The 9:30 club, which frequently supplements its schedule of New Wave music with Motown dance parties, played host to the real thing Sunday night -- The Marvelettes. Well, maybe not exactly the real thing, but they're as close to it as you're likely to find these days.
After all, no one short of Alex Haley could keep track of the Marvelettes who have come and gone over the years since their first hit in 1961. Nonethless the current edition -- less than 3 years old -- carries the music into the '80s with great flair if not unerring accuracy.
Like most groups traveling the R&B revival circuit, the Marvelettes are a slickly packaged outfit. The costumes, the choreography, the between-songs chatter all seem to be designed with Las Vegas in mind. Unfortunately, some of the songs come across as being overly orchestrated as well, especially "My Baby Must Be a Magician" which suffered from a dreadful disco hangover Sunday.
At their best, however, the Marvelettes can still punch up past hits. Adequately backed by a quartet called Choice, the trio reprised such tunes as "Beachwood 4-5789," "Don't Mess With Bill" and their first blockbuster, "Please Mr. Postman," with style, energy and obvious affection.