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News Spotlight: 'Ain’t Too Proud' Broadway show opens to a packed house

EAST LANSING, MI – The Wharton Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Michigan State University is presenting “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations” through Sunday, June 12, 2022.

This electrifying smash-hit Broadway musical follows Motown legends, the Temptations’, journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The high energy show was a music and choreography journey of those who sang with the Temptations and influenced the group. From the costume designs to the scenic designs, the attendees were transported back to a time when Black musicians were integrating the music scene until present.

The storyline is a moving tribute of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal during a decade of civil and political unrest in America. The audience was both young and old and they were enthusiastic and engaged. Not only was it thrilling and beyond expectation, but it was an educational and historical timeline of the Temptations during times that were changing rapidly throughout their early years. It was a learning opportunity for those in attendance as well.

Otis Williams is the only surviving member of the original Temptations and was played by Marcus Paul James who seamlessly integrated in and out of scenes as the narrator of the show. The show moved at a fast pace, and one would think that it was going to slow down but audience members were utterly dazzled by melodious voices, impassioned dancing and a display of theatrical professionalism.

The play has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards and the winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography. Set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Cloud Nine,” “Get Ready,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and many chart-topping hits. This show is a crowd pleaser.

Jalen Harris, who plays Eddie Kendricks, said that it is simply one of his life’s greatest achievements to be able to portray the icon every night in the show. Harris grew up in a very musical family, with a father as a musician. Hearing the classic and timeless mega hits of Motown as a child was a part of his family culture.

Harris said, “I’ll never forget, the first Temptations’ song I sang as a kid was “Get Ready”. The advice I would give to a future Broadway performer is to stay focused and always be prepared. Our industry is so rewarding but also requires much of the individual. Be true to yourself and trust the process you’re in. Lastly, I would say to listen to those who have come before you and paved your way. We stand on the shoulders of those who have a lasting legacy for us, and that is truly an honor to uphold.”

The national tour of “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations” will be showcased in several cities throughout the summer; click on this link to see where.


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