Get ready, because here it is. Not too proud – The life and times of temptationsBroadway's latest musical bio-comedy about the most successful band in Motown's history opened at the Imperial Theater on March 21st – and was named the New York Times 'Critics' Choice.
As always, Playbill was on the scene a few moments after the first night fell to talk to the actors and the creative team behind the production. The stars of the series and the author of the book Dominique Morisseau – winner of Obie and MacArthur Genius Grant, who debuted on Broadway – revealed secrets behind the performances, numbers that were cut and even dance moves in the musical.
In fact, Jawan Jackson was very familiar with his character, Melvin Franklin – it was the second time he played the Temptation on Broadway. "During Motown [The Musical] and playing with him, I did all my research. So I had to come back, and I said, "I really have the opportunity to tell the story – give it just right," because Melvin's story must be told, because he was a man so generous and affectionate.
As we learn in Not too proudMelvin's friends called him Blue. "People think that blue comes from his favorite color but from the song that he sang all the time and that he called it" Blue ". and that everyone in the group, because he sang so much, was like "We're going to call Blue." So there is an artistic license in the show, "said Jackson.
READ: Watch the Broadway Cast Not too proud Perform Temptations hits on Tonight's show
The cast had the opportunity to learn more about the real temptations of the latest living member of the band: Otis Williams. Jeremy Pope, who plays Eddie Kendricks, remembers spending about five hours at his hotel, listening to his memories.
"Just to know what these men had to endure – there was no rules book," he told Playbill. But embodying the icon today is also a glimmer of hope for the public, including Pope. "I see what he is doing for the old lady and the old brother of the public who are crying because we bring them these icons for one night. This is the song to which they got engaged, their wedding song or the young black child who stares at me with big eyes sitting on the edge of his seat because he sees himself portrayed in a hit musical.
The Temptations were men of class and style, not just in their clothes. The choreography of Sergio Trujillo (and his partner Edgar Godineaux) appeal to the athletics and the heart of these performers. James Harkness, who plays Temptation Paul Williams, explains that Trujillo's style is synonymous with "masculinity, but also fluidity. He has a finesse, a specificity, and he creates these incredible images. With a show about those five men who needed strength to overcome the uprising and the falls they suffered, I think her choreography is perfect for this show. "
Trujillo choreographed another bio-musical hit: Jersey Boys. But, as Godineaux points out, "The temptations were the originals."
Like the originals, The Temptations pioneered music in Detroit at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Morisseau underscore the historical context and specific context in Detroit in its history. "I'm thinking of my own artist journey right now and what it means for me to do it at a time when the nation is so divided and I think their story was very similar," he said. she declared. "They realized the art and realized their dreams and the nation was divided.
"For me, to see how they should navigate these things and realize that we are on the shoulders of these people, this is not a novelty that we are going through and we should rely on their stories to find a way to move through the things we are going through now. "
Morisseau also revealed a tidbit about a song that she loved and that she needed to cut from the show. "We had this song called" All I Need "that Ephraim Sykes sang.He was ripping this song.But it was like: How many songs do you need to rip? & # 39; We got rid of it to make room for Tammi Terrell's song, so I call it a victory.
As for Sykes, he loves to tear him up on stage. "David was just a fun guy. He was the life of the party. He had the most confidence and loot, "he said. But he also plays the dark side of the legend. "I was able to study a man that I grew up worshiping and idolizing and having learned so much about him and what he lived who created the sound." He had such a beautiful grater and that painful voice, but it's his pain that he went through to make the sound you hear. "
LILY: Hamilton Alum Ephraim Sykes Continues Broadway Broadway Musical Heritage
And there is a complete set of performing artists that tell the story of the pain, sound and history of temptations. We spoke to Joshua Morgan, who plays Shelly Berger (the director of The Temptations); Christian Thompson, who plays Smokey Robinson; Jarvis Manning who performs the original Temptation Al Bryant and singer-songwriter Norman Whitfield; Saint Aubyn who plays David Ruffin; E. Clayton Cornelius, member of the ensemble, and Rashidra Scott, who plays Josephine. Watch the complete tream lives above.
Broadway veterinarian Derrick Baskin, in the role of Otis Williams, is leading the cast and almost never leaves the scene. "When I had this role, I did not know if I could really start [it]…. is such a monstrous piece, "he said. But with the other Time at his side, he will not turn around. No, as for Broadway, they float on Cloud Nine.
pictures: Not too proud Open on Broadway