AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' -- You'll Be Snapping Your Fingers
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
BOB: You won’t be disappointed with the production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ the Fats Waller musical at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theater.
KAREN: We love the music of Fats Waller and in this show there are nearly 30 songs either written by Fats or made famous by him.
BOB: You will recognize them all -- your favorites are bound to be included – from “Your Feets Too Big” to “It’s a sin to tell a lie” -- to “The joint is jumpin”
KAREN: Richard Maltby, Jr. who is the director of this production was one of the creators and the director of the original Tony award winning Broadway production in 1978. He’s brought with him to New Haven his entire original production team including choreographer, musical director, sets, costume and lighting designers.
BOB: While the original team is here -- they have not just reproduced the original staging.
KAREN: The five person cast have all performed the show in other venues and their experience shows. Yet they still bring a joy and freshness to their performances.
BOB: What makes Ain’t Misbehavin’ s exciting and interesting is the arrangement of the numbers -- a nice mixture of jazzy, up-tempo numbers followed by slower tempo; comic numbers interspersed with serious numbers.
KAREN: Overall the cast is excellent, but whether it was the sound system or the voices, some of the performers seemed shrill
BOB: You will particularly like, the duet between Cynthia Thomas and Keisha Lewis-Evan of the rather racy 1929 “Find out what they like” and the end of the first act is a smash with “The Joint is Jumpin’” a 1938 number that is based on the idea of the rent parties.
KAREN: I liked” Lounging at the Waldorf” and the terrific vocal arrangement on the melancholy “Black and Blue.”
BOB: For some reason, I didn’t find this the best production of this show that I’ve ever seen
KAREN: I agree but you will certainly leave the theater humming your favorite tunes and with a smile on your face/
BOB: It’s at Long Wharf Theater through Nov. 20.
This review ran on WNHU 88.7 FM and www.wnhu.net through Nov. 20.