If there’s one thing that the Broadway jukebox musical Ain’t Too Proud: The Temptations Musical knows how to do, it’s put on a show. This new production, which tells the story of one of the most iconic R&B groups in history, is a Motown-infused masterpiece. Critics have been raving about the musical numbers and the cast, which features some of Broadway’s brightest stars. So, here is my Temptations musical review.
My daughter and I had the good fortune to see this as the Fabulous Fox in St. Louis, MO with our Broadway Series tickets. It was the season opener, and we had no idea how it would be. We both just knew we loved the Temptations. But, holy cow! This musical blew away all expectations. If you want to see a show that will have you dancing in your seat, then catch Ain’t Too Proud: The Temptations when it comes to your city!
History of the Temptations
Who started the Temptations?
In 1960, Otis Williams founded The Temptations. Original members consisted of Williams, Melvin Franklin, Elbridge “Al” Bryant, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams. Otis Williams met Bryant while they were both in a doo-wop group called The Distants. Bryant brought in Kendricks and Paul Williams, who then brought in Franklin. Later, David Ruffin joined and is the voice singing lead on Ain’t Too Proud to Beg (1966).
The group signed with Motown in 1961 and released their first single, “Dream Come True,” in 1962. Motown founder Berry Gordy heavily involved himself in their early career, co-writing and producing many early hits. By the mid-1960s, The Temptations had become one of the most successful groups in the history of popular music. Best known for their classic songs My Girl (1964), Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone (1972), and Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me), the Temptations were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. Otis Williams is the only original member still with the group today.
How many of the Temptations are still alive?
Out of the original five Temptations, three are still alive today. Otis Williams, the group’s last surviving member, is still touring and performing. He is the only one of the original members who is still with the group. The other two living members, Ron Tyson and Terry Weeks, are both retired. David Ruffin, a group member from 1964 to 1968, died in 1991 of a drug overdose. Paul Williams, a group member from 1960 to 1971, died in 1973 of a brain tumor. Melvin Franklin, a group member from 1961 to 1995, died in 1995 of a heart attack.
Why I Highly Recommend This Musical
The plot of Ain’t Too Proud is dense, compelling, and heart-wrenching. I found myself laughing and crying at different points. And the cast’s dancing was unreal. Splits and choreography will leave you speechless. The music of the Temptations is timeless, and this musical is great for anyone who loves Motown or musical theater in general.
The musical intermingles the group’s hit songs into the plot. Tackling such subjects as infidelity, alcohol, and drug abuse, and the struggle for civil rights and equality in America.
The show’s first half follows the group’s rise to fame, starting with their humble beginnings in Detroit’s east side. Along the way, we see the toll that fame and fortune take on the group members and the inner-group tensions that threaten to tear them apart. The show’s second half focuses on the group as they struggle to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world. Throughout it all, the music of The Temptations serves as both a source of joy and a reminder of better times.
But don’t take our word for it – be sure to check out this musical if it comes near you. And when you do, let us know what you think – we would love to hear your Temptations musical review! Let us know your favorite part in the comments. And check out other stuff we like here!