People who grew up in the mid to late '60s know well the music of Motown Records, and the show by John (Brother John) Anderson, “Motown Dreams,” guarantees a pleasant hour of memories, hand clapping, and audience interaction at the Kansas City Fringe Festival 2015.
Get your Motown groove on with Brother John, Kansas City vocal artist and story teller when attending his most recent Kansas City Fringe Festival piece at The Buffalo Room, adjoining The Westport Flea Market in Kansas City, Missouri. Anderson opened his show on Friday, July 17.
Sit back and get ready to hear the music that made Motown famous and Br. John’s story about Berry Gordy’s creation of the sound of the Motor City. Hear selections and stories about Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Commodores, The Temptations, Rick James, The Four Tops to name some of the artists in Br. John’s fictional account of the development of Motown Records.
Anderson brings his superb vocal and story telling skills to the KC Fringe Festival 2015 as it starts its second decade of entertaining local Fringe audiences. While the Fringe opens its 11th season, Anderson submits his 10th entry in the Festival as his popularity continues to build.
Such Motown classics as “Do You Love Me?” “I Can’t Help Myself,” “Get Ready,” “Tacks of My Tears,” “Uptight,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Zoom,” “I’ll Be Around,” and many more in Br. John’s show.
“This is my 10th season (out of 11th season) of Fringe Festival. I won in both 2013 and 2014 as Best of Venue Award,” Anderson said. “The most popular programs have been the musical tribute shows– ‘We Be Jammin’ Bob Marley tribute, Hey Minnie the Moocher, a tribute to the swing era and the Jazz Cotton Club legends, “Sam Cooke: Tribute to the Father of Soul.”
The Sam Cooke show sold out last year at the Uptown Arts Bar. People were even sitting on steps to standing along the back. The smaller venue caused many to be turned away due to lack of space. The year before, Anderson said he was in a upstairs venue and limited space and rest room access did not stop the crowds from lining up for his shows.
The show definitely entertains audiences as they lip synch or sing softly along with the performer. Br. John encourages audience participation as he get the crowd clapping in rhythm and turns the mice to them for parts of the well-known choruses of several songs. The show moves rapidly and Br. John give a delightful performance as he becomes Uncle Bubba to narrate the story, and then steps to another microphone to perform the music. The show comes with the highest recommendation.
Brother John’s popularity and audience draws won him a bigger venue for this year’s Fringe Festival. All of his shows play at The Buffalo Room, in the Westport area of Kansas City.
“It’s wonderful to be able to perform in the Buffalo Room . This place has such a great vibe–a singer’s zen. Also, the room is a blessing and allows me to be able to embrace my gift of ’The Voice,’ and recreate the sounds, attitude and memory of some of the greatest tunes and artist.”
“This is the music of baby boomers–my generation. There are so many many great tunes to choose from. A lot of tunes deeply called and resonated to me. They just felt right-in the right show placement,” Anderson said.
“Motown Dream” is the fictionalized account of how Berry Gordy, Jr. founded and developed Motown music and catapulted dozens of musical talent onto the world stage. Brother John’s show includes him singing about a dozen songs while original Motown records spin as background music to move his story along.
Relax and travel back to the Motown sound that began in the early 1960s. The Four Seasons, Bobby Darrin, even recorded for Motown. “Yes, Bobby Darin–he did record briefly for Motown,” Anderson said.
About the Fringe: The Kansas City Fringe Festival begins its second decade with this year’s slate of performances. The 2015 festival opens with a night of “Teasers” on Thursday, July 17. Performances begin on Friday, July 18 and run through July 26. Some shows present three times, while others have 4-6 performances. No all shows occur on consecutive days or at the same times. To be admitted to the Fringe, patrons need to purchase a Fringe button for $5. To purchase individual show tickets, the Fringe button needs to be shown. Fringe buttons are available at all venues.
Fringe shows run at about a dozen different venues throughout the Kansas City, Missouri downtown and midtown areas. Shows range from comedies, dramas, musicals, vocals, instrumentals, stand up, improvisation, burlesque and more. Many shows make their debut at the Fringe in hopes of further development and productions.
“Teasers” allows shows to present a short excerpt from their show so that audiences get an idea of what the full production concerns. Most Fringe shows are 60 minutes. A few Fringe shows are 90 minutes. Further information is available through the Fringe official website.