The story of the rise of legendary Motown vocal group the Temptations is coming to Broadway in the most fitting way: a musical stringing their journey from Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by way of top hits such as “My Girl” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”
The musical, titled “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations,” is set to hit the Imperial Theatre on 45th Street in spring 2019. Though a date hasn’t been announced, we’re betting on the month of May.
Casting decisions haven’t yet been announced for the vocalists who make up the “Classic Five” era, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin and David Ruffin.
“Ain’t Too Proud” is currently playing previews at the Centre Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, after completing a record-breaking run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The musical promises the Temptations’ “signature dance moves” and “unmistakable harmonies” as fans are zipped through how the group met, and what personal and political drama threatened to tear them apart.
The Broadway production comes from Des McAnuff, the same director behind the Tony winner “Jersey Boys” and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.”
Aside from the classic singalong “My Girl,” the Temptations (originally formed in 1960 as The Elgins) were responsible for 42 hits that broke the top 10 on hit charts. Fourteen of those tracks reached No. 1.
The Temptations released their latest album last May, their first new record in eight years. Titled “All the Time,” the album is a compilation of covers of some of today’s top hits by Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and even The Weeknd. The group currently comprises founding member Otis Williams, and vocalists Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Larry Braggs and Willie Greene.