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Lake Michigan College Performing Arts Department to Present Fats Waller Musical Review Ain’t Misbehavin’

March 22, 2013

BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – The Lake Michigan College Performing Arts Department will present the musical revue Ain’t Misbehavin’ in the Hanson Theatre of the LMC Mendel Center for Arts & Technology April 11 - 13, 2013.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ is named after the song by Thomas “Fats” Waller and the production was conceived by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr. The Broadway musical opened in 1978 at Longacre Theatre with original cast members Nell Carter, André DeShields, Armelia McQueen, Ken Page, and Charlayne Woodard. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Drama Desk Outstanding Musical award that same year. It is a revue expanding beyond its form to become a renewal of a great black artist’s soul. Though almost deprived of dialogue, the key to its success is its ability to let Waller’s music speak for its self, transporting the audience to a time of swing music, Harlem nightclubs, and cultural pride.

Thomas “Fats” Waller rose to international fame during the Golden Age of the Harlem Renaissance, an era of growing creativity, cultural awareness, and ethnic pride. It was during this time that the Cotton Club and honky tonk bars were filled with jazz piano players banging out a jumpin’ new beat known as Swing. 

Ain’t Misbehavin’ evokes the humor and infectious energy of the era as the cast struts, strums, and sings the songs Waller made famous in a too short career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Although it is not autobiographical, it is a tribute to black musicians of the 1920s and ‘30s and reflects the mood of the era and Waller’s view that life should be a journey meant for pleasure and play; sultry with a little bit of sass and unforgettably beautiful.

The cast includes Ryan Bassett (Dowagiac), Scott Burnett (St. Joseph), Michael Glowacki (St. Joseph), Kuanus Harnett (Benton Harbor), Cindy Lupiya (St. Joseph), Corwin Moore (Lawton), Shana Rosebud (Benton Harbor), and a host of talented LMC students. They will be augmented with members of Voices LMC, under the direction of Dan Hendrickson and accompanied by the LMC jazz band, under the direction of Christopher Keech.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-1221. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Performance times are 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday with a 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday. One hour prior to each show time there will be a food and beverage mixer for $9. If you would like to purchase both a mixer and a show ticket, the price is $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. For groups of 20 or more please call the Mendel Center Box Office.

The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center for Arts and Technology is located on the Napier Avenue campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI. For more information, please contact theater director, Dr. Calvin McClinton at (269) 927-8627 or the Performing Arts Department at (269) 927-8876.

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