AIN'T TOO PROUD

Critics

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88 %

Reviews: 12

Audience

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Reviews: 0

Ain't Too Proud is an electrifying new musical about the life and times of The Temptations, the greatest R&B group of all time (Billboard Magazine). Five young guys on the streets of Detroit were discovered by Berry Gordy, who signed them to his legendary new label. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts—creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. Through friendship and betrayal amid the civil unrest that tore America apart, their moving and personal story still resonates five decades later.

Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau (Detroit '67Sunset BabyCenter Theatre Group L.A. Writers' Workshop 16/17 participant), Olivier Award-winning choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Memphis the MusicalOn Your Feet!), and two-time Tony Award®-winning director Des McAnuff (Jersey BoysBig River) bring you this thrilling new production featuring iconic hits including "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," and many more.

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Reviews

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"The actors are all top-notch singers and dancers (Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin, James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin and Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks, to name a few) and any of them could be an R&B star today based on the vocals and moves they display in Ain't Too Proud."

sweet - Lina Lecaro - LA Weekly - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"With Motown: The Musical focusing on The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, and the Jackson Five, The Temptations have had to wait till now for their Broadway star turn. Ain't Too Proud more than does them justice in the most spellbinding and entertaining of ways."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"The performers here look near enough to the real-life Temps that the audience becomes fully immersed in the story. Backed by orchestrations by Harold Wheeler, under thorough music direction and arrangements by Kenny Seymour, the vocal performances are likewise near enough to the originals but have more theatricality. And, as impressive as it was to watch the real-life originals as they simultaneously sang and danced, the dance skills here are up several notches. Choreographer Sergio Trujillo captures the essence of the decades, making sure his performers look completely comfortable in those loose-limbed moves."

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"One part of the story that comes across exceptionally well is the depiction of the Motown system as conceived and managed by that brilliant master entrepreneur and inventor of the industrial behemoth, Berry Gordy (Jahi Kearse). He devised a tight, vertically compartmentalized business model for his Motown regime, a cultural replication of the “Fordist” model for car manufacturing. He discouraged Otis Williams from songwriting, telling him to concentrate on singing. Gordy hired the musicians, arrangers, composers—Smokey Robinson (Christian Thompson) wrote most of The Temptations' first songs—choreographers, managers, and promotion machine. Step by step, as commissar of quality control, Gordy reached one milestone after another for the group—hit songs on radio, appearances on American Bandstand, at the famed Copacabana nightclub in New York City, an NBC Motown special on which they shared the spotlight with the Supremes. Race is at times an unnamed character in the story, for Gordy knew that success could in the end only be measured by the degree to which The Temptations were able to cross over to a white audience. Ever with his eye on the dollar, he kiboshed the group's inclination to participate artistically in the mass anti-war movement at the time. Gordy insisted that “to be radio Black is not to be political Black.”"

sweet - Eric A Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar
"These gifted performers deliver the vocal goods, buttressed by Sergio Trujillo's snap-and-sway choreography and framed by Peter Nigrini's cinematic set and Howell Binkley's dazzling lighting. Let's not forget Des McAnuff's assured direction, either."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"In the divine vocals, chart-topping singles and supple dance moves of Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations, audiences will surely find a lot to love next year when this much-anticipated production about the Motown trailblazers opens at New York's Imperial Theatre. But as a pop culture artifact and the latest entry in Broadway's glut of bio-musicals based on extraordinary performers and stellar music catalogs, Ain't Too Proud, at the moment at least, is also an example of missed opportunities."

sweet-sour - Deborah Wilker - Hollywood Reporter - ...read full review


Avatar
"Of course, the onstage “Temptations” aren't the original group, but they managed to infuse passion and energy into the tunes and did a bang-up job of replicating them. This is a must-see production for all music lovers – and even for those who just want a jolly, joyful evening out."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar
"From the get-go, with Derrick Baskin in the leading role as Otis Williams, the multi-talented and versatile cast enthralled the audience with a seamless and electrifying stream of dancing, singing, and acting performances... The show just rocks from beginning to end and the entire cast is to be congratulated for their performance—the extent of their musical theater ability cannot be overstated!"

sweet - Ester Benjamin Shifren - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Avatar
"Sometimes jukebox bio-musicals get so caught up in the fame and fortune of the journey that they miss the creative passion that is the true force driving most artists forward. Happily, Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations at the Ahmanson Theatre puts the music front and center, and under Des McAnuff's expert direction, the performers give themselves over fully to the experience. The magic of the music takes over. Dialogue about how much music means to them takes second position to seeing it in action for ourselves."

