The Imperial Theatre is about to become the home of Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations which will have its Broadway premiere in the Spring of 2019. The new jukebox musical will tell the incredible true story of the R&B group famous for their renditions of such hit songs as “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and so many more. More details about the production will be announced in the near future.
“Ain’t Too Proud is the electrifying new musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. The rest is history — how they met, how they rose, the groundbreaking heights they hit, and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the United States fell into civil unrest. This thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits.”
Breaking records in its world premiere run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Ain’t Too Proud became the highest grossing production in that theatre’s nearly 50-year history. The musical went on to play Washington D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where the show broke the all-time single-week box office record for the Eisenhower Theater. Ain’t Too Proud opens at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles tomorrow night, where performances continue through September 30, before heading to Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre October 11-November 17, 2018.
The current cast of Ain’t Too Proud stars Derrick Baskin as Otis Williams, James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks, and Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin, making up The Temptations. The musical also features Esther Antoine, Saint Aubyn, Shawn Bowers, E. Clayton Cornelious, Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., Taylor Symone Jackson, Jahi Kearse, Jarvis B. Manning Jr., Joshua Morgan, Rashidra Scott, Nasia Thomas, Christian Thompson, Curtis Wiley, and Candice Marie Woods.
With a book by Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, Ain’t Too Proud will take its score from a wide array of legendary songs that were performed by the Temptations. Des McAnuff (The Who’s Tommy, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical) will direct the show, with Sergio Trujillo. (On Your Feet!, Memphis) staging the choreography.
The show’s creative team is comprised of Tony Award nominee Robert Brill (scenic design), Tony Award winner Paul Tazewell (costume design), Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (lighting design), Tony Award winner Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini (projection design), Charles G. LaPointe (hair and wig design),Edgar Godineaux (associate choreographer), and Steve Rankin (fight direction). Orchestrations are by Drama Desk Award winner Harold Wheeler with Music Direction and Arrangements by Kenny Seymour.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.