Theater review: Cast, band Ain't Misbehavin'
“Ain't Misbehavin'? Yeah, right.
Actually, there's plenty of misbehavin' going on in Cape Fear Regional Theatre's production of the Fats Waller revue. Fortunately, it's all the good kind.
As directed by Gary John La Rosa, Ain't Misbehavin' is a nearly nonstop party, two hours of music and fun delivered by a very talented cast and band.
The show consists of more than two dozen songs either written or made famous by Waller, a composer and performer whose exuberant jazz and piano playing was an important part of the Harlem Renaissance cultural movement that began in the 1920s.
It's all music – there's no story, and that's no problem.
La Rosa, a New York director who also headed up last year's excellent production of Fiddler on the Roof, has assembled a cast as vocally talented as any featured on the Cape Fear Regional Theatre stage in recent memory…”
“It's hard to single out any one actor or musician for praise, because all the performances were exemplary.”
“At a Sunday matinee, things got off to a rousing start with the title song and the show never lost steam…”
“But as I said, it's hard to pick out individual performances with an ensemble this strong. Even the solo numbers benefited from strong vocal support from the rest of the cast.”
“…Those elements were an appropriate backdrop for Waller's wild and witty songs, delivered flawlessly by a talented cast.”
Ain’t Misbehavin’ Had the Whole Theatre Doing Just That
“Sunday afternoon matinees at the Cape Fear Regional Theatre are usually fairly sedate. The audience, usually filled with those over the age 60, claps politely, laughs politely and exits politely. That was not the case for the performance of Ain’t Misbehavin’ that I took in on Sunday.
The crowd, and yes, there was a crowd, filled the theatre. Prior to the show’s beginning, they chatted and laughed. It was an animated bunch that came out to enjoy great music and have a good time. People were discussing the music, the play, the theatre. The energy in the lobby was high and the performance on stage only took it higher.”
“Kudos for bringing such an amazing talent to the CFRT show.”
“…the audience was clapping, and hold on to your hats, singing along.”
“If you see one show this year at the CFRT, make it Ain’t Misbehavin’, you’ll never have as much fun being bad, as you will at this performance.”