The Tem­pla­tions hit Broad­way in a new, tell-all mu­si­cal.


Closer Weekly - - Contents -

The sole sur­viv­ing orig­i­nal mem­ber of the Temp­ta­tions got emo­tional watch­ing the new mu­si­cal about his leg­endary Mo­town group. “When I saw my life story, I was touched and moved,” Otis Wil­liams, 77, tells Closer. “Not only by what I’ve gone through, but also the bril­liance of the kids [per­form­ing it] and how they’re touch­ing every­one’s emo­tions.”

On Feb. 28, Broad­way preview au­di­ences will share Otis’ joy when they ex­pe­ri­ence Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temp­ta­tions, the cul­mi­na­tion of his 18-year jour­ney to bring 58 years of his group’s ups and downs to the stage. It’s toured the U.S. to raves, and like his band, it’s filled with drama. But Otis says it doesn’t take too much dra­matic li­cense: “Ev­ery­thing is what ac­tu­ally hap­pened.”

The mu­si­cal is told through Otis’ eyes, but he didn’t san­i­tize the vi­sion of writer Do­minique Moris­seau and di­rec­tor Des McAnuff (Jersey

Boys). “If you’re go­ing to tell the story, then tell it in its real tru­ism,” Otis says.

That in­cludes the sui­cide of found­ing 1960–’71 mem­ber Paul Wil­liams, the fir­ing of David Ruf­fin due to drug ad­dic­tion, and more. “We haven’t shied away from the truth — that’s all there,” McAnuff tells Closer. “But there’s plenty of sun­shine, and au­di­ences are on their feet af­ter ev­ery per­for­mance.”


“I had no idea we’d be loved all th­ese years later.”

— Otis Wil­liams, to Closer

De­spite the tragedies it de­picts, the show is part of a happy end­ing Otis could never have ex­pected. It in­spired the group’s new al­bum, All the Time. And, ac­cord­ing to Otis, Ira Pit­tel­man (who’s pro­duc­ing with Amadeus’ Os- car-nom­i­nated ac­tor Tom Hulce), “the next phase will def­i­nitely be a movie.” That seems des­tined to put mil­lions more Temp­ta­tions fans on cloud nine.

— Re­port­ing by Katie Bruno

From left: David Ruf­fin, Melvin Franklin, Paul Wil­liams, Otis Wil­liams and Ed­die Ken­dricks in 1965. “We had to try to cap­ture the timesof the orig­i­nal Temps,” Otis says. “They’re pulling it off!” Otis says of the young Ain’t Too Proud stars, whosing hits like “My Girl.”

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