Ain't Misbehavin'

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 By: Michelle Jacoby Source: HomeTown Publications

There are few shows that come so neatly packed with performance, song, dance, comedy, sexy vibes and a whole lot of attitude. “Ain’t Misbehavin’” playing now at the Westchester Broadway Theatre comes to life featuring songs and music from Thomas “Fats” Waller.

The show is lively and upbeat but how the show was created is just as entertaining. In the Golden Age of the Cotton Club, Waller became famous due to his Harlem stride piano style. He was also a showman becoming a comedian and making people laugh as he graced us with his jazz style. In 1926, he was so popular that while at a previous engagement he was kidnapped to appear at Al Capone’s birthday party. Waller’s legend, the tribute to Harlem Renaissance was carried on by Murray Horwitz and Richard Malty Jr. As a young boy, Horwitz discovered Waller’s album “Valentine Stomp”, fell in love with the wit and style of Waller and partnered with Malty, Jr  and created “Ain’t Misbehavin’”. 

The show consists of over 30 lively songs with well thought-out choreography for the full two acts. The five cast members take you back in time with the voices and charisma that Waller would be proud of. M. Martine Allard as Nell, Ron Lucas as Andre, Tony Perry as Ken, Amy Jo Phillips as Armelia and Anita Welch as Charlaine. Each personality is captured in their song, Phillips with “Squeeze Me”, Welch with “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now”, Lucas with the hilarious, “The Viper’s Drag”, Perry with “Your Feet’s Too Big”, and powerhouse Allard with “Mean to Me”.

The attitudes and playfulness comes out in the bigger numbers with:  “The Joint Is Jumpin’”, “Spreadin’ Rhythm Around”, “Black and Blue” and of course, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”.  Their 20’s -30’s costumes done by Keith Nielsen, Set Design by Steve Loftus, Lighting Design by Andrew Gmoser, Choreography by Arthur Faria, Musical Adaptations by Luther Henderson and  Directed by Richard Maltby, Jr. Experience musical history with