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Entertainment & Arts

Temptations jukebox musical ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ is coming to L.A.

LOS ANGELES, CA-OCTOBER 30, 2017: Playwright Dominique Morisseau is photographed in downtown Los Ang
Playwright Dominique Morisseau wrote the book for “Ain’t Too Proud,” a musical that will be part of Center Theatre Group’s 2018-19 season.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

“Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations” has been added to Center Theatre Group’s 2018-19 season, Artistic Director Michael Ritchie announced Wednesday.

The musical, with a book written by Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, features a score full of the pioneering soul group’s hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” It follows the drama-filled rise of the band from its humble beginnings in Detroit to its ascendance to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The show staged its world premiere late last year at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in a run that was extended multiple times. It became the highest-grossing show in Berkeley Rep’s 50-year history, and the L.A. engagement will likely precede a Broadway run.

“Ain’t Too Proud” received glowing reviews from Bay Area press, including the San Francisco Chronicle and the Mercury News, which wrote that the production, “sucks us in from the first doo-wop notes to the last flashy spins.”

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The Times interviewed Morisseau during the Berkeley Rep run, when she was juggling projects including writing for the Showtime dramedy “Shameless.”

“This year was a lot for me. I had a show in New York, a show in Lincoln Center. I had my episodes on ‘Shameless’ and a musical going up,” she said, fresh off a plane from Berkeley, where she had attended a performance of “Ain’t Too Proud.” “I keep finding myself in spaces that I never thought I would get in.”

She reflected on her accomplishments for a moment and then cracked a big smile. “I feel like I’m Forrest Gump-ing my way as a writer.”

“Ain’t Too Proud” is directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (“Jersey Boys,” “Tommy”) and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo. It will run at the Ahmanson Theatre from Aug. 21 through Sept. 30.

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jessica.gelt@latimes.com

@jessicagelt

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