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Review: AIN'T TOO PROUD at Overture Center

Review: AIN'T TOO PROUD at Overture Center

Plays the Overture Center through June 19th.

 

AIN'T TOO PROUD THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS follows the timeline of the Temptations, a Grammy winning group with 42 top ten hits, from conception as narrated by Otis Williams (Marcus Paul James) the group's founder and only surviving original member.

Marcus effortlessly plays Williams as an approachable, trustworthy fella and invites you in for the story. The band seems a bit ordinary until adding the energetic talents of David Ruffin (Elijah Ahmad Lewis) to the group. Lewis swaggers, dances, and belts his way into the audience's heart. In fact, the audience applauded each time the actors' voices came together into the award-winning harmonies of the Temptations' hits and cheered when they performed the signature choreography.

The show touches on the Temptations' climb from the shadows of The Supremes, navigating the members' love lives, and dealing with strike threats and contract issues. There was a brief scene of their bus being shot at, but otherwise the struggles of racism in the 1960s was passed over. There is a revolving door of replacement Temptations as the original members are fired, fall ill, or pass away. In fact, there have been 24 Temptations over the years.

The set, mostly slate-gray scenery of the exterior of a theatre with a changing marquee overhead, appeared to be a pared-down road show and lacked the glitz and glamour the iconic Temptations deserve. I kept waiting for a showstopping performance featuring a splashy set with dazzling lights and sound to heighten the experience, but it never happened.

Still, the talented cast delivers stellar vocals, and if you'd like a stroll down memory lane of the more than 30 songs, you won't be disappointed.

The national tour of AIN'T TOO PROUD is produced by Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce, in association with Work Light Productions.

Ain't Too Proud plays at the Overture Center in Madison until Sunday, June 19th. Tickets are available at Overture.org.

Broadway at Overture is sponsored by American Family Insurance. Our community partner for AIN'T TOO PROUD - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS is J.H. Findorff and Son Inc. Overture is grateful for this community support that helps make these experiences possible.

OVERTURE CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Madison, Wis., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization that features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and four galleries where national and international touring artists, nine resident companies and hundreds of local artists engage people in nearly 700,000 educational and artistic experiences each year. With the vision to provide "Extraordinary Experiences for All," Overture's mission is to support and elevate our community's creative culture, economy and quality of life through the arts.

 



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From This Author - Angie Stanton


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