By Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media
You have been thinking about it, curious about it, seeing all the social media posts about it and all the good times people are having at this fantastic production. Well, go ahead and give into that temptation to see “Ain’t Too Proud, The Life & Times Of The Temptations” currently playing at the Buell Theatre at the Denver Center For the Performing Arts thru Nov. 6th.
“This is a dance in your seat kind of show full of lots of great timeless music and a moving story line” said Rhonda Castaneda. With tunes like “Get Ready,” “My Girl,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “Since I Lost My Baby,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “Come See About Me” and many others it is easy to see what she means. The Supremes even make an appearance.
The musical, nominated for 12 Tony Awards and the winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography is about the life and times of the bands 62 year history in the music industry. Originating in Detroit the Motown sound they generated morphed into classic R&B, soul, pop, funk, rock ‘n’ roll. But that longevity, plus the stresses of the music business, meant that band members came and went. Over the years, The Temptations has had more than two dozen band members including David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks, who were responsible for much of the Temptations classic sound
While most all of the original members are gone, one remains, Otis Williams, who owns the rights to the name of the group and whose point of view is at the core of “Ain’t Too Proud— The Life and Times of The Temptations,” As founder of the Temptations, Otis Williams (Marcus Paul James), greets us, then walks us through the life and times of The Temptations.
Williams tells the story of forming the quintet, the members’ personalities and demons. How one left and another filled in, then some came back again. Of the original five, Melvin Franklin (Harrell Holmes, JR.) Eddie Kendricks (Jalen Harris) Paul Williams (James T. Lane) and David Ruffin the only surviving member is Otis Williams. He still performs and tours. He formed the group in the early 1960’s, and their first #1 hit was My Girl in 1965.
The acting and choreography are impressive and on point. Yes, you will have a hard time sitting still in your seat but you will be ever so happy you gave into this sweet musical temptation.
Written by three-time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), and featuring the Tony-winning choreography of Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet!), the unforgettable story of this legendary quintet is something to be experienced.
“Ain’t Too Proud— The Life and Times of The Temptations,” plays the Buell Theatre through Nov. 6th only. The Broadway production closed in January of 2022 after a five year run so this may be your last chance to catch this wonderful production.