There’s not a human being out here in the world who hasn’t loved, sang, or danced to a tune by The Temptations. And with good reason! The Temptations are one of the most known and loved singing groups of all time. It’s no wonder their hit Broadway musical, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations has garnered 12 Tony Award nominations Tuesday.
Along with getting a nod in the coveted best musical category, Ain’t Too Proud also received nominations for best book, best direction, best choreography, and best orchestrations, among others. Also, three actors received recognition for their work individually, including Derrick Baskin, who plays Otis Williams, Jeremy Pope, who embodies Eddie Kendricks and Ephraim Sykes as the charismatic David Ruffin.
“It was such a surreal moment to tell this story, to tell this really good piece of history in front of the people who created the history,” Baskin told ESSENCE on the show’s opening night red carpet back in March.
The actors charged with portraying the debonair, complicated singing and dancing quintet said that they’re not trying to imitate the classic group.
“We pay tribute to The Temptations, yet we’re not being a carbon copy of The Temptations. It’s breathing a new life into who they are,” James Harkness, who plays Paul Williams, explained.
ESSENCE caught up with the cast of Ain’t Too Proud earlier this year. Watch the video above to see Baskin, Sykes, Jeremy Pope, James Harkness, and Jawan M. Jackson chat about the legacy, the dance moves and the classic soul of The Temptations.