There are challenges for a stage actor portraying a real-life person.

The demands may seem even more arduous when the real person heads up an iconic singing group, is still alive and has come to watch the actor.

On top of that, add the group’s synchronized choreography into the mix.

The real person: Otis Williams, considered the heart of The Temptations, which had decades of R&B hits including ”My Girl” in 1964 and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” in 1972.

The performer: Michael Andreaus who takes on Williams’ role in “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.”

The stage musical — a jukebox of more than 30 songs — won the 2019 Tony for Best Choreography and will be at Clowes Memorial Hall in Indianapolis from June 6-11.

“I grew up listening to the Temptations so the fact that I get to play him and then meet him is a dream come true,” Andreaus said during a phone interview while he was in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“I mean, you want to make sure that you’re representing the core of who this person is. I don’t really ever look at it as me trying to imitate a person. Or copy a person per se but there are aspects of a person’s character you want to make sure you get correct,” he said.

The show is based on Williams’ book The Temptations and he is an executive producer of the musical. The stage show tells the real story of the group including the roles that led to break-out performers such as David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks. Andreaus has visited with Williams.

“Sitting with him, you see his humility and his love for this group and the fact that he looked at this group as really a calling more than just a career,” Andreaus said. “The thing he always says is you could have knocked him over with a feather if you would have ever convinced him that he would have had a musical based on his life. … I think that humility is something I didn’t expect would come through when I got to meet him.”

Andreaus was born in Atlanta but spent his school years in Moore on the south side of Oklahoma City. Playing tuba and sousaphone in that high school’s marching band, he has been to Indianapolis for national competitions.

He earned his bachelor of music from the University of Central Oklahoma. His roles have included Coalhouse Walker Jr. in “Ragtime” and Curtis Taylor Jr. in “Dreamgirls.”

When he landed a spot in the national touring company of “Ain’t Too Proud,” he played Motown founder Berry Gordy until the actor playing Williams went on to other pursuits. In January, Andreaus took on the role of Otis Williams, who is an occasional narrator in the show.

“One of the things I love about it is something you don’t get to do too much in theater, I get to directly address the audience as narrator. The audience kind of becomes another cast member in the show. You can bring them into the story,” he said.

He rarely leaves the stage and often has to go right into a dance number.

“While I’m doing a lot of choreography, I am not doing the splits that Elijah Ahmad Lewis does as David Ruffin. I’m not flying across the stage on my knees that Jalen Harris does who plays Eddie Kendricks. While it is challenging, there are things I get to watch others do and I’m thankful for that,” he said.

When asked if he had a favorite song from the show, Andreaus said his answer might change from night to night but he zeroed in on 1971’s “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me).”

Andreaus said, “The one that always stands out to me is ‘Just My Imagination,’ just because of the way Jalen sings it. He has such a beautiful instrument and he has great control over it. There’s a note that he hits every night that I’m in awe of. Even when I’m supposed to be doing choreography I get distracted every time I hear it.”

Clowes Memorial Hall is at 4602 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis, on the campus of Butler University. For ticket information, call 317-940-6444.

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