Upon entering the Prince Edward Theatre to witness “Ain’t Too Proud The Life And Times Of The Temptations” in London, you are instantly struck by the stage and feeling you are about to be instantly whisked back to a bygone musical era. This spectacular production takes audiences on a mesmerizing journey through the timeless music and captivating story of The Temptations, and their ain’t no doubt that it is a must-see for any fan of Motown or musical theater.
From the moment the curtain lifts, you are instantly transported back to the vibrant era of the 1960s and introduced to the remarkable journey of this legendary group. The cast’s incredible talent and unwavering energy brought the stage to life, capturing the essence of each Temptation member with astonishing accuracy. The soaring vocals of Sifiso Mazibuko (Otis Williams), Cameron Bernard-Jones (Melvin Franklin), Tosh Wanogho-Maud (David Ruffin), Kyle Cox (Paul Williams) & Mitchell Zhangazha (Eddie Kendricks) were nothing short of sensational, effortlessly capturing the distinctive harmonies and soulful melodies that made The Temptations an iconic force in the music industry.
The musical’s pacing was spot-on, blending powerful performances with moments of lightheartedness and heartfelt emotion. The choreography was a sight to behold, executed with precision and style, paying homage to the original Temptations’ iconic moves while adding its own flair.
What truly stood out about “Ain’t Too Proud” was its ability to delve deep into the personal struggles and triumphs of The Temptations. The well-crafted script explored the complexities of their relationships, the pressures of fame, and the challenges they faced as African American artists during a time of social change. It painted a vivid picture of the group’s evolution, showcasing not only their musical prowess but also their resilience and unity.
The set design and costumes were impeccable, The time periods move at a brisk pace, encapsulating the different eras with a beautfiully designed, but simple projected staging which transports the audience effortlessly from the recording studios to the grand stages where The Temptations’ magic truly came alive. The attention to detail was remarkable, allowing us to relive iconic moments in the group’s history.
The lighting is one of the real stars of the show, some incredible light design adds yet another layer to the experience and and sound design further enhanced the overall experience, It perfectly complements the mood of each scene and highlighting the incredible performances. Take a bow Howell Binkley.
Whether or not you are a fan of the music of the Temptaions and Mowtown, “Ain’t Too Proud” will leave you with a newfound appreciation for The Temptations and their enduring impact on the music industry. “Ain’t Too Proud: The Temptations Musical” pays a deserving tribute to their legacy, celebrating their incredible talent and the timeless songs that continue to resonate with audiences of all generations.
At times “Ain’t Too Proud” tonally does feel somewhat simliar to Jersey Boys, another jukebox musical based on Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Probably not too surpising then to discover that “Ain’t Too Proud” is produced by the same team, but not only that but it’s playing the same theatre (Prince Edward). Much like Jersey Boys there’s a lot of life story to pack in here and in a similar issue, if there’s any negative to be had is that the final third feels like an absolute sprint to the finale, flying through what becomes of the bands when the opening builds how the group met and their rise to fame at a perfect pace.
If you have a passion for Motown music, captivating storytelling, and exceptional performances, then “Ain’t Too Proud The Life And Times Of The Temptations” is an absolute must-see. Prepare to be transported to a different era and be mesmerized by the sheer talent on display. This is a show that will leave you singing, dancing, and reminiscing long after the final curtain call.
Get Ready, because Ain’t Too Proud really delivers!