Review: Ain't Too Proud, starring Derrick Baskin
Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations is the latest jukebox musical to find its way to Broadway. With a creative team that is well versed in the creation of jukebox/bio musicals, and five triple threats playing The Temps during their classic-era, Ain't Too Proud is a feel-good show that will appeal to fans of the group and their music.
Derrick Baskin leads the group as Otis Williams, who today is the only original member of The Temptations to still be a member of the group, and whose goal was to keep the group alive. Baskin is joined by James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks, and Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin. All five of them are superb, as well as being true triple threats, singing, dancing, and acting incredibly well. Pope and Sykes emerge as the two standouts of the cast, making their marks and emerging as two of the brightest stars currently on Broadway.
While the five Temptations, smooth dance moves, and impeccable singing are enough to satisfy any fan of the Temps, or act as a introduction to the group, the show's book feels like a PowerPoint presentation. It hits the major points of the group's history but barely scratches the surface of their personal lives, other than Otis. And despite the smooth and edited feel it gives the show, the fast pace and sleek direction keep the show from dragging.
Whether you are a die-hard fan of the Temptations, or simply someone looking for good music and a good time, Ain't Too Proud will leave you singing, dancing, and with a smile on your face.