‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ – INTERNATIONAL CITY THEATRE – Press Release

 International City Theatre closes its 2012 season with Ain’t Misbehavin
 

*IN T E R N A T I O N A L C I T Y T H E A T R E*
*NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
Press Contact: Lucy Pollak
lucy@lucypr.com <mailto:lucy@lucypr.com>             (818) 887-1499       (for media only)





*/The joint is jumpin’…/*
*travel back in time with*
*Ain’t Misbehavin’ at ICT*

Long Beach, Calif – September 18, 2012 – The joint will be jumpin’ when
International City Theatre closes its 2012 season with */Ain’t
Misbehavin/*/’,/ the Tony Award-winning musical revue based on the life
of Thomas “Fats” Waller. *Saundra McClain *directs *Phillip Brandon
*(national tour: /The Color Purple)/, *Niketa* *Calame *(Celebration
Theatre’s /The Color Purple/), *Amber Mercomes *(San Francisco and Los
Angeles Opera productions of /Porgy and Bess/), *Lacy Darryl Phillips
*(Broadway: /Fosse/ and A /Raisin in the Sun)/ and *Jennifer Shelton*
(first national tour of /Ragtime/;//previously seen on the ICT stage in
/Songs for a New World/, /Five Course Love/, /The Story/, /Honk! /and
/Swinging on a Star/), with musical direction by *Rahn Coleman* and
choreography by *Stephen Semien*. Performances take place*October 12
through November 4* at *International City Theatre* in the Long Beach
Performing Arts Center, with low-priced previews beginning October 9.

Step back to the Golden Age of Jazz, when places like the Cotton Club
and the Savoy Ballroom were havens for snappy swing music and snazzy
jazz, and the stride piano infused the soulful energy of a generation.
Taking its title from the 1929 Waller song, /Ain’t Misbehavin' /is a
lively tribute to the black musicians of the Harlem Renaissance,
featuring 30 finger-snapping, toe-tapping numbers including “Honeysuckle
Rose,” “Squeeze Me,” “Handful of Keys,” “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie” and
“The Joint is Jumpin’.”

“I want the audience to not only finger-snap and toe-tap along—but to be
transported back in time, before hip-hop, through the bebop era and into
the Harlem Renaissance, which was one of the most astonishing explosions
of theatrical creativity in modern American history,” says McClain. “I
hope those who have seen other productions will be pleasantly surprised
by our fresh approach and by the energy and passion of this version. I
see /Ain’t Misbehavin’/ as a timeless classic, not a museum piece, and I
want to make it not only entertaining, but innovative and relevant for
today’s audience.”

Conceived by *Richard Maltby*, *Jr*. and *Murray Horwitz*, /Ain't
Misbehavin’/ premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 1978 to critical
and popular acclaim. It soon transferred to Broadway where it ran for
four years, garnering three Tony and three Drama Desk Awards and
launching the careers of original cast members Nell Carter, André
DeShields, Armelia McQueen, Ken Page and Charlayne Woodard. The show
found its inspiration when Murray Horwitz invited Richard Maltby, Jr.,
to his apartment to listen to some rare Fats Waller recordings.
According to Maltby, it was the wit in the piano that convinced him that
Waller’s musical repertoire and personality could live on stage.

Set design for the ICT production of /Ain’t Misbehavin’/ is by *John
Iacovelli*; lighting design is by *Ben Pilat*; sound design is by *Paul
Fabre*; costume design is by *Kim* *DeShazo*; props are by *Patty
Briles*; hair and wig design is by *Anthony Gagliardi*; casting is by
*Michael Donovan*; production stage manager is *Pat Loeb*; and *caryn
desai* [sic] produces.

Thomas “Fats” Waller (1904-1943) was born in New York City, the youngest
of four children and the son of a reverend. By age six he began playing
the piano and by the age of fourteen performed on the organ at Harlem’s
Lincoln Theater. By 18, two of his piano solos were recorded. In 1918 he
won a talent contest playing Johnson's “Carolina Shout,” a song he
learned by watching another pianist and performing solely by memory.
Waller was one of the most popular performers of his era, finding
critical and commercial success in his homeland and in Europe. He was
also a prolific songwriter and composed many novelty swing tunes in the
1920s and ‘30s, but sold them for relatively small sums. When the
compositions became hits, other songwriters claimed them as their own.
Alternatively, many standards that he performed are sometimes
controversially attributed to Waller. He died of pneumonia on a cross
country train trip in Kansas City, MO on his way to Hollywood having
made what would be his final recording in Detroit.

