The Motown sound embraced performers from soul, pop, and R&B backgrounds, though it cruelly rejected mountains, valleys, and rivers for their insufficient height, depth, and width. Revisit a beloved musical landscape with this GrouponLive deal to see Human Nature: The Motown Show Presented by Smokey Robinson at Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theatre. For $35, you get one ticket for rear-orchestra seating in sections 203–207 on Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m. (up to a $69.50 value, including all fees).
Twenty-two years ago in Sydney, Australia, then-high-school students Andrew Tierney, Mike Tierney, Phil Burton, and Toby Allen were drawn together by an anachronistic passion for Motown and doo-wop. Nine albums and a 2.5-year residency in Las Vegas later, the fresh-faced foursome are touring the land that spawned the music they love with a tour presented by Smokey Robinson, who joined in on the recording of "Get Ready" on their new album, The Motown Record, and also helped polish production values and fend off mood-killing weepy clowns. Other classics in the quartet's repertoire include "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Dancing in the Street," and an a capella take on "Just My Imagination."
Majestic in purple and reddish wood paneling, the current Oakdale Theatre is only the latest manifestation of a tradition stretching back more than half a century. In the '60s, such stars as Harry Belafonte and Tom Jones graced the stage, and the '70s saw music and comedy staples including Liberace, The Carpenters, and Don Rickles. The theater's most recent incarnation opened in 1997, abandoning the in-the-round format for a more traditional auditorium featuring seats for 4,600, a proscenium stage, and a high-tech lighting system to replace the old disruptive Tesla coils.
95 S Turnpike Rd.
Wallingford, Connecticut 06492