Hello MD! Greetings from the black box! Yes, the drum booth for the Broadway production Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations isn’t in the orchestra pit. It’s a soundproof drum booth that is painted black and tucked away next to rolling racks of costumes backstage at the Imperial Theatre.
After a two-year journey on the road, Ain’t Too Proud opened on Broadway on March 21, 2019. We started out with a workshop in New York City in January of 2017 and produced a successful out-of-town try-out in Berkeley, CA later that year. While waiting to land the right New York theater, we took the show to Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Toronto, each resulting in attendance breaking runs.
It’s been a long road for Ain’t Too Proud to get to Broadway, but well worth it. Every day, I get to play some of the greatest music ever written with some of the most talented cast members and musicians in the business.
In my twenty-six years here in New York City, I’ve been fortunate to share the stage with legends such as Chuck Berry, the Stylistics, the Delfonics, Denice Williams, and Ben E. King. Chatting with these icons over the years opened up a window into their lives and the opportunity to learn so many valuable life lessons from them. They come from an era of incredible musical pioneers and innovators. Thanks to their words of wisdom, I figured out how to navigate around the minefields of the music business.
If you’re a fan of classic soul and rhythm and blues, you’ll love Ain’t Too Proud. The music we play is from Motown’s glory days. You can hear what we do by downloading or streaming the original Broadway cast recording. It’s the fifth Broadway cast album I’ve recorded and one of my favorites. You can also hear me on tick…tick, BOOM!, Altar Boyz, Memphis The Musical, and Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar And Grill.
Our eighteen-piece orchestra recently played with the cast on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC. It was an incredible experience. Next up, we’ll be performing on the seventy-third Tony Awards on Sunday June 9 at 8 pm. Tune in!
Photo by Geoff Tischman