Keeper of the Plans

Two Motown legends are coming to Wichita this weekend. Here’s what to expect

The Temptations perform in concert in Choctaw, Miss., Saturday, March 4, 2006. From left they are: Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon, Otis Williams, Ron Tyson, and G.C. Williams. Otis Williams, center, is the only living original member of the band, which started in 1961. (AP Photo/Kyle Carter)
The Temptations perform in concert in Choctaw, Miss., Saturday, March 4, 2006. From left they are: Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon, Otis Williams, Ron Tyson, and G.C. Williams. Otis Williams, center, is the only living original member of the band, which started in 1961. (AP Photo/Kyle Carter) Associated Press

Two classic Motown ensembles are combining for a double-header this weekend at Hartman Arena.

The Temptations and The Four Tops were originally scheduled to perform in Park City in August, though a scheduling conflict forced the show’s rescheduling to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Both groups only have one original member left, though the groups continue to tour and even release new material.

Curious about the national tour of “Motown,” which is in Wichita this week? Watch a preview here. (Courtesy of Theater League/MOTOWN The Musical)

Tickets for the show are still readily available at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. They’re $35-$99.

In advance of the show, here’s are some questions answered:

What songs are these groups known for?

The Temptations’ biggest hit is undoubtedly 1965’s “My Girl,” though the vocal group released many more — including “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” with Diana Ross and The Supremes.

The Four Tops is known for 1965’s “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)“ and 1966’s “Reach Out I’ll Be There.”

Both vocal groups originated in Detroit, home of Motown’s legendary Hitsville U.S.A. studio.

What can I expect to see?

Here’s what different media outlets have said about performances on their tour:

“Perhaps because they both feature only one original member apiece, the Temptations and Four Tops – who will alternate as headliners on this tour – have not skimped on sonic firepower. Both acts are bolstered by a slick rhythm section and nine-piece brass ensemble who provide a muscular backstop to their signature vocal flights. The overall result is a solid soul revue that’s more breezy than cheesy.” — Graeme Virtue, The Guardian

“The nearly twenty musicians in the tour band, shared with a few substitutions, are as much Vegas as Motown. Changed arrangements have affected The Four Tops more than the Temptations because the latter has always been a little closer to prevailing mainstream styles. Even their black and white outfits were more conventional than the Tops golden glitter. Purists may have been bothered by differences between the original recordings and the concert performances. But most, including me, were happy to hear the latest versions of legendary Motown groups singing songs so many have enjoyed for so long, songs that had the audience singing along and clapping rhythmically while swaying with arms in the air.” — Ron Bierman, Broadway World San Diego

The Temptations and The Four Tops

When: 7 p.m. Sat.

Where: Hartman Arena, 8151 N. Hartman Arena Drive, Park City

Admission: $35-$99. www.ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.


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