“Ain’t Misbehavin’” is a joyous celebration of American musical genius. Not only does it spotlight the legendary life and works of pianist and songwriter Fats Waller, it also encompasses the creative explosion that was the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s. Originally staged in New York City in 1978, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” went on to win three Tony awards that year, launching the career of Nell Carter and re-introducing to a new generation classic tunes including “Ain’t Misbehavin’,”
This non-equity production is directed and choreographed by BAC’s new artistic director Shellee Frazee. “What makes Ain’t Misbehavin’ such a great show and such a natural fit for us,” she says, “is that it offers a look at history while at the same time speaking to everyone. This musical production has deep roots in our country’s cultural life, and it’s also a lot of fun.” Frazee says one challenge of producing this revue is establishing compelling characters purely through songs and lyrics, with almost no spoken dialogue. “Luckily,”
The cast features returning players Frederick Harris (Barrel of Monkeys, Raven Theatre, Emerald City Children’s Theatre, BAC Professional Theater) and Chicago singer-songwriter Michael Mejia (BAC Professional Theater). Harris is a music instructor, theater instructor and frequent director at BAC. Mejia is also a music and theater instructor at BAC.
All three female leads will make their BAC debut: Tiffany Yvonne Cox (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Goodman Theatre, NBC-TV’s “Chicago Fire”), LaRen Vernea (MPAACT/Goodman Theatre, City Lit Theater Company), and Chicago jazz/blues/gospel singer and Black Ensemble member Latrice Ford.
Frazee meticulously researched and designed the dazzling period-appropriate choreography, accented by colorful and elegant costumes by Jana Anderson (Roosevelt University, multiple BAC productions)
Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14; 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 15. Tickets are $20 for BAC members and $22 for non-members, and can be purchased at the BAC box office or online at beverlyartcenter.org.
About Beverly Arts Center
Beverly Arts Center is a not-for-profit organization focused on serving southwest metro Chicago with programs in dance, visual arts, music, film and theater since 1968. Its 40,000-square-
For more information, please call 773-445-3838 or visit beverlyartcenter.org.