Theatre Chat shares the opening of Ain't Misbehavin' at Lake Work Playhouse, playing now through February 2, 2014. Once again Florida's best community theatre, The Lake Worth Playhouse pulls out all the stops for their current production of Aint Misbehavin'. Starting with live pianist Karl Van Richards. Karl holds a Master Degree in Piano Performance from Lynn University and plays the show with ease.
Having a live band for any production of Ain't Misbehavin' is a must. Production companies sometimes try to pull off the iconic Fats Waller jazz musical with click tracks. Kudos to Lake Worth Playhouse, the live drums and piano make this a huge reason to purchase tickets to Ain't Misbehavin'. They cleverly add in click tracks only when needed, and that is very minimal.
The star vocals in this production of Ain't Misbehavin' come from Cerina Anderson (Nell). Cerina's voice has the same vibrant resonance of the late, great Nelle Carter, who we all remember winning her Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway production of Ain't Misbehavin'. Cerina will melt your hearts with the song "Mean to Me" and this is just one you will remember for a long time.
The two men are also very strong Gregory Johnson (Ken) and Michael Wallace (Andre). Gregory gets the beats in the style of this show, and period of time. Gregory's song "Your Feet's Too Big" is a big hit with the audience. Michael brings sex appeal singing "The Viper's Drag", although singing this song in a tank top is not quite the costume one will ever remember from a touring or Broadway production.
The weak link, if there is one to point out are the costumes, and the chosen dance shoes do not fit the era. Theatre Chat has seen productions that have the same issues trying to find costumes within small budgets. (A pre show curtain speech mentioned they were raising funds for just this type of issue, to bring better quality to the shows). Trying to blend budget with your need to fit the style and time period is not as easy as one may think. If a girls tan or black character dance shoe takes you away from Fats Waller's music, then you might as well be doing your grocery list during the show. This production of Ain't Misbehavin' should be one you support, so put away that grocery list, and back to the show.
Princess Victome (Armelia) sings all the right notes, while Rose Pascal (Charlaine) may have had a few pitch moments, but Pascal made it up in her solo. Director Nicole Lee should be applauded for pulling off a production of Ain't Misbehavin at a community theatre level, with almost a pitch perfect production. Musical Director Carl Barber Steele gets the harmonies out of this cast that are needed for the most compelling song like "Black and Blue". Set Desinger Cindi Taylor and Lighting Desinger Margret Carroll deserve nods for jobs well done.
Coreographer Deshon Allen keeps the pace of the show flowing by using some of the movement in the Broadway production, but should be commended for creating his own choreography. At times some of the cast may interpet his choreography to be more modern than that of the style or era, but overall the production has got to be one of the best coming from community theatre, meaning this is Ain't Misbehavin' is equivalent to a paid professional company.
Lake Worth Playhouse Artistic Director Jodi Dixon-Mears deserves a standing ovation for her choice of shows in the Florida community. She also gets a standing ovation for offering theatre at an affordable price. As social media ie facebook allowed Theatre Chat to post our presence at the playhouse, a young High School Student who I have seen before at live theatre asked me about the production, and came to Ain't Misbehavin' as the Lake Worth Playhouse offers a Student Rush prices right before show times. This is what theatre is about. If we want our youth to be inspired by the arts, we must make it affordable for them to enjoy shows, beinging introduced to Fats Waller's music and this wonderful production of Ain't Misbehavin' will be something this student remembers for eternity! I hope to add this young High Shcool theatre students review of Ain't Misbehavin' to this article in the near future...
Have some fun at Ain't Misbehavin' "This Joint is Jumpin'" you can spend all day "Lounging at the Waldorf" by "Spreading Rhythem Around" and this may help "Keepin Out of Mischief Now", but this musical takes "Cash For Your Trash" and "T'Aint Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do". You can "Squeeze Me" on your "Off Time". "Find Out What They Like" so grab those "Handful of Keys" jump in your car, listening to the "Yacht Club Swing" while "Lookin Good but Feelin'Bad". It's down right "Fat and Greasy" fun! Come be a "Honeysuckle Rose" doing a "Jitterbug Waltz" as the "Ladies Who Sing With the Band" may sing "I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling". "How Ya Baby"? That Aint Right! "When the Nylons Bloom Again" - "The Viper's Drag" proving once again "The Joint is Jumpin"! Ain't Misbehavin' A Theatre Chat top pick.
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