Ain’t Too Proud closes at Berkeley Rep this weekend after a successful 2-month run. A few weeks ago we had the chance to talk to AIC alum Kimille Howard, the assistant director on the show, about her experiences.
1. Tell me a little bit about your background (how did you get into theater, why you came to NYC, etc)
I started out as a dancer, beginning ballet at the age of 3 and increased to tap, jazz, flamenco, hip-hop, modern, and character at the Jordan College Academy of Dance as I got older. My parents always took me to see theater growing up, and my grandmother would take me to Broadway shows when I visited her in New York. When we performed a tap piece to West Side Story songs when I was 9, my parents got me the laser disc (yep) of the film and I fell in love. Continue reading …
Derrick Baskin (Otis Williams) in the world premiere of Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Photo courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Many musical theater lovers and artists (this one included) groan at the thought of jukebox musicals. The jukebox musical is most basic of musical theater genres. The songs are recycled, usually recognizable, and presumably already hits. The characters are either tropes, or characters you already know (the original artists themselves). In essence, jukebox musicals can be guaranteed cash cows for producers exploiting nostalgia. I’ve only seen two other jukebox musicals: the movie version of Mamma Mia, and American Idiot, the Green Day musical, which also premiered at Berkeley Rep before moving to Broadway, and I was skeptical about how much I would like this one. But Ain’t Too Proud surprised me. It was a dynamic, fascinating look one of the oldest and greatest R&B/soul groups: The Temptations.