Rye Reviews: Ain't Too Proud- The Life and Times of the Temptations
The new Broadway musical about the life and times of The Temptations opened at The Imperial Theater on March 21st
Ephraim Sykes, Jawan M. Jackson, Jeremy Pope, Derrick Baskin, and James Harkness in AIN'T TOO PROUD (photo by Matthew Murphy)
Ain't Too Proud- The Life and Times of The Temptations is your typical jukebox musical but with more soul then the others we have seen. Still narrated in the first person, this time by the lead character Otis Williams (Derrick Baskin) the original founding member, takes the audience through the trials and tribulations that was The Temptations.
From forming the band in Detroit, signing with Motown, battles with addictions, abuse, greed, and the death of the four of the five founding members; this show takes you on a journey through their stories and how they became The Temptations
The talent in this show is impeccable and everyone is incredible. There were some standout performances who cannot go unmentioned:
Derrick Baskin (Otis Williams) brings such life and joy to the role of Otis Williams and stands out in his performance of the leading member of the group. While being the founder of the group he also has to juggle fame, success, keeping a group from falling apart, and a crumbling home/personal life. Baskin has taken all of this and made it his own while taking the audience through a whirlwind ride in his shoes.
Jeremy Pope (Eddie Kendricks) is a powerhouse and has some crazy high notes that really top off some of the songs. Pope makes his Broadway musical debut in this show and he is a performer you should not ignore. A true triple threat (Choir Boy marked his Broadway debut- and his performance in that show was truly gripping) there is nothing he can’t do.
James Harkness (Paul Williams), Jawan M. Jackson (Melvin Jackson), and Ephraim Sykes (David Rufkin) were true powerhouses as well. Their dancing and singing really made the story fall into place. All five of these guys have a hard story to tell about each member of the band, and they all give their own take on each role.
The rest of the cast includes Esther Antoine, Saint Aubyn, Shawn Bowers, E. Clayton Cornelius, Taylor Symone Jackson, Marcus Paul James, Jahi Kearse, Jarvis B. Manning, Jr, Joshua Morgan, Jelani Remy, Rashidra Scott, Nasia Thomas, Christian Thompson, Curtis Wiley, Candice Marie Woods.
Aint Too Proud is currently running at The Imperial Theater, 249 West 45th Street, NYC, NY 10036 For tickets visit www.AintTooProudMusical.com