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar
"For frequent theatergoers, it won't be an earth-shattering experience, but it's a sure-fire way to catch new talent. As for a revelatory night at the theatre, this isn't it."

sweet-sour - Kevin Taft - Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Katie Buenneke
"Ain't Too Proud is so stylish and the musical numbers are so good that you can't help but want to get swept away by the story and its outstanding performers. But the production's uneven pacing and tone keep it from being as good as the music it's built around."

sweet-sour - Katie Buenneke - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"With the slick multi-award-winning director and choreographer of the megahit "Jersey Boys" onboard, "Ain't Too Proud" is already ahead by miles in its pre-Broadway run here at the Ahmanson. Based on the memoir by Patricia Romanowski and The Temptations' founder and last surviving member Otis Williams, the Great White Way's latest contender in the jukebox musical sweepstakes has a guaranteed future, surely making anyone in attendance for the glittery and star-studded opening night performance feel as though they were privy to what is about to become musical theatre history."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"The actors are all top-notch singers and dancers (Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin, James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin and Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks, to name a few) and any of them could be an R&B star today based on the vocals and moves they display in Ain't Too Proud."

sweet - Lina Lecaro - LA Weekly - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"With Motown: The Musical focusing on The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, and the Jackson Five, The Temptations have had to wait till now for their Broadway star turn. Ain't Too Proud more than does them justice in the most spellbinding and entertaining of ways."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"The performers here look near enough to the real-life Temps that the audience becomes fully immersed in the story. Backed by orchestrations by Harold Wheeler, under thorough music direction and arrangements by Kenny Seymour, the vocal performances are likewise near enough to the originals but have more theatricality. And, as impressive as it was to watch the real-life originals as they simultaneously sang and danced, the dance skills here are up several notches. Choreographer Sergio Trujillo captures the essence of the decades, making sure his performers look completely comfortable in those loose-limbed moves."

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"One part of the story that comes across exceptionally well is the depiction of the Motown system as conceived and managed by that brilliant master entrepreneur and inventor of the industrial behemoth, Berry Gordy (Jahi Kearse). He devised a tight, vertically compartmentalized business model for his Motown regime, a cultural replication of the “Fordist” model for car manufacturing. He discouraged Otis Williams from songwriting, telling him to concentrate on singing. Gordy hired the musicians, arrangers, composers—Smokey Robinson (Christian Thompson) wrote most of The Temptations' first songs—choreographers, managers, and promotion machine. Step by step, as commissar of quality control, Gordy reached one milestone after another for the group—hit songs on radio, appearances on American Bandstand, at the famed Copacabana nightclub in New York City, an NBC Motown special on which they shared the spotlight with the Supremes. Race is at times an unnamed character in the story, for Gordy knew that success could in the end only be measured by the degree to which The Temptations were able to cross over to a white audience. Ever with his eye on the dollar, he kiboshed the group's inclination to participate artistically in the mass anti-war movement at the time. Gordy insisted that “to be radio Black is not to be political Black.”"

sweet - Eric A Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar
"These gifted performers deliver the vocal goods, buttressed by Sergio Trujillo's snap-and-sway choreography and framed by Peter Nigrini's cinematic set and Howell Binkley's dazzling lighting. Let's not forget Des McAnuff's assured direction, either."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"In the divine vocals, chart-topping singles and supple dance moves of Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations, audiences will surely find a lot to love next year when this much-anticipated production about the Motown trailblazers opens at New York's Imperial Theatre. But as a pop culture artifact and the latest entry in Broadway's glut of bio-musicals based on extraordinary performers and stellar music catalogs, Ain't Too Proud, at the moment at least, is also an example of missed opportunities."

sweet-sour - Deborah Wilker - Hollywood Reporter - ...read full review


Avatar
"Of course, the onstage “Temptations” aren't the original group, but they managed to infuse passion and energy into the tunes and did a bang-up job of replicating them. This is a must-see production for all music lovers – and even for those who just want a jolly, joyful evening out."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar
"From the get-go, with Derrick Baskin in the leading role as Otis Williams, the multi-talented and versatile cast enthralled the audience with a seamless and electrifying stream of dancing, singing, and acting performances... The show just rocks from beginning to end and the entire cast is to be congratulated for their performance—the extent of their musical theater ability cannot be overstated!"

sweet - Ester Benjamin Shifren - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Avatar
"Sometimes jukebox bio-musicals get so caught up in the fame and fortune of the journey that they miss the creative passion that is the true force driving most artists forward. Happily, Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations at the Ahmanson Theatre puts the music front and center, and under Des McAnuff's expert direction, the performers give themselves over fully to the experience. The magic of the music takes over. Dialogue about how much music means to them takes second position to seeing it in action for ourselves."

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar
"For frequent theatergoers, it won't be an earth-shattering experience, but it's a sure-fire way to catch new talent. As for a revelatory night at the theatre, this isn't it."

sweet-sour - Kevin Taft - Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Katie Buenneke
"Ain't Too Proud is so stylish and the musical numbers are so good that you can't help but want to get swept away by the story and its outstanding performers. But the production's uneven pacing and tone keep it from being as good as the music it's built around."

sweet-sour - Katie Buenneke - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"With the slick multi-award-winning director and choreographer of the megahit "Jersey Boys" onboard, "Ain't Too Proud" is already ahead by miles in its pre-Broadway run here at the Ahmanson. Based on the memoir by Patricia Romanowski and The Temptations' founder and last surviving member Otis Williams, the Great White Way's latest contender in the jukebox musical sweepstakes has a guaranteed future, surely making anyone in attendance for the glittery and star-studded opening night performance feel as though they were privy to what is about to become musical theatre history."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review