‘Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations’ comes to Salt Lake City

Jan 11, 2023, 5:59 PM | Updated: 7:14 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The sounds and moves of Motown come to life on stage at The George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Theatre this week in “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.”

Suddenly, the music starts and those familiar lyrics come back to life.

“I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go.”

It’s called an electrifying Broadway musical that takes audiences back to the sounds of the 1960s and brings them to their feet.

Harrell Holmes Jr. plays the role of Melvin Franklin.

“Melvin was, you could say, the heart of the group. He was the first Temptation to join the group — the one with the big smile who always engaged with the audience,” he said.

And for Holmes, this is truly one of those “dream come true” stories.

“I actually began singing after seeing The Temptations movie at the age of seven, and it literally changed my life. I went to my mom and said, ‘Hey, can I sing ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ in my third grade talent show?’ And she was like, ‘What! What do you know about The Temptations?’ And I remember doing it; the parents went crazy, the kids were clueless.”

And so it began. Every time he performed — “Star Search” and “American Idol” — he sang The Temptations music.

“Never really knowing, one day, that it could be possible, until seeing this show, and now, here I am, a Temptation.”

And being a Temptation, he said, is intense — acting, singing and dancing.

The show won a Tony for its choreographer, Sergio Trujillo.

“From the moment we walk out on stage, two-and-a-half hours plus, it’s non-stop dancing,” Holmes said. “It has pushed me so much as an artist to do it, and I’m grateful, but yes, I’ve heard many times people in the audience say, ‘We’re tired just watching you!'”

This show takes audiences behind the scenes into the lives of these iconic performers, who were living and working during a time of civil unrest in our country.

“There was some racism. They were even shot at in the South, and unfortunately, there are some things we go through today as a race that we still have to overcome. But the great thing about this show is that we emphasize that the music brought the entire country together.”

And Holmes said these entertainers sacrificed a great deal to do what they did, and there is a message that they all wish to leave on their cross-country tour.

“To bring you that kind of music and spread that kind of love, that’s what I want the audience to hopefully take away from this show.”

This iconic group went from humble beginnings in Detroit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations” has performances at the Eccles now through Sunday, Jan. 15.

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‘Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations’ comes to Salt Lake City