De Shields, who was in the original Broadway cast of the hit Fats Waller Musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, now comes full circle as he directs and choreographs the production at Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The show runs from October 6 through 23.
The Ain’t Misbehavin’ cast features Tyrone Davis Jr. (André), Zurin Villanueava (Charlaine), Rheaume Crenshaw (Nell), Johmaalya Adelekan (Armelia), and Jacob Ming-Trent (Ken). Backed by a swinging live band, headed by J. Leonard Oxley as musical director and onstage pianist, the five performers will capture the era with such favorite hit songs as “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “Black and Blue,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “The Joint Is Jumpin’,” “Squeeze Me” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” The design team includes Burke Wilmore (Lighting/set design), Deborah Caney (Costume Design) and Joshua Reid (Sound Design).
A two-time Tony Award nominee, André De Shields, whose prolific career spans more than four decades, was a member of the original company of Ain’t Misbehavin’ which initially opened at the Manhattan Theatre Club’s cabaret in February, 1978. The reception was such that it was developed into a full scale musical which transferred to Broadway, opening in May, 1978 at the Longacre Theatre and instantly made history. In addition to receiving a Drama Desk Award nomination for creating the role of “André” in the original production, De Shields won an Emmy Award for his role in the NBC Television Special production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ which aired nationally in June, 1982.
The inimitable Thomas “Fats” Waller rose to international fame during the Golden Age of the Cotton Club, honky tonk dives along Lenox Avenue, rent parties, stride piano players and that jumpin’ new beat, Swing. Ain’t Misbehavin’ evokes the delightful humor and infectious energy of this American original as a versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs he made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
CROSSROADS THEATRE COMPANY
7 LIVINGSTON AVE., NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ
Based on an idea by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr.
Music by Thomas “Fats” Waller
Directed and Choreographed by André De Shields
Musical Director/Onstage Pianist – J. Leonard Oxley
Performances: Evenings: 8 p.m., October 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22.
Matinees: 3 p.m., October 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23.
School Matinee: 10 a.m., October 19
Press Night/Opening Night: Saturday October 8 at 8pm.
Tickets: $40 previews, $65 for opening night including a reception; $50 all others.
Purchase online at http://www.CrossroadsTheatreCompany.org or call 732-545-8100.
Ain’t Misbehavin’ Articles
Video: Interview with André De Shields, Director/Choreographer of Crossroads’ Ain’t Misbehavin’
Photos and Video: André De Shields Rehearses “Ain’t Misbehavin’” w/ Crossroads’ Ain’t Misbehavin’ Cast
Photos and Video: André De Shields Rehearses “The Joint is Jumpin’” with the cast of Crossroads’ Ain’t Misbehavin’
Video: André De Shields Rehearses “’T Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness” w/ Crossroads’ Ain’t Misbehavin’ Cast
broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash Crossroads Theatre Company’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ Begins Rehearsals
playbill.com: Crossroads’ Ain’t Misbehavin Casting Announced, Jacob Ming-Trent Among Fivesome
Tyrone Davis Jr., Zurin Villanueava, Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan and Jacob Ming-Trent Star in Crossroads Theatre Company’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, Helmed by Two-time Tony Award Nominee André De Shields
Theatermania: PHOTO FLASH: Andre De Shields and Cast of Ain’t Misbehavin’in Rehearsal