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 2:00pm & 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:00pm & 6:30pm. For more information, please visit Broadway in Syracuse's website.

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