By Anthony Singleton
What a roller-coaster ride of emotions! As a man that grew up listening to the catalog of musical hits spanning over two decades. I thought I knew what I was in for. I had never been to a musical before and was excited to hear the songs my parents raised me on. Over the next two and a half hours I received much much more.
Ain’t Too Proud was not just a musical, but a reflection of African American culture. Only weeks after the second anniversary of the January sixth capital riot, Aint’t To Proud reminds those in attendance that for many of us, The Temptations represented the joy, love, and pain of a community of artists that wanted to be more than just entertainers. They wanted to do what they loved as equal members of society.
With every choreographed step viewers are taken on a journey through history. I was mesmerized by the seamless transitions of costume changes and the detail in the wardrobe. All of the actors’ voices rang through the building like the church choirs my grandmother was a part of. Bringing me back to the pews I sat in as a ten-year-old boy in Dayton, Ohio. With every note, I was lost in a time machine that took the audience to places some wished they could forget. We felt the pain of losing Dr. Martin Luther King to the point where the elders sitting next to me were speechless. I felt the joy of the lead character of Otis when he finally signed to Motown and the devastation of having to replace his lead singer due to drug issues. The Orchestra delivered ground-shattering music that at times made me want to sing along and on other occasions breakdown in tears. My culture was on display for everyone to see in all its glory as well as its faults.
The name Temptations was more than the name of an iconic music group, it was also the story of the challenges fame and fortune could bring. There was never a moment that lacked real-world authenticity. This musical never shied away from the grittiness that made these men the icons they would become. Simply put, I ain’t too proud to beg for another ticket. I loved every minute of this show and was moved by its cultural timing and bravery.