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The Weekly Review: Human Nature

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With Smokey Robinson producing and fronting for them, Human Nature better be able to deliver the Motown goods at the Imperial Palace. And mostly, the four Australians do not disappoint, offering loyal but not slavish takes on songs like “Ooo Baby Baby” (delivered a cappella), “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “My Girl” and “ABC.” These songs and many others from the show are available on the group’s first U.S. release, out earlier this month. The recording makes you realize that in fact the original Motown artists were true innovators with distinctive sounds. Human Nature can sound generic on disc. This is less a problem in the live show.

The Details

Human Nature
Three stars
Saturday-Thursday, 8 p.m., $50-$60
Imperial Palace, 731-3311

As for the dance moves, Human Nature often owes more to the boy bands of today than to Motown bands of the past. If there is a complaint, it is that Human Nature seems more of a great lounge act than a ticketed show. The bland and repeated backdrops, the indistinct lighting and the perfunctory staging all seem like afterthoughts. This is a show that is really about the music of Motown, offered up handsomely by talented men backed by a worthy band. This is a show for your tourists friends of a certain age, and they will have a blast.

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Richard Abowitz

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