Kuntu Concludes Season With Ain’t Misbehavin’ May 15-31

Issue Date: 
May 12, 2008

Pitt’s Kuntu Repertory Theatre presents Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical Show from May 15 to 31 in the 7th-floor Auditorium of Alumni Hall. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 4 p.m. There also will be an 11 a.m. matinee on May 22 and a 1 p.m. performance May 24.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ pays tribute to the Black musicians of the 1920s and ’30s who were part of the Harlem Renaissance. Five performers present an evening of rowdy, raunchy, and humorous songs that encapsulate the moods of the era and reflect pianist Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller’s view of life as a journey meant for pleasure and play. The score includes such classics as “‘T Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do,” “The Joint Is Jumpin’,” “When the Nylons Bloom Again,” “Your Feet’s Too Big,” “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.”

Debuting in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s East 73rd Street Cabaret in 1978, Ain’t Misbehavin’ went on to receive Tony awards for Best Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, and Best Direction of a Musical. Its 1979 London production won the Laurence Olivier Award for Musical of the Year, and a 1982 NBC broadcast version won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Nell Carter and André DeShields’ performances.

The production will be directed and choreographed by Timothy Ware, who directed Jelly’s Last Jam in a 2005 Kuntu production. He also has performed in the national tour of Broadway’s Jesus Christ Superstar; his directing credits include A Taste of Chocolate, Shockwave, Dutchman, and Shout: And the Word Was Made Flesh. In 2002, Ware cofounded the Eclectic Dance Company at Alabama State University. The cast of Ain’t Misbehavin’ includes Tasha Michelle, Les Howard, Stevie Akers, Delana Flowers, and Tony Dixon.

The revue will mark the end of the 33rd season for Kuntu Repertory Theatre, the oldest and largest continuing African American performing arts organization in Pittsburgh and the second-oldest theater company affiliated with a major research university.

General admission tickets are $20, with discounts available for students, seniors, and groups. For more information, contact Kuntu Repertory Theatre at 412-624-7298 or visit www.kuntu.org/aint.php.