The Tempatations’ music will hit Broadway this year with the new musical ‘Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.’
The show will recreate the era of the legendary Motown group, best-known for ’60s hits like “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “My Girl,” and “I Can’t Get Next To You.” Otis Williams, who currently resides in Los Angeles, is the last living original member at 77-years-old and still tours with the legendary group The Fourt Tops. Back in 1960, Otis formed The Temptations, and throughout the years, around two dozen members have come and gone. Nonetheless, their music remained consistent; they released 43 studio albums, won four Grammys, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Throughout the two-hour play, theatergoers will see the drama The Temptations dealt with through their career, highlighting on deaths within the band, their connection with the civil rights movement, and how they almost didn’t record one of their greatest hits to date. Additionally, it promises renditions of The Temptations’ songs, matching costumes, and synchronized dances.
Dominique Morisseau, who wrote the show’s book based on Williams’ memoir Temptations, believes the play has never been more relevant than at this moment. She noted that the story delves into these young men’s lives and how their nation is in “great civic unrest.”
“They’re trying to navigate who they’re gonna be as artists, coming from a city that is also in great civic unrest,” she told CBS. “And I thought, ‘That’s where we are right now. That’s where we are once again.'”
CBS‘ Tracy Smith asked Williams if he ever imagined 50 years ago that The Temptations would be on Broadway, to which he replied “you could’ve tipped me over with a feather before I would believe this would be happening to my life.”
“See, I’m from Texarkana, raised by two grandmothers – from that scene to where I am now, a quantum leap,” he said. “Never would imagine. So, God is truly in the blessing business!”
Derrick Baskin will play Williams, while Ephraim Sykes will act as David Ruffin, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, James Harkness as Paul Williams, and Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks. Sykes told Smith that he’s always wanted to be a Temptation since he was younger and now, gets his shot at a “lifelong dream.”
The show, which is currently in previews, will open on March 21 at New York City’s Imperial Theatre.