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Musical Revue Brings music of Fats Waller to Royal Oak

Stagecrafters presents “Ain’t Misbehavin'."

Bringing alive the songs of Fats Waller are Jair Alexander of Pontiac, Dez Walker of Royal Oak, Shondra Tipler of Detroit, Christiana Perrault of Southfield and Tanya Mason of Detroit.  Credit: Stagecrafters
Bringing alive the songs of Fats Waller are Jair Alexander of Pontiac, Dez Walker of Royal Oak, Shondra Tipler of Detroit, Christiana Perrault of Southfield and Tanya Mason of Detroit. Credit: Stagecrafters

Experience Stagecrafters’ upcoming production, Ain’t Misbehavin’ from the auditorium seats or on stage by the actors. This red hot musical revue, celebrating the wit and genius of Fats Waller, runs February 14 – March 2 at the Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette in downtown Royal Oak.  Call 248-541-6430 for tickets.

Director Sharlan Douglas of Royal Oak has transformed the Baldwin’s stage into a 1940s nightclub complete with an onstage band and tables-for-two designated specifically for audience members. Onstage patron seating will offer a unique perspective including a behind-the-scenes look of the technical aspect of the show. The $30 onstage ticket also include non-alcoholic beverages served during the show.

The original Broadway production was staged as a nightclub revue, however Stagecrafters mounts Ain’t Misbehavin’ as an after-hours jam session in a Detroit bar. Director Sharlan Douglas of Royal Oak hopes to bring awareness of Detroit’s musical reputation as a place to perform. “During the 1920s, we had more speakeasies (or, in our parlance, blind pigs) than any other city in America. Why? Because Canadian whisky was just across the river! Those many venues lingered after the end of prohibition and entertainers, both black and white, flocked here in the 30s and 40s,” said Douglas.

Thomas “Fats” Waller was one of the most popular musicians of his time. His music comes alive as five talented singers from Metro Detroit croon, belt and strut to an array of Waller’s classic songs such as “‘T Ain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness if I Do,” “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Each song, whether sultry or sassy, delivers a unique element to the revue and gives the audience a glimpse into the Golden Age when honky tonks and juke joints were popular.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ The Fats Waller Musical Show, with book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr., and various music composers and lyricists, is a musical revue tribute to the black musicians of the 1920s and ‘30s. The show opened in New York in February 1978. The original cast included Irene Cara, Nell Carter, André DeShields, Armelia McQueen and Ken Page. From there, the show moved to Broadway and opened on May 9, 1978, at the Longacre Theatre. The show garnered several awards including a Tony® Award for Best Musical.  It closed in February 1982 after 1,604 performances. There was a brief Broadway revival in 1988, then the show went on national tour in 1995.

Advance tickets for performances are $20 on Thursdays, $22 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tickets for onstage seating are $30 and available by phone reservations only. Space is limited for onstage seating. Patrons attending the opening night performance, February 14, are invited to a 7 pm pre-glow of complimentary light hors d’oeuvres and beverages hosted by Cork Wine Pub of Pleasant Ridge. Student, military and senior discounts are available for specific performances.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.stagecrafters.org (online handling fees apply) or by phone at 248-541-6430 using Visa or MasterCard. All seats are reserved.  If shows have not sold out, tickets can be purchased at the box office one hour prior to the performance for an additional $2 per ticket. The Baldwin Theatre is located at 415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak.

 

Show dates and times follow:

Friday, Feb. 14             8 p.m.              

Saturday, Feb. 15         8 p.m. 

Sunday, Feb. 16           2 p.m. 

Thursday, Feb. 20        8 p.m.            

Friday, Feb. 21             8 p.m. 

Saturday, Feb. 22         8 p.m. 

Sunday, Feb. 23           2 p.m. 

Thursday, Feb. 27        8 p.m.             

Friday, Feb. 28             8 p.m. 

Saturday, Mar. 1               8 p.m. 

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