Ain't Too Proud / our review
ICONIC Magical sensational
Jul 17th, 2019
Ain't Too Proud: Hot, Damn!
Fun Fact: Otis Williams continues to perform with The Temptations, he is 77 years old and the only living original member.
Target Audience: Given the diversity in the audience, The Temptations prove that music can bring us all together.
Best Bit: The performances! These leading men were sensational.
Morning After Effect: Open Spotify, download playlist, listen on repeat!
Ain't Too Proud is one of the newest musicals to land on Broadway, and tells the story of the life and times of The Temptations. In fact, it was inspired by original member Otis Williams' autobiography! Playwright Dominique Morisseau celebrates her Broadway debut with the musical, having had a world premiere at California's Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2017, before going on to Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Toronto. As we took our seats at the Imperial Theatre in New York the excitement of the audience was evident - we were clearly surrounded by Temptations fans of all ages!
The musical is narrated by Otis Williams (Derrick Baskin) who guides us through the trials and trepidations, the great successes and phenomena of The Temptations, one of Motown Records top groups. Ain't Too Proud takes an intimate look at the American vocal group who formed in 1960 when two rival groups from Detroit combined. They made a significant contribution to R&B and soul music, and are still among the most successful groups in popular music! In 2013 they received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and six members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
Ain't Too Proud pays homage to the music and the iconic men who created it, highlighting their distinct harmonies, funky dress style and choreography, but the musical is not all glitz and glam and emphasizes the pressure of fame, the lure of alcohol and drugs that fragmented the group, and Ruffin's abusive behavior. Morisseau's script covers tremendous detail and gives us a deep look into the lives of these artists, touching on the civil rights movement and its impact on Motown Records. This is a BIG production and the talent on this stage is incredible!
Derrick Baskin (Otis Williams), James Harkness (Paul Williams), Jawan M. Jackson (Melvin Franklin), Jeremy Pope (Eddie Kendricks) and Ephraim Sykes (David Ruffin) have no easy task replicating these iconic characters. Each one of them is insanely talented - hitting every note, not missing a comedic beat or dance move, going on an emotional roller coaster and oozing boy band charm! I am in total awe of these men and found new meaning in the word - DAMN!
Ain't Too Proud is better than a live concert - you have the legendary music and the moving story behind it with fantastic costumes (Paul Tazewell), Tony Award-winning choreography (Sergio Trujillo) and powerhouse performances!
View our show pages for more information about Ain't Too Proud, Imperial Theater.