EGOT winner John Legend and his Get Lifted Film Co. partner Mike Jackson recently visited the cast and the creators of the musical Ain't Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations backstage at Broadway's Imperial Theatre.
Legend told the company: "This music has meant so much to me and my family and probably a lot of your families, too. To be able to honor it on the stage and help bring Broadway back… it is so exciting for us and so thrilling for us." Legend and Jackson also sat in on a rehearsal of the show’s finale, where the company of 23 actors and 18 band members worked on the Temptations classic “I Can’t Get Next To You.” Watch highlights from the backstage visit above.
Legend, Jackson, and Ty Stiklorious recently joined the producing team of Ain’t Too Proud. Legend, who won a Tony Award in 2017 as a producer of the revival of August Wilson’s Jitney along with Jackson, also performed with the cast of the show during the 74th annual Tony Awards last month.
The sounds of Motown returned to Broadway October 16 with a gala performance of Ain’t Too Proud at the Imperial. The acclaimed production had been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Currently leading the cast are 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 five were starring in the production prior to the COVID-19 shutdown.
The company also features 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.
The musical, which opened on Broadway March 21, 2019, was nominated for 12 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Two-time Tony winner Des McAnuff directs, with Tony-winning choreography by Sergio Trujillo. Ain't Too Proud had its world premiere at California’s Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2017 before going on to play Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Toronto. The first national tour will kick off in December.