He was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 2019, including a win for Best Choreography. Now, DC audiences can experience the nationwide tour of the hit musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations” at the Kennedy Center through January 16.
OMCP’s Jason Fraley Presents ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ at Kennedy Center (Part 1)
He was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 2019, including a win for Best Choreography.
Now, DC audiences can experience the nationwide tour of the hit musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations” at the Kennedy Center through January 16.
“This is the show’s first tour, so it’s an exciting time for anyone who hasn’t been able to make it to New York to see the show and have the chance to see this great musical for the first time.” actor Harrell Holmes Jr. told OMCP. “We had our preview in Durham, NC, so we’re actually having our grand opening here in DC.”
You might recognize the cast of his recent performance at the 2021 Kennedy Center Honors. Holmes plays Melvin Franklin, who founds the group alongside David Ruffin (Elijah Ahmad Lewis), Otis Williams (Marcus Paul James), Eddie Kendricks (Jalen Harris) ) and Paul Williams (James T. Lane) while signing with Motown Records in 1961.
“You can basically learn how they got started,” Holmes said. “They all came from the south and migrated to Detroit for different reasons. They kind of came together in a divine way. They all had a great love for music. They were young teenagers at the time, who really had no idea what impact they would have. They just knew they liked music.
Written by Dominique Morisseau, the story traces the evolution of the catchy R&B group of the 60s to the deep social commentary of the 70s with music reflecting the changing times.
“The series does a great job of navigating and telling this story,” said Holmes. “They were young men, real people dealing with things in the world – from war to the assassination of presidents and figures like Dr. [Martin Luther] King, so the music for The Temptations reflected that. The world was changing, so there is a changing of the guard.
You will also meet Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, and The Supremes.
“Smokey Robinson produced a lot of these early hits,” Holmes said. “Then we had another talented producer, Norman Whitfield, who wanted to come up with this new sound. It was around this time that “Cloud Nine” was born, “Ball of Confusion” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”. Otis himself was hesitant. He wasn’t sure how loyal Temptations fans would react.
Of course, the show features all of your favorite Temptations songs.
“All the classics from ‘My Girl’ to ‘Just My Imagination’, ‘Get Ready’, ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’, ‘Cloud Nine’,” said Holmes Jr .. “If you are a fan of The Temptations , this is definitely your show. All the hits, there will be over 30 songs, even the real diehard Temptation fans will have “You’re My Everything” and “Don’t Look Back”, all these great success. ”
The visuals will transport you with Detroit digs and stylish Motown jackets.
“For two and a half hours you will definitely feel like you are in this world,” said Holmes. “It’s a real throwback to those times. The design and decor team did an amazing job. We have LED screens and big, huge accessories. It basically looks like a movie on stage. It’s incredible. It keeps your attention all the time. The iconic outfits, the dance steps.
OMCP’s Jason Fraley Presents ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ at Kennedy Center (Part 2)
Listen to our full conversation here.