Two groups battle for supremacy in hilarious singing competition

Boulder’s Dinner Theatre sure knows how to have a good time. In fact, it’s hard to distinguish who has a better time every night – the singers or the audience; Motones vs. Jerseys is a high-energy concert, full of intimately and proficiently delivered hits.

If you missed Motones vs. Jerseys at last year’ sold-out shows at BDT Stage, now’s your chance to catch them. And if you’ve already seen them, you know that just like any oldie-but-goodie band, it just doesn’t get old — every performance is fresh and robust, and every shenanigan is just as funny the second time around as it is the first.

Yes: Motowns vs. Jerseys reaches well beyond eight men singing songs. In this day and age of voice battles, they compete with the best of them — except they’ll do just about anything to win the audience’s vote for each round, including using tutus as a most hysterical prop (I don’t want to ruin that scene for you, so I’ll leave it at that).

Be sure to bring your phone, because, unlike most other theatrical shows, this one welcomes audiences to take as many videos and photos as they want. Plus, you’ll need your phone to vote for the group you think does the best in each duel round; at the end, BDT tallies votes, and the winner is revealed.

A rousing, interactive evening

Playwright Kenny Moten and director Jessica Hindsley know how to put together a rousing evening of musical entertainment. Their creative input keeps audiences laughing, singing, dancing in their seats and feeling the music of the 1960s deep down in their soul.

The Motones and Jerseys take turns trying to outperform the other in categories ranging from love songs, Beatles tunes, sing-a-longs and ladies of the ‘60s. They come out strong in the beginning with appropriate “Rocky” themes, and before the night ends, they’ve gone through just about every highly-entertaining stunt, including a “Freaky Friday switch,” where Jersey’s break out their best Soul Train moves, and Motones try to subdue their spirited dance steps and accommodate falsetto notes.

These bands “ain’t too proud to beg” for your vote, baby. And, they ain’t too shy to croon to individual “fans.” In fact, one of BDT’s actors’ strengths in nearly every show includes their ability to improvise. For instance, Motone member Tazz Yancy wasn’t afraid to stick his face right into the camera of a woman recording him in the front row — and then take the stunt further by grabbing her phone and recording “selfies” as he and fellow Motone member Richard Peacock sang and danced up a storm before returning the phone safely back to its owner.

In a similar fashion, emcee’s Joanie Brosseau-Rubald and Jalya Courtenay Webb both have a knack for playing off of spontaneous outcries from audience members, making the show even more fun and interactive.

Beyond all the laughs and nostalgic musical memories, the cast serves up a solid performance in terms of vocal ability; both the Motones and Jerseys hit just about every high and low note and harmony while interspersing choreography and a bit of flirtation.

While it’s difficult to choose just one or two of the most stellar moments, a few stand out simply due to their quality and surprise/wow factor. Jersey singer Jacob Villarreal belts out an amazing aria (“It’s Now or Never”), Webb showcases her stunning vocal range in songs like “Son of a Preacher Man” and “Proud Mary,” and Yancy is just hysterical — and on point — with his impersonation of Tina Turner.

Unlike last year’s Motones vs. Jerseys, the whole band — keyboards, horns, guitar, bass and drums — remains on stage the entire time, adding even more rich layers to the show.

And, speaking of rich, don’t miss out on the BDT’s desserts, like the decadent chocolate torte or apple pie, and such entrees as the spectacular prime rib crepe manicotti. The family-friendly show, which attracts everyone from pre-teens to those who were teens in 1960, also features a kid’s menu and gluten-free options.

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