A musical about the great Temptations is headed to Broadway. Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations, directed by Des McAnuff and produced by Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce, will begin performances at the Imperial Theatre in spring 2019.
The musical, which follows the classic Motown vocalists – and their signature dance moves – from “the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” had its world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it became the highest grossing production in that theater’s nearly 50-year history. The musical later broke the single-week box office record at Washington D.C.’s Eisenhower Theater in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, according to producers.
Producers describe the show as the “story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal,” all playing out against a backdrop of civil unrest and set to Temptations classics like “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” the title track and many more of the group’s 42 Top Ten hits (a tally that includes 14 songs that topped the charts).
Pre-Broadway, the production will play Los Angeles (opening tonight at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, through Sept. 30) and Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre (Oct. 11-Nov. 17).
The cast includes 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. Featured are 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 Dominique Morisseau, McAnuff directs with choreography by Sergio Trujillo.
The creative team includes Robert Brill (scenic design), Paul Tazewell (costume design), Howell Binkley (lighting design), Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Peter Nigrini (projection design), Charles G. LaPointe (hair and wig design), Edgar Godineaux (associate choreographer), and Steve Rankin (fight direction). Orchestrations are by Harold Wheeler with Music Direction and Arrangements by Kenny Seymour.
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations is produced on Broadway by Ira Pittelman, Tom Hulce, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, EMI Entertainment World, Inc., Josh Berger, Ken Schur, Ron Simons, Stephen Byrd, Alia Jones, Ruth & Stephen Hendel, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Harriet Newman Leve, Jeffrey Finn, Stephen & Nancy Gabriel, Darren Bagert, David Binder, FedermanRyan Productions, Susan Gallin, Mickey Liddell, Robert Ahrens, Christopher Maring, Marianne Mills, Loraine Boyle, Sharon Karmazin, Koenigsberg/Krauss, Winkler/de Roy, Zell/Kierstead, Deborah Taylor, Robyn & Larry Gottesdiener, The Araca Group, Rashad V. Chambers, Mike Evans, Hani Farsi, Willette & Manny Klausner, Gabrielle Palitz, No Guarantees, Sheldon Stone, and Stuart Weitzman.