Photo Flash: First Look at Delaware Theatre Company's AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', Directed By Richard Maltby, Jr.
Delaware Theatre Company's production of AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', conceived by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Murray Horwitz, opened this past weekend. The production is directed by original Broadway director and co-creator Richard Maltby, Jr. and features his own handpicked cast alongside the original designs from the 1978 Tony Award-winning production. Scroll down for some pictures from the show!
The Harlem Renaissance was a period of burgeoning creativity, cultural awareness and pride. It was also the Golden Age for venues like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom; a time when the dives along Lenox Avenue were ablaze from stride piano players banging out the new beat, swing. One of the most prolific musicians of the time and an originator of swing music was Thomas "Fats" Waller, a formidable composer and pianist with a legendary lust for life. "Ain't Misbehavin'" was one of his most popular recordings, originally heard on Broadway in 1930. The stage version of AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' is a vibrant musical revue and tribute to the black musicians of the early 1900's. Bold, bright and told with the cheeky humor for which "Fats" Waller was known, AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' is sure to bring the house down.
Conceived and originally directed by Maltby, Jr., AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' was based on an idea by Maltby, Jr. and Murray Horwitz. The original 1978 Broadway production made a star out of its leading lady, the late Nell Carter, and featured such "Fats" Waller tunes as "Mean to Me," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Black and Blue" and the title tune. The musical won four Tony Awards including: Best Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Carter) and Best Direction of a Musical (Maltby, Jr.). On Maltby, Executive Director Bud Martin says: "Richard is such a wonderful person and director and I am thrilled to have him here at Delaware Theatre Company as we close our 35th season".
Richard Maltby, Jr. has had an illustrious Broadway career which includes: AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' (Co-creator and Director: Tony, N.Y. Drama Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk Awards -- also Tony Award for Best Director), FOSSE (1999: Tony, Outer Critics, Drama Desk Awards); as well as RING OF FIRE, (2006). With composer David Shire, Maltby also directed BABY, (1983, seven Tony nominations); and was the lyricist for BIG, (1996, Tony nomination: Best Score). Mr. Maltby also directed the 2008 Broadway production of THE STORY OF MY LIFE; a musical that DTC's audiences recently saw in December of 2013 with Broadway actor Rob McClure and Philadelphia native Ben Dibble.
"I was honored to direct a national tour of Richard's STARTING HERE, STARTING NOW in 1979 - which started at theWalnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA," says Martin, "and we reunited in 2008 when I co-produced THE STORY OF MY LIFE on Broadway".
Delaware Theatre Company's production of AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' stars five veteran Broadway actors and actresses, two of which have been to DTC in the past. Doug Eskew, who has performed in AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' both regionally and on the national tours, was last seen in DTC's production of CROWNS in 2012. Debra Walton, who was last seen by DTC audiences in the then Off-Broadway bound production of COOKIN' at the COOKERY, has also been seen on Broadway in THE PAJAMA GAME and the national tour of SOUTH PACIFIC. The cast also includes Eugene Fleming (Broadway's FOSSE, SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, KISS ME, KATE), Cynthia Thomas (Regionally: AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', CASPER: THE MUSICAL w/ Chita Rivera, and THE MUSIC MAN), and Kecia Lewis (Broadway's CHICAGO, SHREK, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, DREAMGIRLS, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, AIN'T MISBEHAVIN').
AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' is running at the Delaware Theatre Company now through April 27, 2014. Single tickets range from $40 to $50 and are on sale now by calling the Delaware Theatre Company Box Office at (302) 594-1100, online at delawaretheatre.org, or by visiting the Box Office at 200 Water Street, Wilmington DE, 19801. Group rates and discounts for seniors, students, and military members are available.
Stage and Orchestra for AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'
Richard Maltby, Jr.
Doug Eskew and Company