Petra Shepherd was totally electrified by the fantastic singing, polished performances and smooth moves of this brilliant production
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations is a new musical that follows the remarkable journey of the group from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, the Temptations rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. Already a hit on Broadway (winning the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography) the musical recently opened at London’s Prince Edward Theatre. Telling the story of how the group met, how they rose to fame, the ground-breaking 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 Grammy Award-winning music including the hits My Girl, Just My Imagination, Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone, Get Ready, and Ain’t Too Proud to Beg. It’s wonderful to see the West End back on its feet, the theatre was packed with the groups fans on the night I attended. They were all totally electrified as was I by the fantastic singing, polished performances and smooth moves, this show will definitely make you feel like dancing.
I’ve seen and loved many a jukebox musical including Jersey Boys and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story but this was the first one in which I’d already seen the actual group perform live. I saw The Temptations (featuring original member Otis Williams) in the US a few years ago. The Temptations are often referred to as American Music Royalty, with an expansive catalogue of hit songs and an ongoing prolific six-decade career. The stage group (starring Cameron Bernard Jones as Melvin Franklin, Kyle Cox as Paul Williams, Sifiso Mazibuko as Otis Williams, Tosh Wanogho-Maud as David Ruffin and Mitchell Zhangazha as Eddie Kendrick) were equally memorable and performed and sang just as thrillingly. The chemistry between these five natty men as they performed hit after Motown hit was spot on.
Ain’t Too Proud is a book by Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau and reunites two-time Tony Award winning director Des McAnuff with Tony and Olivier Award winning choreographer Sergio Trujilio, whose previous collaborations include the Tony Award winning hit show Jersey Boys.
In 1989 The Temptations were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and their songs “Just My Imagination”, “Papa was a Rollin’ Stone” and “My Girl” are among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s ‘500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll and it’s these songs so brilliantly performed in the West End show that you’re really coming to see and hear. You won’t be disappointed.
Ain’t Too Proud until 1st October 2023 at
Prince Edward Theatre
Old Compton Street
Cameron Bernard Jones
Ain’t Too Proud Book By Dominique Morisseau
Music And Lyrics from The Legendary Motown Catalog
Based on The Book Entitled The Temptations by Otis Williams with Patricia Romanowski
Music By Arrangement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Directed By Des Mcanuff
Choreographed By Sergio Trujillo
Scenic Design Robert Brill
Costume Design Paul Tazewell
Lighting Design Howell Binkley
Sound Design Steve Canyon Kennedy
Production Design Peter Nigrini