(l to r): Ephraim Sykes, Jawan M. Jackson, Jeremy Pope, Derrick Baskin and James Harkness in “Ain’t Too Proud.” (Photo: Doug Hamilton)
Producers Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce and Center Theatre Group have announced casting for the pre-Broadway run of Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations at the Ahmanson Theatre August 21 through September 30, 2018. The opening is set for August 24.
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 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 comprised 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.