The Temptations Are Back Reliving Their Lives In Ain’t Too Proud at Proctors


The jukebox musical has become a mainstay on the Broadway stage over the past ten or so years. We have witnessed shows that deal with the history of Cher, Gloria, The Four Seasons, among others, and now we add the most recent to hit the touring circuit… ain’t too proud The Life and Times of The Temptations. ain’t too proud began its life being teched at Proctors Theater before going on to Broadway in March 2019, where it closed during the COVID shutdown but returned after the pandemic and played through January 2022. It has returned to Proctors. 

Credit: © 2023 Emilio Madrid.

Somewhat formulaic, the show, as most of these shows seem to be, tells the story of the formation of the group, their trials and tribulations, successes and failures. No matter the level of success any of these incredibly talented musicians have achieved, the general takeaway is no one goes through life unscathed. For whatever level of professional success these performers have achieved, it has not been without personal tragedy and battles within the groups or their own lives. All that being said, while it appears that the audience is interested in the back story, the majority of the theatergoers appear to be there for a good time… a concert, in this case, of some of the best that Motown had to offer in the early 1960s right through the 2000s. 

We follow The Temps’ formation and growth through the eyes of its founder, Otis Williams, brilliantly performed by Michael Andreaus.  Andreaus takes us from the street corners of Detroit to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, tracking the trajectory of the group with the backdrop of civil unrest in America as Berry Gordy steers The Temps to become the most successful crossover group in history, appealing to both Black and White audiences.

Credit: © 2023 Emilio Madrid.

It is the music that makes the evening. The “original five”  performed magnificently by Andreaus, E. Clayton Cornelious, Harrell Holmes Jr., Jalen Harris, and Elijah Amad Lewis absolutely bring the Temptations music to life as if for the first time. The cast of 20+ fills the stage with equal amounts of talent, exuberance, and love. 

The two and half hours are filled with pieces of 30 plus songs, some more complete than others, but the audience responded to all with equal amounts of exuberance and love.  From Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, Baby Love, Gloria, I Want a Love I Can See, I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, Just My Imagination, My Girl, The Way You Do the Things You Do, Papa Was A Rolling Stone,  to You’re My Everything Tuesday evening’s crowd was clearly at a Temptation’s concert. They were not disappointed. Jalen Harris’s rendition of Just My Imagination and E. Clayton Cornelious’s version of For Once in My Life stopped the show, and deservedly so.

Credit: © 2023 Emilio Madrid.

ain’t too proud will grab you with its story, but the music will make you fall in love with the Motown sound once again.  If you lived it, take a trip down memory lane; if you are too young to know it, come hear for yourself the music of your parents’ youth… you’ll be glad you did.

ain’t too proud The Life and Times of The Temptations runs through May 28 at Proctors Theater in Schenectady. For ticket information, contact the box office at 518-346-6204 or  Please note the material contains mature content and strong language.

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