Porchlight Music Theatre's AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' Opens Tonight

Porchlight Music Theatre's AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' Opens Tonight

Porchlight Music Theatre and Managing Artistic Director Michael Weber are proud to announce the Tony Award-winning Thomas "Fats" Waller' musical revue, Ain't Misbehavin', today, February 1 - March 9, 2014, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. This Black History Month presentation with book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr. and music by Thomas "Fats" Waller and various other composers and lyricists features direction and choreography by Brenda Didier and music direction by Jaret Landon.

Previews are Saturday, Feb.1, 2014 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 at 2 and 6 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/Press Night is Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. The regular run schedule is Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There is an added matinee performance Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $30 for previews and $39 for all other performances. Two show subscriptions and single tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by phone at Stage 773, 773.327.5252. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612 or grouptheatertix.com.

For more than three decades, Ain't Misbehavin' has made toes tap and fingers snap with its sometimes sassy, sometimes sultry and always unforgettable score. Its 30 irresistible songs, including "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Honeysuckle Rose," and "This Joint is Jumpin'," provide a peek into the golden age when the Cotton Club reigned during the height of the Harlem Renaissance and take the audience on a musical journey that reflects the emotions and experiences of African Americans in the early twentieth century.

The Ain't Misbehavin' cast features Robin DaSilva, Sharriese Hamilton, Donterrio Johnson, Lina Kernan-Wass and Lorenzo Rush, Jr., with understudies Nicole Michelle Haskins, Christopher Jackson, and Marjie Southerland. The Ain't Misbehavin' production team includes AaRon Shapiro, production manager; Bill Morey, costume designer; Nick Belley, lighting designer; Jeffrey Kmiec, scenic designer; Jenna Moran, sound designer; Kevin Barthel, wig designer and Jill Yetsky, stage manager.

ABOUT Thomas "Fats" Waller, composer: Thomas "Fats" Waller is one of the most celebrated artists in jazz history. He was a pianist, organist, composer, singer, bandleader and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to music of the early 20th century laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano. Waller, who made hundreds of recordings and toured internationally, was inducted into the Grammy© Hall of Fame posthumously, in 1984 and 1999.

ABOUT Murray Horwitz, book writer: Murray Horwitz was the founding director and CEO of the AFI Silver Theatre and Culture Center from 2002 until 2009. Previously, he created several programs while at National Public Radio including the Chicago-based Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me, Wynton Marsalis: Making the Music, and The NPR Basic Jazz Record Library. He also was the assistant director of Opera-Musical Theater at the National Endowment for the Arts and later served in fundraising positions at Washington National Opera and the Washington Performing Arts Society.

ABOUT Richard Maltby, Jr., book writer: Richard Maltby, Jr. has conceived and directed the only two musical revues to ever win the Tony Award for Best Musical: Ain't Misbehavin' and Fosse. He was director/co-lyricist for the American version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance starring Bernadette Peters. He was also co-lyricist for Miss Saigon and conceived and directed Ring Of Fire, The Johnny Cash Musical Show. Maltby is co-bookwriter/lyricist for The Pirate Queen and was most recently represented on Broadway as the director of the new, original musical The Story of My Life. That musical had a brief run at the Booth Theatre in February 2009 and received a 2009 Drama Desk Award nomination for outstanding production of a musical.

ABOUT BRENDA DIDER, director and choreographer: Brenda Didier is an award-winning choreographer/director based in Chicago and owns and directs the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance, now in its 14th successful season in a brand new 5000 square foot facility. Didier has received Joseph Jefferson Awards for both direction and choreography, After Dark Awards for choreography, the National Youth Theatre Award for choreography and the 2010 Broadway World Chicago Fan Favorite Award for choreography. Didier has collaborated with Porchlight Music Theatre on eight productions, most recently Pal Joey and Putting It Together, both productions for which she received Jeff Award nominations. She has served as a guest instructor and choreographer for Northwestern University, Columbia College, the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Carthage College. Didier has choreographed musicals, industrials, special events as well as productions for Second City's mainstage and five installments of Cirque Shanghai at Navy Pier's Skyline Stage the summers of 2007-2012.

ABOUT Jaret Landon, music director: Jaret Landon, composer, arranger, vocalist, pianist and educator, received a Jeff Award-nomination for his music direction of Porchlight's critically acclaimed, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. He has Bachelor and Master degrees in both Music Performance and Music Education and has composed and arranged scores for various independent films, musicals and recorded albums. He is employed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and serves as the music director at Pullman Christian Reformed Church. Landon is resident music director for Congo Square Theatre's production of The Nativity, by McKinley Johnson for which he composed and arranged the music. In 2009, Landon received the BTAA Duke Ellington Award for "Best Musical Direction" for Sanctified by Javon Johnson and he has had the opportunity to play for nationally known recording artists, including Faith Evans and five-time Grammy-nominated artist, LEDISI. Currently he is writing and producing music for Pauletta Washington, wife of actor Denzel Washington, and is composing a new orchestral work entitled Fortitude.

ABOUT Porchlight Music Theatre: Porchlight Music Theatre, currently celebrating its 19th season, is nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theatre's noted veterans and rising stars. Porchlight elevates the genre in Chicago by providing intimate and powerful experiences and opportunities for growing, diverse audiences. With the vision of Managing Artistic Director Michael Weber, Porchlight builds on its role as Chicago's leading music theatre producer. Porchlight's rich history includes the staging of more than 50 productions with 12 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Through Porchlight's "Off the Porch" new works program, the musical of the next generation are developed and given a first audience. Most recently premiered through this process, BEST MUSICAL! A Completely Improvised Musical Comedy! enjoyed a smash engagement at The Second City's UP Comedy Club. The School at Porchlight is Chicago's new center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation. The company has received a total of 73 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 26 Jeff Awards, most recently garnering the 2013 Jeff Award for Best Production for their Chicago Premiere of A Class Act.

Porchlight Music Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning© Thomas "Fats" Waller's musical revue, Ain't Misbehavin', February 1 - March 9, 2014 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. This Black History month presentation with book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr. and music by Thomas "Fats" Waller and various other composers and lyricists is directed and choreographed by Brenda Didier and music directed by Jaret Landon. Previews are Saturday, Feb.1, 2014 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 at 2 and 6 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/Press Night is Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. The regular run schedule is Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There is an added matinee performance Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $30 for previews and $39 for all other performances. Two show subscriptions and single tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by phone at Stage 773, 773.327.5252. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612 or grouptheatertix.com.

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