Ladies and gents,
It’s official. The hottest act in town is … The Temptations. No, you’re not reading one of my old columns from the late 60’s. (Was I even writing columns in the late 60’s? Who can remember?) The new musical Ain’t Too Proud, telling the story of The Temptations’ unlikely rise to the heights of show business superstardom, is on the brink of its first Broadway performance. All they have is a few more days in the rehearsal room to “Get Ready,” and then they’re on stage at the Imperial Theatre.
There isn’t, I hear, much to rehearse, as they’ve already played three massively successful pre-Broadway engagements. They are just brushing up what they all already know. I also hear that the vibe in the rehearsal room is loose and confident and — most of all — excited. First performance started off with a coffee-and-nosh-and-“hey how ya doing?” kind of thing.
Producers Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman gave a rousing speech, as did director Des McAnuff. Bookwriter Dominique Morisseau instructed the company to “let yourself be a door and let what you’re doing come through you” in order to conquer the ego — wisdom she picked up from The House on Mango Street author Sandra Cisneros who is apparently “coming to see the show.”
Just as the meet-and-greet was wrapping up, Derrick Baskin, who stars as the great Otis Williams, screamed out, “Wait a minute — we’re on Broadway! We made it! We made it!” The room erupted in cheers. Later that same day, after the company had finished the day’s work, I’m told champagne was popped and the cheering resumed.
I predict that all this joy will catapult Ain’t Too Proud into the Broadway megahit stratosphere!
Tidbits from around town…
Spotted Jake Gyllenhaal sipping the good stuff with a tall friend at The Brandy Library.
Caught Sandy Kenyon patiently posing for selfies with a fan who wanted to be sure to get the perfect angle.
Overheard boxing legend Floyd Mayweather ordering an everything bagel with cream cheese, “and pile on that lox,” at Zuckers.
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!