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West Valley Arts Brings The Music Of 'Fats' Waller To Life With AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'

The production is part of West Valley Arts' first full theatre season and includes a live jazz band and a cast of five exceptional performers.

West Valley Arts Brings The Music Of 'Fats' Waller To Life With AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'

West Valley Arts presents Ain't Misbehavin': The Fats Waller Musical Show, running from April 22 - May 15, 2021 at the West Valley Performing Arts Center (formerly Harman Theatre).

The production is part of West Valley Arts' first full theatre season and includes a live jazz band and a cast of five exceptional performers. "For my directorial debut, I could have only dreamed for these conditions: small cast, big voices, live band, jazz music and amazing people! This show may be more culturally different than anything the Salt Lake Valley has ever seen. How exciting!" expressed the show's director Oyoyo Bonner, a cast member of The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

Ain't Misbehavin' showcases the works of Thomas "Fats" Waller (1904-1943), an American jazz pianist, organist, composer, and singer. His modifications to the Harlem Stride Style laid the framework for modern jazz piano. He was a popular entertainer at the Cotton Club, sold songs on Tin Pan Alley and toured internationally. Ain't Misbehavin' is a musical revue with book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr. and music arranged and orchestrated by Luther Henderson. It is a tribute to Waller's music, and premiered on Broadway on May 9, 1978 at the Longacre Theatre. It ran for a total 1,604 performances, before closing February 21, 1982.

The cast of five consists of Brittany Andam as Armelia, Krispin Banks as Ken, Daysha Lassiter as Nell, Siamani Moananu as Andre, and Sibley Snowden as Charlaine. Four of the cast members are local, while Ms. Lassiter joins the team from Florida. The cast and production team are working diligently to share a glimpse of the joy, and at times the reality of the Black experience in America from the 1920-30s. As stated by Ms. Andam, "we are giving our audience the night they haven't been able to have. We are having it on stage and inviting them to be a part!"

In addition to Bonner's direction, WVA's production is choreographed by Michael Milkanin, a member of the touring company of Frozen, with music direction by Mark Johnson. Costume design is by Kelsey Nichols, set design by Rodney Elwood, sound design by Bryce Robinette, light design by Michael Gray, with direction and choreography assisted by Amanda Baugh, and production stage management by Sam Allen.

For patrons who would like to attend but are not comfortable sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, there is socially distanced seating available on the 8th row of the theatre. This is available both online and over the phone. Masks are required for all patrons while they are in the building. Concessions will not be available for purchase; however, complimentary water cups will be provided at intermission. Other safety measures include thermal temperature scanners upon entrance to the building and sanitation stations in the lobby and restrooms. "We want to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of the community, while providing an opportunity for them to experience live theatre once again," said Andrew Wallentine, West Valley Arts' executive producer.

Tickets are available online at www.wvcarts.org. Prices are $20 for adults and $15 for youth (ages 5-12). No children under the age of five will be allowed in the theatre. Performances will be held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 2:00 p.m. West Valley Performing Arts Center is located at 3333 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, Utah.

Season tickets are also available for the remaining three shows of the season, which includes Ain't Misbehavin', Footloose and Sweeney Todd. Prices are $54 for adults and $39 for youth (ages 5-12).




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