Hamilton alum Nik Walker and Detroit native Matt Manuel (touring cast of Motown: The Musical) are set to replace original Temptations actors Derrick Baskin and Ephraim Sykes in the Broadway production of Ain’t Too Proud–The Life and Times of The Temptations. Walker and Manuel will step into the roles of Otis Williams and David Ruffin, respectively.
The Tony-nominated Baskin and Sykes will depart the production February 26, with the new leads stepping into the show February 28.
“Everyone is ecstatic to have Nik and Matt join Ain’t Too Proud in these iconic roles," says director Des McAnuff. "Nik brings an extensive theatre background, most recently as Aaron Burr in Hamilton, and is the perfect fit to lead our cast as Otis Williams.
"Matt is an exciting discovery, a bonafide triple threat, coming straight from The Temptations’ hometown of Detroit," continues McAnuff. "It’s dazzling to watch him step elegantly into the role of David Ruffin.”
Ain’t Too Proud, which opened at Broadway's Imperial Theatre March 21, 2019, and was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, charts the rise to fame of the R&B group. The musical features a book by Dominique Morisseau and a score made up of iconic songs from The Temptations. McAnuff directs with Tony Award-winning choreography by Sergio Trujillo.
Walker and Manuel will join James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, and Jelani Remy as Eddie Kendricks as The Temptations.
Ain’t Too Proud also features Esther Antoine, Saint Aubyn, Shawn Bowers, E. Clayton Cornelious, Tiffany Francès, Taylor Symone Jackson, Marcus Paul James, Jahi Kearse, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Jarvis B. Manning, Jr., Morgan McGhee, Joshua Morgan, Christian Thompson, Correy West, Drew Wildman Foster, Curtis Wiley, Jamari Johnson Williams, and Candice Marie Woods.
As previously announced, Ain't Too Proud will head on a national tour beginning in Providence, Rhode Island, in July.