The Temptations have been many places during their 50-or-so years together. Now Broadway beckons.
Otis Williams, the Motown group’s sole surviving founding member, says a stage musical is in the works based on the 1998 NBC miniseries, “The Temptations.”
“It’s still so popular and loved,” Williams told Billboard magazine. “I get calls all the time, like, ‘Man, the miniseries is on!’ and stuff like that. That’s the catalyst, and our Broadway producer is waiting to do the Tempts story. I never would have imagined the possibilities of the Tempts life story going to Broadway, but it’s wonderful.”
However, Williams says the group plans to wait until Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr., gets his own Broadway musical, which is reportedly slated to open in April of 2012.
“Then, after that, the Temptations will get into action. They haven’t even started writing the script, so it’s really early,” says Williams, who will serve as an executive producer.
Williams says he and the Temptations camp have no involvement in the Gordy Motown musical, however.
“That is all under Mr. Gordy’s control,” Williams said. “I definitely will be going to see it. I think we’re in it two or three different times, guys portraying the Temptations, and I’m very happy for Mr. Gordy because he’s had such an illustrious career that should be magnified as much as possible because he’s been a wonderful inspiration to the lot of us.”
While the Temptations’ musical will recall the group’s glory years, Williams and company hope to add to the story by the time it opens. After rolling out a new album, “Still Here,” in 2010, Williams said the group — which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its name change from the Elgins to the Temptations — is starting to eyeball its successor.
“Yeah, we will be doing another CD in (2012),” Williams said. “We’d like for there to be some new music by the time the Broadway musical opens. We’ll start putting that together a little later during this year, or the beginning of next year.”