I’m not old enough to have been able to see the original members of The Temptations perform live, but my recent viewing of the Broadway-hit musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Time of the Temptations” felt close enough.
Though I first saw the show more than a year ago, I decided to check it out a second time for its latest stop in Charlotte. Here is my review:
About the show
“Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations” is a 2018 jukebox musical with music and lyrics from The Temptations, a 1960s soul vocal group, and playwright Dominique Morisseau.
Based on the story of The Temptations, the musical had a series of regional productions and opened at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre in March 2019. It made its first appearance in Charlotte in 2022 and returned this year.
Choosing a favorite
The actors had high expectations, portraying what many people consider to be the greatest R&B-soul group to have walked the planet.
And the actors did them justice, I’d say.
The actor who stood out most to me was Elijah Ahmad Lewis, who portrayed David Ruffin.
Ruffin was a fan favorite among the real-life Temptations for his showmanship and vocals as the group’s lead.
Lewis displayed the same traits in his portrayal of the “My Girl” singer.
His rendition of “I Wish it Would Rain” was filled with raw emotion and passion.
What I didn’t expect:
I didn’t expect so many members from the original cast to reprise their roles.
Considering I saw it last year, nothing really surprised me about the production or the show itself.
I enjoyed the show. I give it a 10/10 rating.
And the storytelling throughout the play was very engaging. It felt like I was watching The Temptations’ journey unfold in real time.
The narrator, Otis Williams’ character, didn’t sugarcoat the group’s ups and downs; he talked about each members’ struggles from drug abuse to racism and more.
I’ve never been a big fan of musicals, but this one has definitely changed my perspective. I would even see it a third time.
If you go:
- Location: Belk Theater
- Dates: July 25– July 30
- Prices: $25-$105
Tickets: Purchase on the website.