Saundra McClain received rave reviews for her direction of /The
Fantasticks/ and /In the Continuum/ at Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa
Barbara. Her production of /Ain’t MisBehavin’/ at Bridgeport’s Playhouse
on the Green won the Connecticut Drama Critics Circle Award for Best
Ensemble, and she was asked to restage it for Two River Theater Company
(NJ), where she also directed /Spunk. /As adjunct professor at Queens
College, she directed Sophocles' /Electra/ and also created and taught
the Black Theater Workshop. She has directed /Death of a
Salesman/;/Antigone/;/To Be Young, Gifted and Black/; and /The Women of
the Plums /(Kennedy Center's Youth and Family Programs), /Dark of the
Moon/; /Hello Out There/; /Don’t See My Bones and Think I’m Dead/ (Henry
Street Settlement), /A Modest Proposal /(UBU Rep), /Harriet’s Return/, a
one woman show, and /Of Ebony Embers—Vignettes of the Harlem
Renaissance, /a one man show with chamber orchestra (Cherry Lane
Theatre), both of which toured nationally for five years. Ms. McClain
was artistic director of TROUPE NY, which adapted classic works for the
schools and developed new works with emerging playwrights and directors.
She is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio, an ensemble member of The
Antaeus Company, and Artist-in-Residence at Ensemble Theatre Company of
Santa Barbara where she will direct /Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de
Lune/ later this season.

Richard Maltby, Jr. is an American theater director and producer,
lyricist and screenwriter. He has conceived and directed the only two
musical revues to ever win the Tony Award for Best Musical: /Ain't
Misbehavin'/ (1978: Tony, N.Y. Drama Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk
Awards, also Tony Award for Best Director) and /Fosse/ (1999: Tony,
Outer Critics, Drama Desk Awards). He received a 2009 Drama Desk Award
nomination as director of /The Story of My Life /for “Outstanding
Production of a Musical.”

Murray Horwitz’s other theatrical credits include co-writing and
directing /Haarlem Nocturne/ and /Sole Sisters/. He wrote /RFK: Journey
to Justice/, which was recorded for public radio by L.A. Theatre Works
and toured nationally, and the popular song lyrics for John Harbison's
/The Great Gatsby/, which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera. At
National Public Radio (NPR), he was Vice President of Cultural
Programming for four years and, before that, NPR's Director of Jazz,
Classical Music and Entertainment Programming. Horwitz originated NPR’s
hit comedy quiz, “Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!” and is the recipient of
the National Medal of Arts and three Peabody Awards.

International City Theatre is Long Beach’s Resident Professional Theater
at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center and the recipient of the
Margaret Harford Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for
“Sustained Excellence in Theater.”

/Ain’ Misbehavin’ /will run *Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays *@*8 pm and
Sundays* @*2 pm, October 12 through November 4*. Tickets are *$37 *on
Thursdays and *$44 *on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, except opening
night which is *$55* and includes a reception with the actors following
the performance. Preview performances take place on Tuesday, October 9;
Wednesday, October 10; and Thursday, October 11 @ 8 pm. Preview tickets
are *$29*.

*International City Theatre* is located in the *Long Beach Performing
Arts Center* at *300 E. Ocean Boulevard* in *Long Beach*. For
reservations and information, call the ICT Box Office at *(562)
436-4610* or go to www.InternationalCityTheatre.org
<http://www.internationalcitytheatre.org/>.

*Details for Calendar Listings*
*Ain’t Misbehavin’*

*WHAT:
/Ain’/* */Misbehavin’/* - The joint is jumpin’ in this Tony
Award-winning musical revue based on the life of Thomas “Fats” Waller.
Step back to the Golden Age of Jazz, when places like the Cotton Club
and the Savoy Ballroom were havens for snappy swing music and snazzy
jazz, and the stride piano infused the soulful energy of a generation.
Taking its title from the 1929 Waller song, /Ain’t Misbehavin’/ is a
lively tribute to the black musicians of the Harlem Renaissance,
featuring 30 finger-snapping, toe-tapping numbers including “Honeysuckle
Rose,” “Squeeze Me,” “Handful of Keys,” “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie” and
“The Joint is Jumpin’.”

*WHO:*
Based on the life and music of *Thomas* “*Fats*” *Waller*
Conceived by *Richard Maltby*, *Jr*. and *Murray Horwitz*
Directed by*Saundra McClain*
Musical Direction by *Rahn Coleman*
Choreography by *Stephen Semien*
Starring *Phillip Brandon*, *Niketa* *Calame*, *Amber Mercomes*, *Lacy
Darryl Phillips* and *Jennifer Shelton*
Produced by *caryn desai* [sic] for International City Theatre

*WHEN:*
Previews: October 9, 10 & 11 at 8 pm
Performances: *October 12 through November 4*
*Tuesday *at*8pm*: October 9 only (preview)
*Wednesday *at*8pm*: October 10 only (preview)
*Thursdays at 8 pm*: October 11 (preview), 18, 25, November 1
*Fridays at 8 pm*: October 12 (Opening Night), 19, 26, November 2
*Saturdays at 8 pm*: October 13, 20, 27, November 3
*Sundays at 2 pm*: October 14, 21, 28, November 4

*WHERE:*
INTERNATIONAL CITY THEATRE
Long Beach Performing Arts Center
300 East Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach CA 90802

*HOW:*
            (562) 436-4610       or www.ictlongbeach.org <http://www.ictlongbeach.org/>

*TICKETS:*
Opening Night: *$55* (includes reception following the performance)
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: *$44*
Thursday: *$37*
Previews: *$29*

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