Tony-Winner AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ Launches The Encore’s Season 14
The Encore’s first offering of Season 14 bursts onto The Maas stage September 15 – October 2. AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ will feature direction and choreography by “The Mayor of Broadway” GERRY MCINTYRE, whose energetic choreography was last seen at The Encore in the Season 13 opener, Smokey Joe’s Café. Not only an accomplished director and choreographer, McIntyre’s Broadway performance credits include Anything Goes with PATTI LUPONE, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with DONNY OSMOND, and the original company of Once on this Island.
A sassy, sultry musical celebration of legendary jazz great, FATS WALLER, Ain’t Misbehavin’ is one of the most popular, well-crafted revues of all time, and the winner of the 1978 Tony Award for Best Musical. It takes place in a time when Manhattan nightclubs such as the Cotton Club were the playgrounds of high society and Harlem dives were filled with piano players banging out the new beat known as swing. Five performers present an evening of rowdy, raunchy, and humorous songs that encapsulate the various moods of the era and reflect Waller's view of life as a journey meant for pleasure and play.
Taking the stage in this crowd-pleasing production are Encore mainstays ARIELLE CROSBY and CHRIS JOSEPH. Crosby, a Detroit native who has been taking the country by storm, was last seen at The Encore blowing audiences away in the Tribute: Diana Ross and the Supremes concert. Joseph, who hails from Ann Arbor, most recently thrilled Encore audiences with his performance in the Tribute: Stevie Wonder
concert as well as last season’s hit, Smokey Joe’s Café; Chris can also be heard singing in the popular, local band “Accidentally Hip.” Encore newcomer ELIZABETH ANN GRAY, an educator and assistant professor of Musical Theatre at University of Michigan, has performed in theatres and opera houses across the country, collaborating with notable artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Maestro Riccardo Multi, Grammy-nominated composer Anna Clyne and flutist Matthieu Dufour. Indiana native, DANTÉ MURRAY (The Color Purple, Sister Act, Memphis) who recently performed at the opening of the Palladium Center for Performing Arts under the direction of Michael Feinstein, also makes his Encore debut. Rounding out the cast is another Encore newcomer, actor/singer TAMMIE HARRIS (The Wiz, The Little Mermaid, Chicago, Dreamgirls), who hails from Kentucky.
Playing alongside this stellar cast is a group of world-class jazz musicians assembled for The Encore by jazz saxophonist, ALEX HARDING, made possible by a grant from the Arts and Culture Committee of the ANN ARBOR COMMUNITY FOUNDATION. Encore mainstay, R. MACKENZIE LEWIS, serves as music director. The production is generously sponsored by Dexter resident and enthusiastic Encore supporter, JAN LYONS.
THE ENCORE MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY is a non-profit, professional theatre located in the heart of southeast Michigan. It was founded 15 years ago by Broadway performer, DAN COONEY and Chelsea, MI residents ANNE and PAUL KOCH, in an effort to fill the void of quality, professional musical productions in the Ann Arbor area. Encore productions have been critically acclaimed as “the next best thing to Broadway” — as evidenced by the many Broadway performers, directors and choreographers who have brought their talents to The Encore stage, as well as numerous young performers who have gone on to Broadway careers of their own.
Tickets for Ain’t Misbehavin’ are on sale now and can be purchased at theencoretheatre.org, through the box office (no fee) by calling 734-268-6200, or in-person at The Encore Musical Theatre Company, 7714 Ann Arbor Street, Dexter MI 48130. Box office hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10AM – 2PM.