‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ Playing at Long Wharf Theatre

Posted on November 14, 2011 /Theater

By

The Long Wharf production of the jazz classic Ain’t Misbehavin’  is receiving major buzz. After 33 years, the play is still attracting audiences and is more popular than ever. Hence, many productions are popping up all around the country. The latest production is currently playing at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven (thru Nov 20).  The show is receiving rave reviews for it’s incredible cast, vibrant performances, and high-style staging.

'Aint Misbehavin' at Long Wharf Theatre

Come back in time with this Tony Award-winning musical to 1930s Harlem, the Golden Age of jazz palaces like the Cotton Club, the Savoy Ballroom and the honky tonk dives on Lenox Avenue, where pulsing swing music played all hours of the day. This funny, rowdy, yet startlingly beautiful musical brings to life the world of jazz great Fats Waller through songs like “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “The Joint is Jumpin’,” “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” and many other hits. Director Richard Maltby assembles his 1978 Tony Award-winning team to return the show to its original cabaret-style luster.

CAST BIOS:

Eugene Barry-Hill (Andre)Eugene Barry-Hill Mr. Barry-Hill is grateful to make his Long Wharf Theatre debut. Broadway: The Lion King(Mufasa). Off-Broadway: The Magdalene (Pilatus). National Tours: Miss Saigon (John),Ain’t Misbehavin’ w/ The Pointer Sisters (Andre), Jesus Christ Superstar (w/ Carl Anderson). Regional: Sckbstrd (world premiere Bruce Hornsby musical, Virginia Stage)Hello Dolly (Horace, Fulton Opera House), Ragtime (Coalhouse, San Diego CLO), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (30th Anniversary Edition, Ahmanson CTG, Los Angeles).Thanks to Arthur & Richard. Dedicated to Mom and Timothy.

 

Kecia Lewis-Evans

 

Kecia Lewis-Evans (Nell) Kecia is thrilled to be making her Long Wharf debut working with the original creatives of this iconic show. She was the standby to Nell Carter and Armelia McQueen in the 10th Anniversary Broadwaycompany of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at The Ambassador Theater. Broadway: Chicago (Mama Morton), The Drowsy Chaperone(Trix), Once on This Island (Asaka), The Gospel at Colonus, Big River (Alice) andDreamgirls (Effie White).Off-Broadway: Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nominee), Once on This Island, From the Mississippi Delta. Regional: Dreamgirls (Ovation Award winner)Polk County (Bay Area Outer Critics Circle Award winner), Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Shrek.  TV: Law and Order, Kate Brasher, Crossing Jordan, The Hughley’s. Favorite roles: Simon’s mommy, Twan’s wife. This one’s for you Nell…

Doug Eskew (Ken)Doug Eskew Mr. Eskew is happy to return to the Long Wharf Theatre. He appeared here in Golden Boyand The Barbarian Women (Writers Workshop). Broadway: Rev. Avery in The Color Purple, Big Moe in Five Guys Named Moe, Truly Blessed. Off Broadway: Thunder Knocking on the Door, Josephine Song. National Tours: The Color Purple, Cats, Dreamgirls, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Five Guys Named Moe (NAACP nomination and LA Ovation Award). Regional credits: Chasin Dem’ Blues, Ain’t Misbehavin (Helen Hayes nomination), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Polk County, Crowns, Golden Boy and Thunder Knocking on the Door (Helen Hayes nomination). Television credits: “One Life to Live,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show,” “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “The Tony Awards Show” (1992 & 2005).

Cynthia Thomas (Armelia)Cynthia Thomas Ms. Thomas is happy to have the opportunity to perform here at Long Wharf Theatre in her hometown. Cynthia grew up in New Haven and Bethany and attended The Educational Center for the Arts and graduated from Amity Sr. High School. National and European tours: Ain’t Misbehavin, starring the Pointer Sisters; and served as dance captain/understudy/Mr. Faria’s assistant on many. Casper: The Musical, starring Chita Rivera (Lanie), The Music Man (Ethel Toffelmeier). Regional: A Christmas Carol (Ghost of Christmas Present), Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle), WMKS Christmas 1942 (Audrey Newton), Memphis (Honeylovin), North Shore Music Theater; Show Boat (Queenie), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Jewel), South Pacific (Bloody Mary), Godspell (Joanne),Nunsense I, II & Nuncrackers (Sister Mary Hubert), You Can’t Take It With You (Rheba), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Jewel), Show Boat (Queenie), Once On This Island (Asaka),  Smokey Joe’s Café (BJ). FILM: Malcolm X, starring Denzel Washington (Spike Lee’s dance partner), among others. Many thanks to the creator for her many blessings. Thanks to my Mother, family, friends and to her mentor Arthur Faria for their love and support.

Deb Walton (Charlayne)Deb Walton Debra is thrilled to be renunited with the Ain’t Misbehavin’ family. In a recent production with the St. Louis Rep and Cincinnati Playhouse, she paid tribute to one of her childhood idols, Tina Turner, in Beehive! In The Pajama Game on Broadway Debra was seen singing and dancing with Harry Connick, Jr. Off Broadway she created her award winning roles inCookin’ At the Cookery: The Life and Times of Alberta Hunter, earning her a Drama Desk Nomination and a Barrymore Award. Honing her skills on tour and in the regions Debra has played a wide variety of roles, from Anita in West Side Story to Minnie Fae in Hello Dolly. Her national tours include, Annie Get Your Gun and Chicago, playing multiple roles including Mama Morton. Debra just produced, directed and starred in her biggest production to date. She married Shoun Hill! For more fun facts about Walton please check out www.debrawalton.com. 

.

‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ plays at Long Wharf Theatre , 222 Sargent Drive New Haven, CT 06511, through Nov. 20.

To buy tickets, call 203-787-4282 or visit the official site here.

(Photos: T. Charles Erickson, Long Wharf Theater)