Ain’t Too Proud-The Life and Times of The Temptations is playing at the Imperial Theatre located at 249 West 45th Street. It runs two hours thirty minutes with one intermissions. The musical is runs until November 5, 2019.
The Temptations, also known as the Elgins and the Pirates were part of Motown in the 1960s and 1970s. Some of the songs they are known for are Cloud Nine (1968), I Wish it Would Rain (1967), Ain’t Too Proud (1966) and My Girl (1964). They won three Grammy Awards.
Des McAnuff is the director. He won two Tony Awards for The Who’s Tommy (1993) and Big River (1985) and was nominated for two Tony Awards for How to Succeed in Business With Really Trying (1995) and The Who’s Tommy (1993).
Sergio Trujillo is the choreographer. He was nominated for a Tony Award in (2016) for On Your Feet.
Robert Brill is the scenic designer. He was nominated for two Tony Awards for Guys and Dolls (2009) and Assassins (2004).
Paul Tazewell is the costume designer. He was won a Tony Award in 2016 for Hamilton and was nominated for four Tony Awards for Memphis (2009), In the Heights (2008), The Color Purple (2005) and Bringin Da’Noise, Brrngin Da’Funk (1996).
Otis Williams (Derrick Baskin) got into trouble when he was 16 and went to jail for six months a juvenile offender. He promised the judge he’d stay out of trouble. Otis moved to Detroit in 1960 with his mother.
Seeing and hearing other musicians, he decides to form his own group. Otis Williams, Edridge “Al” Bryant and Melvin Franklin (Jawan M. Jackson) group was named Otis Williams and the Distants. Eddie Kendrick (Jeremy Pope) and Paul Wlliams (James Harkness) group was The Primes. The two groups became one and were called The Temptations. In 1964 Bryant was replaced by David Ruff (Ephraim Skyes).
They joined Motown. Berry Gordon (Jahi Kearse) had a tight hold on the songs they could sing. Otis wanted to write them but Berry said no. Smokey Robinson (Christian Thompson) wrote their songs then Norm Whitfield. Shelly Berger (Joshua Morgan) became there manager.
The Temptations opened for The Supremes.
Otis marries Josephine (Rashidra Scott) who is under age and pregnant. The marriage didn’t last long. He was never home. His son Lamont (Shawn Bowels) wants nothing to do with him when he is older.
David was sniffing coke. He was dating Tammy Terrell (Nasia Thomas). The group decides to let him go. Either he didn’t show up or was late for a performance. He was replaced with Dennis Edwards (Saint Aubyn). Every once and a while David would show up on stage and sing.
Paul Williams would drink before a show saying it took the edge off performing. His drinking was getting out of hand. And he was replace with Richard Street (E. Clayton Cornelious).
Eddie Kendricks left the group. He wanted them to leave Motown for various reasons. They refused.
They played on American band Stand an the Copacabana.
David was found dead in a crack house.
Paul killed himself.
They had a reunion tour in 1982 with all of The Temptations.
This is a history of The Temptations. Otis William is the only living Temptation.
The group history is Otis Williams (1960- present), Paul Williams (1964-1968 and 1982 reunion), Paul Williams (1960-1971), Eddie Kendricks (1960-1971 and 1982 reunion) and Melvin Franklin (1960-1971 and 1982 reunion).
You don’t have to be a fan to love the show. It’s entertaining and enjoyable. It makes you want to dance in the aisles. Hey you might become a fan.
There is a large cast, they all shine!
Jawan M. Jackson, Derrick Baskin, James Harkness, Jeremy Pope and Ephraim Sykes were outstanding. If you talk to Jawan he does not have that deep baritone voice, that’s how good he was.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read candid interview with cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.