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You may not be able to actually sit in a theater right now, but that doesn't mean you can’t enjoy some amazing Broadway performances.
Settle in for an evening of musical performances on October 13 at 7 p.m., when American Express and The Temptations' musical Ain’t Too Proud premieres a special livestream event. Plus, Whoopi Goldberg sits down for an intimate conversation about the way things were—and the way things can be—for Black artists in America.
Based on the memoir by Otis Williams, The Temptations’ founder and last surviving original member, Ain’t Too Proud–The Life and Times of The Temptations debuted in Broadway's Imperial Theatre last year as a new musical that follows the legendary vocal group's extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It became an instant hit on Broadway, having been nominated for 12 Tony Awards and winning the 2019 Tony for Best Choreography, loved by audiences for its signature dance moves and harmonies that pair up to the band's most memorable hits including, "My Girl" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone."
While the curtain has been drawn to a close on Broadway since March 2020, with all eyes on 2021 for reopening, the Ain’t Too Proud event, which premieres on October 13 at 7 p.m. ET, is keeping the show’s spirit alive, giving the “classic five,” as the Temptations were known, the chance to reconnect as a cast and re-form a bond they will need when they get back on stage.
But beyond the musical performances, the conversation is also centered around the lives of Black artists. A topic that Ain’t Too Proud explores through the lives of The Temptations themselves but also in a song like "Ball of Confusion", a civil rights-era anthem and one of the group’s biggest and most memorable hits. It's a conversation that is crucial according to Matt Manuel, the cast member who plays David Ruffin.
“Some people don’t want to talk about race because it makes them feel uncomfortable,” Manuel said. “But if we don’t talk about it, it won’t get back. As a person of color, I need it to get better. Once we can get past the black and white of it all, we can get to a place of commonality. There is nobility in trying to understand.”
Throughout the event, host Whoopi Goldberg sits down for an in-depth and candid conversation about race with Otis Williams, the founder of The Temptations, Dominique Morisseau, Ain’t Too Proud’s Tony Award-nominated book writer, and the show's cast members Nik Walker, James Harkness, Jawan M. Jackson, Matt Manuel, Jelani Remy, and Saint Aubyn.