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The son of a camera operator, O’Brien moved from New Jersey to Hermosa Beach at age 12, where he still hangs out with numerous friends and adores the El Gringo restaurant. A graduate of Mira Costa High, O’Brien began making his own goofy YouTube videos as a teen. Those led to the professional leap to a regular role on the “Teen Wolf” TV series; O’Brien’s even managed to squeeze in a few episodes for the MTV show’s current, final season. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” eventually got finished as well, and is scheduled for a January, 2018 release. Planned as the final film adaptation of James Dashner’s dystopian YA novels, O’Brien describes the movie as an “emotional, intense last chapter.”.
Ain’t too proud to beg? If you just can’t get enough of the legacy of the Temptations, from their velvety smooth sound to their razor-sharp dance moves, pointe shoes amazon uk better motor on over to Berkeley Rep for the new Broadway musical “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations.”, Steeped in the memories of Otis Williams, the sole surviving band member, this musical spins around a finger-snapping greatest hits catalog that spans generations, from the slick doo-wop harmony of “My Girl” to the pain and rage of “Ball of Confusion” and “Runaway Child, Running Wild.” Coming on the heels of Broadway-bound musicals such as “Roman Holiday,” “Monsoon Wedding” and “Amelie,” the highly-anticipated “Temptations” tuner, which is getting its world premiere through Oct, 8 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, definitely has aspirations to a Broadway run, The musical charts the rise of the iconic Motown group amid the turbulence and chaos of the Civil Rights era..
“For me the Temptations are more than just a band, they are an American institution,” says director Des McAnuff, famed for helming “Jersey Boys” and “Tommy.” “They were at the vanguard, not just musically but also culturally and politically.”. McAnuff, a two-time Tony winner, suspects that the racial and cultural significance of the musical, which recounts what it was like to be the first band to crossover from R&B to top 40, has sharpened to a knife’s edge in the wake of Charlottesville. Among the brave stands the band took was writing into their contract that they would never play to a segregated audience, even thought it was the practice of the day.
“Even 10 years ago, telling this story may have tapped into feelings of nostalgia and sentiment for the past but now I think that’s gone, When the play gets to the history of the riots in South Central and Detroit, you can feel how pertinent it is to today,” he says, “There are parallels that have deep resonance, Racism has been rekindled, but we can only hope that it is the last gasp and it’s about to disappear into the tar pits of history.”, “There’s a line in the show about the music being colorblind but the world isn’t,” notes playwright Dominique Morisseau, who drew on Williams’ memories as well as his book about the pointe shoes amazon uk band, “Right now all theater feels very urgent and very political, I, for one, am ready for the theater to get woke.”..
The political fire built into the subject matter is one reason the director takes umbrage at the label “jukebox musical,” which he feels demeans shows which are essentially musical biographies, such as “Ain’t Too Proud” and “Jersey Boys.”. “It’s a bit of a derogatory term, isn’t it?” says the director. “With the Temptations, their life story is the songs. That’s who they are. We didn’t make up a story and jam the songs in. This is a story that screams to be told.”.
For him, musical theater should try to rise above mere commercial concerns, “You can’t be doing it for the dollars, you have to be doing it because you believe in it deeply,” he says, “People always say I make musicals for people who pointe shoes amazon uk hate musicals and there is some truth to that, I see them as serious pieces of theater.”, “Ain’t Too Proud” traces The Temptations’ path from a church choir in Birmingham, Ala., where Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams first met, to the glory days of Motown, The pair eventually moved to Detroit and merged with another band, forming the Temptations, When David Ruffin joined the mix, the era of the “Classic Five” was officially launched, producing a string of hits including “My Girl,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “My Baby,” “Just My Imagination,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and the title song “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.”..
Striking the balance between the classic soul music framed by kicking choreography (by Sergio Trujillo) and the strife of the period is important to the playwright known for her searing “Detroit” trilogy. Certainly many of the songs strike a chord of protest that still cuts deep. “It’s a feel-good musical where you will want to get down with them,” says Morisseau, also known for “Pipeline” and “Shameless,” “but there are places of rage as well as joy … it’s important to make a space for rage and not to try and quell it.”.
McAnuff also thinks of this pointe shoes amazon uk musical as a work of grit and substance, a history play in the Elizabethan sense, “We have replaced royalty with celebrity but a history play is always about money and power and race,” says the director, “We see the world more clearly through them.”, Indeed, being authentic to the searing racial themes inherent in the text was one of the director’s key concerns, “I never felt it was my right to tell this story, I felt it was my honor,” he notes, “It was really when Otis told me he wanted me to do it, when he gave me his blessing, that I realized I had to do it.”..