‘Ain’t Too Proud’ to close on Broadway
The show will play its final performance on January 16.
Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations will end its run at the Imperial Theatre after nearly three years on Broadway. As first announced on December 28, the show will close on January 16 after 488 regular performances and 21 preview performances.
The show had previously canceled a week of performances in December due to breakthrough Covid-19 cases in the company, but Ain’t Too Proud resumed performances on December 28. A reason for the show’s permanent closure was not publicly announced.
Three other Broadway shows announced immediate closures in December, all citing the pandemic: Jagged Little Pill, Waitress, and Thoughts of a Colored Man. In addition, Mrs. Doubtfire has taken a nine-week hiatus due to the impact of Covid-19, with performances suspended from January 10 to March 14.
Ain’t Too Proud follows the meteoric rise of The Temptations, the most successful Motown group in history. Through all the group’s most famous songs, the show depicts all the men’s career highs and the internal disputes that threatened to break the group up amid civil unrest in America. The New York Theatre Guide review reads, “Full of hard work and drama, personal conflict and social and political revolutions, the story of The Temptations, is also the story of the famed record label Motown. So, it is the story of R&B music and it’s rise on the American music scene. As exemplified by The Temptations, there is absolutely nothing more compelling than that tale.”
The musical had its world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California in 2017 and played multiple North American cities before transferring to Broadway in February 2019. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, that year, and choreographer Sergio Trujillo won the Best Choreography prize. Three members of the original cast — Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin, Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks, and Derrick Baskin as Otis Williams — also received nominations, as did director Des McAnuff and librettist Dominique Morrisseau, whose play Skeleton Crew is also currently on Broadway.
The other original principal cast members include James Harkness as Paul Williams and Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, both of whom are still in their roles. At the time of closing, Ain’t Too Proud also stars Nik Walker as Otis Williams, Matt Manuel as David Ruffin, and Jelani Remy as Eddie Kendricks.