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Broadway’s Temptations Musical ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ to Close in January


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Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations is endings its Broadway run this winter.

The show’s producers announced Tuesday that after nearly 500 performances, including previews, the curtain will close on the jukebox musical about the R&B group’s journey from Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that features hits like “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” The Tony Award-winning show’s final performance at the Imperial Theatre will be on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022.

The current leading cast of Ain’t Too Proud, which has been nominated for a total of 12 Tony Awards, stars Nik Walker as Otis Williams, James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, Matt Manuel as David Ruffin and Jelani Remy as Eddie Kendricks.

The show’s closing announcement follows a string of Christmas performances that were canceled due to COVID-19 breakthrough cases in the company. In the announcement, no specific reason was provided by producers Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce as to why the show was ending its run next month, after opening on Broadway in March 2019. But the launch of the musical’s first national touring production is underway, with plans to visit more than 50 cities, including The Temptations’ hometown in Detroit.

Ain’t Too Proud is now the eighth Broadway musical or play to announce its closing after Broadway’s much-anticipated full-capacity reopening in September. Late last week, Waitress and Thoughts of a Colored Man joined Jagged Little Pill and Chicken & Biscuits as the latest productions citing COVID-19 as their reason for their shortened runs. Diana the musical as well as plays Dana H. and Is This a Room also announced they were closing this fall, citing low ticket sales.

Following the Sept. 14 reopening, around 30 shows had relaunched on Broadway, following an 18-month shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Up until mid-December, only a handful of shows had announced COVID-related performance cancellations or closings, including Aladdin — which canceled performances for nearly two weeks — and Chicken & Biscuits, Dana H. and Is This a Room, which all announced early closures.

But only a few days after Diana‘s closing announcement on Dec. 11, Broadway was hit with a wave of single-performance cancellations that impacted around a third of its 2021 slate. The following week, productions would take Aladdin’s early fall lead, turning their single- or two-show cancellations into weeklong closures through Christmas and even holiday eve and day cancellations.

The jump in both show cancellations and production closures follows a rise in Omicron variant cases across New York, with the city and state setting new daily records for positive cases through the back half of December. Despite the rise in cases and more shows announcing the end of their runs, Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin told The Hollywood Reporter that Broadway as a whole currently has no plans to shut down again and is working with epidemiologists on identifying what new protocols, if any, may be required of productions through the new year and spring.

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