By Vanessa Murdock

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A huge win for New York City’s comeback from COVID is Tony Award-winning “Ain’t Too Proud” getting ready to turn its Broadway lights up.

CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock caught up with the cast members on their first day back to the Imperial Theatre.

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The Temptations will soon be stealing the hearts of audience members once again with unforgettable music and dance moves that stretch seams.

“I ripped every pair of pants that I was in. Every single one, and on two show days, I ripped them twice,” said actor Matt Manuel.

Led by newcomers to the cast, “Ain’t Too Proud” is the story and sounds of The Temptations, a group that had some of Motown’s greatest hits.

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“The Temptations were five young Black men living the civil rights movement,” said actor Nik Walker, who plays Otis Williams.

Walker was with the show only three weeks before Broadway went dark.

“I’m just so grateful that I get to see these people again,” he said.

Tackling this Broadway blockbuster after 18 months is no easy feat, even for James Harkness. He’s been with “Ain’t Too Proud” since its inception, playing Paul Williams.

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“Eight shows a week. The rehearsal process, getting that stamina back. I think that’s the only thing that I think anyone’s really worried about,” Harkness said.

“It’s really important about making sure that their bodies are protected. This show is incredibly hard on them,” said choreographer Sergio Trujillo.

Trujillo, who won a Tony Award for “Ain’t Too Proud,” says yoga and a week of choreography boot camp will help The Temptations get their Broadway legs back in shape.

“Oh, it’s gonna be a lot of time on the elliptical,” Walker said.

“I’m a little rusty,” said actor Jawan M. Jackson, who plays Melvin Franklin.

Jackson said Broadway going dark was a blessing in disguise.

“Because I got to get back to me and I got to take care of my body the way I’m supposed to,” he said.

With the spotlight back on, Jackson said he’s on “cloud nine.”

Group chats and Zoom sessions showcasing the incredible talent of these five men kept the company connected through the shutdown.

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“Ain’t Too Proud” will be back on Broadway October 16th.

Vanessa Murdock