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'Motown' is music to the ears, but the message is missing
'Motown' is music to the ears, but the message is missing

The story of Motown Records is a rich and important one. It's not only the rags-to-riches story of a record label that rose out of inner-city Detroit to become a cornerstone in the foundation of postwar American music, but one in which a body of work created by African American artists became a bellwether of the nascent civil rights movement, helping move the needle on race relations in dramatic and constructive ways. It's a shame so little of the power and resonance of that story finds meaningful expression in "Motown: The Musical," the Broadway show that opened its Los Angeles run on Thursday at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, a virtual stone's throw from...

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