AIN’T TOO PROUD TO BEG Breaks Berkeley Rep’s House Record

Berkeley Repertory Theatre announced that the world-premiere musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations is the highest-grossing production in its nearly 50- year history. With box office receipts already exceeding $3.1 million – and sales still not completed – Ain’t Too Proud has become a bona fide hit.

“We are thrilled with the success of this show,” says Managing Director Susan Medak, “and equally thrilled that its success will help us support so many other productions that are also wonderful but may not have as monumental a reach.”

The show, originally scheduled for a limited run, was extended an additional four weeks to meet demand, and must close on November 5.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/AINT-TOO-PROUD-TO-BEG-Breaks-Berkeley-Reps-House-Record-20171005

Why new Temptations play is NOT a ‘jukebox musical’

“People always say I make musicals for people who hate musicals and there is some truth to that.” – Des McAnuff

True indeed!

I never liked musicals. I think way too many of them are corny. I once saw a musical where a singer was at a train station , waiting on her train to come or something. Then all of a sudden, as soon as she drops her suitcase on the floor, she belts out a tune. I busted out laughing! I looked around and realized I was the only one in the theater laughing. Ooops!

I won’t reveal what name of the show but it won a TONY Award for best musical years ago. Ugh.

To just drop a suitcase in a train station and everyone suddenly starts dancing and singing is silly to me. Yes, I know the best musicals know how to weave the song into the dialogue and move the story forward. I think I finally understand it after 17 years in this business. But man, some producers make musicals that are kinda wack…and run for decades.

Jersey Boys? Now THAT was a musical for someone like me. There was an article in the LA Times about how more men went to see that show than many others on Broadway at the time. I feel it is one of the reasons why it became so successful. To get straight men to cough up money and be the person begging their wife or girlfriend to see a broadway musical is quite a challenge.

Producers have attributed the show’s financial longevity to repeat customers and its appeal to men, which is a rarity on Broadway.

“Men tell other men they have to see the play. When does a guy call another guy about a Broadway show?” asked Joseph Grano, a lead producer of the musical and the founder and chief executive of Centurion Holdings, a New York business consulting firm.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-ca-jersey-boys-musical-20140622-story.html

I liked several other musicals. Hamilton I thought was brilliant. I liked The Lion King, Avenue Q, Memphis, Lady Day, Little Shop, Evita (because I subbed on it a lot I guess), The Color Purple, Altar Boyz, Waitress….but there is something about this new show, Ain’t Too Proud, that speaks to me.

I’ve been in and subbed for a few bad shows over the years. I’ve seen others that make me leave scratching my head as to what people see in it. Again, I am not a musical kind of guy, but love to see well made shows. Hopefully you all will see this one. I’d actually pay money to see it if I weren’t in it.

Why new Temptations play is NOT a ‘jukebox musical’

Ain’t too proud to beg? If you just can’t get enough of the legacy of the Temptations, from their velvety smooth sound to their razor-sharp dance moves, better motor on over to Berkeley Rep for the new Broadway musical “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations.”

Steeped in the memories of Otis Williams, the sole surviving band member, this musical spins around a finger-snapping greatest hits catalog that spans generations, from the slick doo-wop harmony of “My Girl” to the pain and rage of “Ball of Confusion” and “Runaway Child, Running Wild.” Coming on the heels of Broadway-bound musicals such as “Roman Holiday,” “Monsoon Wedding” and “Amelie,” the highly-anticipated “Temptations” tuner, which is getting its world premiere through Oct. 8 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, definitely has aspirations to a Broadway run. The musical charts the rise of the iconic Motown group amid the turbulence and chaos of the Civil Rights era.

“For me the Temptations are more than just a band, they are an American institution,” says director Des McAnuff, famed for helming “Jersey Boys” and “Tommy.” “They were at the vanguard, not just musically but also culturally and politically.”

Read more here:

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/12/why-new-temptations-play-is-not-a-jukebox-musical/

Living Legends – Otis, Shelly at Ain’t Too Proud

 

Smiles after the first two previews of “Ain’t Too Proud.”

It’s great to have the legendary Otis Williams and longtime Temptations manager (since the 60’s) Shelly Berger watching a musical recreation of their life.

Otis is the man in the cool ass black and white jacket. Shelly is the older gentleman in the middle who is crouching down.

It’s great to hear their stories of the 60’s and 70’s. I asked Shelly about how they got the opportunity to work with Rick James in the early 80’s. I loved that song “Standing On The Top” by Rick.

He told me that Rick James idolized the Temps from when he was a kid and if there was any way he could have them sing on his record, it would be an honor.

You can hear Rick yell out “Temptations SING'” on a few songs on his classic releases from the early 80’s.

The Temps influenced so many people across all kinds of groups over the years. Their music stands the test of time.

This show hopefully will stand the test of time too. It’s sooooo good.