Ain't Too Proud Marks Return to Broadway and Celebrates Temptations Singer Otis Williams

·3 min read
Otis Williams and Nik Walker during the re-opening night curtain call for "Ain't Too Proud- The Life & Times of The Temptations"
Otis Williams and Nik Walker during the re-opening night curtain call for "Ain't Too Proud- The Life & Times of The Temptations"

Bruce Glikas/Getty

Ain't Too Proud made its return to Broadway on Saturday in honor of original Temptations member and special guest Otis Williams' 80th birthday.

The hit musical, which tells the story of The Temptations' rise to fame, reopened on Broadway at the Imperial Theater in New York City. The reopening also coincided with Williams' upcoming birthday on Oct. 30, and to mark the occasion, the cast sang "Happy Birthday" to the iconic musician.

Williams joined the cast onstage as they serenaded him with a Motown version of the classic birthday tune, and later said, "I am so touched, even though it's been off for 16 months or better, but it's like we never missed a beat to see all these wonderful people coming out to see the show again," per CBS New York.

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Ain't Too Proud originally premiered on Broadway in March 2019 and closed a year later in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its debut, Ain't Too Proud has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including best musical.

When the musical reopened Saturday, the cast included Nik Walker as Otis Williams, James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, Matt Manuel as David Ruffin, and Jelani Remy as Eddie Kendricks, all of whom starred in the show before it shut down, according to Playbill.

Ain't Too Proud cast
Ain't Too Proud cast

James Devaney/GC Images

The musical also stars Esther Antoine, Saint Aubyn, E. Clayton Cornelious, J. Daughtry, Tiffany Francés, Taylor Symone Jackson, Jahi Kearse, Darius Jordan Lee, Jarvis B. Manning Jr., Morgan McGhee, Joshua Morgan, Aaron Patterson, Christian Thompson, Sir Brock Warren, Correy West, Drew Wildman Foster, Curtis Wiley, and Candice Marie Woods.

John Legend and his Get Lifted Film Co. partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorious recently joined Ain't Too Proud as producers.

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"The Temptations' music is core to my own musical upbringing and is an integral part of America's cultural heartbeat," Legend said in a statement shared with Deadline earlier this month. "This is a musical I love and a story I want to help share. In this pivotal time, it's so important that we support and maintain Broadway, an essential part of the soul of New York and the entire nation. I'm honored to be a part of the Ain't Too Proud team and the return of Broadway."

The Temptations, who hailed from Detroit, saw massive success in the '60s and '70s with hits like "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone." Throughout the years, the group created over 42 Top Ten hits, including 14 that reached No. 1 on the charts.

Tickets for Ain't Too Proud are now on sale now on the musical's official website, through Telecharge.com, or by calling 800-447-7400.

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