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BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ conquers Broadway; national tour next

When the 73rd annual Tony Awards are announced on June 9 (live on CBS), one show poised to make history is “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations.”  

The hit show about the famed Motown quintet, which enjoyed a run at the Ahmanson Theatre on the way to its Broadway home at the Imperial Theatre, has garnered 12 nominations including Best Musical, Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical and Best Orchestrations.

Dominique Morisseau, the acclaimed Detroit-born playwright is the first black woman to ever be nominated for Best Book of a Musical; while Jeremy Pope became the sixth person to be nominated twice in a season for his portrayal of lead singer Eddie Kendricks and an earlier performance in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Choir Boy.”

Co-stars Ephraim Sykes, who essays bad boy David Ruffin; and Derrick Baskin, who shoulders much of the story as founder and narrator Otis Williams, also are nominated.

Tickets for the show are hotter than July but, in the meantime, the Original Broadway Cast Recording is now available via UMe; and a national tour has been announced kicking off in July 2020 from Providence, R.I.  

Producers say the show will play more than 50 cities across North America for more than 100 touring weeks, including a Motown homecoming to The Temptations’ roots in Detroit, and a return to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  

A potential return to Los Angeles is to be announced.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Though not nominated, Tasty Clips defies theater goers to cite a more energetic turn than what Christiani Pitts is delivering as the first woman of color to play Ann Darrow in the Broadway Theatre production of “King Kong.”

The daughter of veteran newsman and current “Nightline” co-host Byron Pitts, who debuted starring in “A Bronx Tale,” more than holds her own against the impressively gigantic ape, itself a marvel of modern puppetry. 

Also impressive was the Pipeline Theatre Company’s presentation of “Playing Hot,” a jubilant telling of the dark tale of New Orleans legendary founder of jazz, Buddy Bolden. The party started with the cast parading through the door riffing on R&B faves such as “Wild Wild West,” “Joy and Pain,” with a little Beyoncé sprinkled in.

Kudos to the show’s creators Kevin Armento, Jaki Bradley, C.A. Johnson; music supervisor Marcus Miller and the terrific multi-talented cast including Linton Smith II, Fernando Contreras, Monique St. Cyr, Eric R. Williams, Cristina Pitter and Emma Meltzer.

TASTY QUIP:Robert Glasper has a limited jazz vocabulary, and that’s not anything he would say is not true. I think it’s in his best interest to do that. Kamasi [Washington]’s not a jazz player either. He’s a sax player. But his vocabulary is not jazz. It’s some jazz.” — BRANFORD MARSALIS to JazzTimes  

CLIPPETTES: Ashanti, Meghan Trainor, Amara La Negra and Years & Years are toplined for the 2019 LA Pride Festival (June 8-9) in West Hollywood …

Concurrently on both days, George Lopez returns to host the 41st annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl with artists including Maceo Parker, Kool & The Gang, Terrence Blanchard, Sheila E, Patrice Rushen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many more …

After trying to shop his Fox cancelled show “Star” to OWN and BET with no takers, its creator Lee Daniels admitted it is now dead …

Experience “A Night of R&B and Doo Wop” as The Drifters with The Alley Cats sing at Glendora’s Haugh Performing Arts Center from 2 to 4 p.m. June 9 …

Jennifer Dunning’s biography “Alvin Ailey: A Life In Dance” is being adapted into a biopic to be directed by Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight” “If Beale Street Could Talk”), with Alicia Keys as a producer …

Famed Martinique born director Euzhan Palcy makes a rare U.S. appearance June 10 as the CaribbeanLens Film Festival opens with a celebration of the 35th anniversary of her landmark film “Sugar Cane Alley.” The event, from 5 to 10 p.m. will be held at the Egyptian Theatre … 

Also that evening, Grammy Award-winning Beninese artist Angelique Kidjo is performing as well as preparing a West African dinner at the Standard Hotel to benefit her Batonga Foundation for girls in Africa.  For tickets call (202) 503-4788 …

Tony Todd, the original “Candyman,” will be a part of Jordan Peele’s reboot to star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Aquaman”) and Teyonah Parris (“Survivor’s Remorse“) …

Rapper/actor Common is signing copies of his book “Let Love Have the Last Word” June 12 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Eso Won Books; and from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bloomingdale’s – Beverly Blvd.

TC ON TV: June 7 – “The Black Godfather” (Netflix): This documentary, directed by Reggie Hudlin, follows the life of Clarence Avant, the ultimate, uncensored mentor and behind-the-scenes rainmaker in music, film, TV and politics. “The Chef Show” (Netflix): Restaurateur Roy Choi mentored writer/director Jon Favreau for the film “Chef.” Now they reunite to celebrate the real-life craft of cooking with accomplished culinary artists and celebrity friends. “Ellen” (Syn): Jaden & Willow Smith, Janet Mock.The Doobie Brothers Live From The Beacon Theatre” (PBS): The band performs hits from two landmark albums: “Toulouse Street” and “The Captain and Me.”

June 9 – “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC): Chrissy Teigen & John Legend vs. “Vanderpump Rules” and Terry & Rebecca Crews vs. Karamo Brown. “The $100,000 Pyramid” (ABC): Leslie Jones vs. Rosie O’Donnell and Anthony Anderson vs. Cheryl Hines. “Claws” (TNT): The ladies of the nail salon return for a third season. “To Tell The Truth” (ABC): Snoop Dogg, Amanda Seales. “United Shades of America” (CNN): W. Kamau Bell visits Milwaukee to explore “Living While Black.” “Sugar and Toys” (Fuse): Rapper/actor Kyle Harvey hosts this adult animated series that sends up toy commercials and PSAs, while tackling a range of social issues.

June 10 – “Best Ever Trivia Show” (GSN): Hosted by Sherri Shepherd, three contestants face off against three trivia experts with the winner earning $10,000 and the opportunity to come back for more. 

June 11 – “Ambitions” Season 1: All Access” (OWN): An advance look at the network’s steamy new family saga from record-breaking producer Will Packer (“Girls Trip”) starring Robin Givens, Brian White and Essence Atkins. “Inside WACO’s Wearable Art Gala” (OWN): Go behind the scenes of the annual star-studded fundraiser created by Tina Knowles Lawson and Richard Lawson

June 12 – “Queen Sugar” (OWN): 90s R&B singer Tevin Campbell will make a special guest appearance during the fourth season which finds the Bordelons continuing their fight to save their family farm and preserve their father’s legacy while navigating their own personal journeys. “Match Game” (ABC): Sheryl Underwood, Gabriel Iglesias, Michael Che.

June 13 – “The Real World” (Facebook Watch): The trailblazing social experiment is back for a 33rd season for the first time on a new channel and based in Atlanta, Georgia. “Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta” (WE): On this third season, R. Kelly‘s ex-wife Andrea “Drea” Kelly and her three children are breaking their silence in a buzzing child support battle. Also, Bow Wow and his then-girlfriend Kiyomi have a violent night; Waka Flocka Flame and his firecracker wife Tammy Rivera start fresh after renewing their vows in Cancun; and Da Brat tries to reform both her image and finances in the wake of prison and bankruptcy.

TASTY QUIP: “I hope my Uncle Sidney Poitier is there with my biological father Tony Dorsett and my second cousin Herschel Walker. And Bo Jackson, I want my two dollars back!” – TRACY MORGAN upon being named host of “The 2019 ESPYS” to air July 10 on ABC.

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tastyclips@yahoo.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.