‘Ain’t Too Proud’ Excites at Ahmanson Theatre in L.A.
The pre-Broadway run of “Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations” at the Ahmanson Theatre began performances last week. Performances will continue through September 30.
Leading this production as the Temptations will be Derrick Baskin as Otis Williams, James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks and Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin. “Ain’t Too Proud” will also feature Esther Antoine, Shawn Bowers, E. Clayton Cornelious, Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., Taylor Symone Jackson, Jahi Kearse, Jarvis B. Manning Jr., Joshua Morgan, Saint Aubyn, Rashidra Scott, Nasia Thomas, Christian Thompson, Curtis Wiley and Candice Marie Woods.
Before the Temptations became the greatest R&B group of all time (Billboard magazine 2017), they were just five young guys on the streets of Detroit. After getting discovered by Berry Gordy and signed to his brand-new label, Motown Records, it took them 24 tries before they finally had a hit song. The rest is history—how they met, how they rose, the groundbreaking 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 treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and so many more.
With a book by Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau and a score made up of The Temptations’ iconic hit songs, “Ain’t Too Proud” recently ended its record-breaking, world premiere run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it became the highest grossing production in that theatre’s nearly 50-year history. Two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff directs, with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo.
The creative team also includes Tony Award nominee Robert Brill (scenic design), Tony Award winner Paul Tazewell (costume design), Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (lighting design), Tony Award winner Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini (projection design), Edgar Godineaux (associate choreographer), Charles G. LaPointe (hair and wig design) and Steve Rankin (fight direction). Orchestrations are by Drama Desk Award winner Harold Wheeler with music direction and arrangements by Kenny Seymour.
Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.
Tickets for “Ain’t Too Proud” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or by visiting the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles.