Many will be familiar with the story set in 1960’s Chicago and how music mogul Berry Gordy and prolific songwriters like Smokey Robinson helped elevate the velvety quintet from their humble beginnings. The evolution of the group is fraught with drama and its changing members, and it’s all depicted captivatingly in the midst of a feel-good, nostalgic songbook, thanks to spectacular vocals, orchestrations by Harold Wheeler, and music direction by Kenny Seymour.
Founding member, Otis Redding (played to pitch perfection by Derrick Baskin) was the only one who lasted through its metamorphosis and so it’s through his perspective that we appreciate the sometimes tragic, other times jubilant journey. This shuffling of members, as they battle private and public demons, is cleverly embodied by the constantly sliding, in-motion stage.
It’s clear from the start that every performer has accepted the challenge to give it their all in order to fill some really big shoes, and this is the closest you might get to seeing The Temptations again.
— Warner Alas