THOUGHTS: Ain’t Too Proud at Berkeley Rep

Derrick Baskin as Otis Williams

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.

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THEATRE TO SEE: December

Credit: I love generator

Credit: I love generator

Guys. December is upon us. I don’t know about you, but I think 2014 has flown by! Before we welcome in 2015, take some time to get out and enjoy a little theatre. You just might be inspired to make a big leap into the new year by trying something new yourself. If we don’t change as individuals how can we expect to see any change in our world? So, in between checking out new theatre, go out there and do your part to change the theatre scene and give the shot of diversity that reflects the world we see and even the world we hope for! Who knows? We just might be writing about you and your new work in 2015!

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