Ain't Too Proud is a Tony Award-winning jukebox musical with music and lyrics by The Temptations and a book by Dominique Morisseau. Based on the story of The Temptations, the musical opened on Broadway in March 2019.
Formed in 1960 in Detroit, The Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history. With their distinct harmonies, choreography, & flashy wardrobe, the group was highly influential in the evolution of R&B and soul music.
The musical tells its story and it has everything a good musical should have: fast-paced storytelling, humour, drama, songs from the iconic catalogue and a big finish finale that gets the audience up on their feet.
Directed by Des McAnuff, the story is narrated as a memory tale by the founder of the group, Otis Williams (who was present at the press night). We learn about how the group was born, about the constantly rotating members of the band, but also about Motown's history and civil rights era's struggles.
The Temptations came together 63 years ago and in the most glorious years, the group consisted of the five best-known Temptations: Otis Williams (Sifiso Mazibuko), Melvin Franklin (Cameron Bernard Jones), Eddie Kendricks (Mitchell Zhangazha), and David Ruffin (Tosh Wanogho-Maud). As it happened for the Drifters, the members constantly changed, for many different reasons, but this didn't change the fact that they worked their way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one the most successful R&B ensembles in music history. Because the musical spans many decades, it is difficult to get to know any of the 26 Temptations with such little characters' development, and this is one limit of the show.
All five actors are charismatic, warm and have powerful voices. The soundtrack contains 31 songs, including “My Girl”, “Just My Imagination” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” - a real acting, dancing and singing tour de force.
The smart, monochromatic scenic design by Robert Brill, is enriched by the effective projections by Peter Nigrini, and the beautiful lighting by Howell Binkley
If you're a fan of The Temptations, you will know all the words of the songs and enjoy a night of glorious hits. If you aren't already, you'll become one.
It runs until 1 October. Tickets from £30: here.
Photo: Johan Persson