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  • Tracy Heck

Ain't Too Proud musical shines in Detroit

Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations finally made its way to Detroit for its first National tour, opening to the public on Tuesday and to the media with red carpet treatment on Wednesday evening.

The party began outside with the Detroit Youth Choir performing as a host of special guests made their way down the carpet including Otis Williams, The Temptations founder and the last surviving member of the original group, Dominique Morisseau, the Detroit native and Ain't Too Proud writer, Shelly Berger, the longtime Temptations manager and a number of other Motown alumni.

The musical tells the tale of The Temptations' fascinating journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Narrated by Williams, who is played by original Broadway cast member Marcus Paul James, the high energy musical intertwines the ideas of brotherhood, family, loyalty and betrayal and features the revolving door of band members over the years.

At the heart of the whole thing is that classic Motown sound with treasured hits like "Just My Imagination," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," "Get Ready" and "My Girl" taking center stage.

As the narrator, James does a fantastic job of bringing the audience into the story and allowing them the chance to share in the roller coaster ride that was The Tempations' existence and gives them a inside look at how the "last one standing" Williams viewed all of the band's ups and downs.

The chemistry between the classic five, with James as Williams, James T. Lane as Paul Williams, Harrell Holmes Jr. as Melvin Franklin, Jalen Harris as Eddie Kendricks and Elijah Ahmad Lewis as David Ruffin, shines brightly and their array of costumes and eye-popping dance moves kept the audience laughing, cheering and singing along throughout two and a half hours of entertainment.

Also a special treat for those gathered was all of the little Detroit references scattered throughout the musical.

After a thundering ovation for the cast and musicians, the crowd was then treated to appearances from Morisseau, Berger and the man of the hour Williams, who thanked the crowd for their endless support.

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