Isaiah Oliver to headline Flint's longest-running lip-sync review 'Mott, Motown & More'

FLINT, Michigan — For the first time in three years, a beloved annual event will once again be held in person next week at Mott Community College (MCC).

“Mott, Motown & More” is Flint’s longest-running lip sync review, and performances will be held Thursday, Sept. 22, and Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Mott Memorial Building Auditorium.

Isaiah Oliver, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, is one of many acts who will grace the stage next week. He and his wife, Shay Oliver, have regularly starred in the show for the past ten years.

Isaiah will be joined on stage by fellow staff members from the Foundation in an homage to the Super Bowl LVI halftime show, which featured Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar. Meanwhile, Shay will be performing a selection from Beyonce’s repertoire.

Although Oliver is excited to take to the stage, he says what he most enjoys about the process is witnessing all of the hard work that goes into the event behind the scenes.

“The Mott students from their Transitions program do hair and makeup. There’s production happening. There’s videography being done. The campus community is all wrapped around this event,” he said.

Oliver also enjoys connecting with fellow community leaders in a new way. “The experience allows us to see one another as more than our roles as community leaders. It helps us see one another as human beings. It’s really an enlightening experience,” he said.

Dawn Hibbard, Communications Specialist for Mott Community College, is most excited to feel the energy from the crowd as the event is held in full swing for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is definitely one of those events that translates so much better in person,” she said.

The volunteer performers have been rehearsing for months; putting together elaborate costumes and even receiving help from choreographers to perfect their routines.

“[This] continues to be a ‘must-see event’ in the community and we’re so appreciative of the volunteers who perform in the show, enabling us to provide the financial support so many of our students need,” said Lennetta Coney, President of The Foundation for Mott Community College.

Another special part of the event will be a symbolic tribute to a much-beloved member of the Mott Community College community, who recently died unexpectedly.

Ken Gatenby served as Maintenance Supervisor at Mott for many years. “You could always count on him, and he was always there if anything went wrong in the middle of the night,” said Hibbard.

When Michael Tews was in need of a bass guitar for his planned performance, Gatenby’s wife offered up one of her late husband’s guitars for Tews to borrow. “It’s sort of an homage to Ken that we’re using his bass guitar,” added Hibbard.

All proceeds from the event go toward assisting students with their academic goals at MCC. Oliver highlighted the importance of providing assistance to young people who may not otherwise have access to post-secondary education.

“It can be a bridge to a four-year [university], a bridge to an immediate opportunity, or it can just be a bridge to higher education. The more kids have access, the better quality talent pool we have to draw from,” he said.

“This is a fun way to step into that space and support. In many cases, people ask for your money, but we get to give time and talent to make the community better,” Oliver added.

Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased by visiting:

Discounted tickets are available for Mott Community College students at $10 per person, for Thursday’s show only.
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Read more articles by Katy Kildee.