By Gene R. Dunaway
It opened April 25 at the Oak Ridge Playhouse and closes Sunday, May 11, and “Ain’t Misbehavin'” is a production to miss at your peril! A show of almost two hours of non-stop music, dance, and jive, I found myself struggling to remain seated and not jump up and join in the fun.
Go through the lobby doors, and you have time traveled back to Harlem during World War II. The smoky haze of a late-night club envelopes you. A lone piano player, Wendel Werner, is stroking the keys.
Presently, he is joined on stage by Alexis Tidwell, Lar’ Juanette Williams, Amy Coleman, Dann B. Black, and Tony Williams II. This ensemble, backed up by an intimate house band, explores the heights of a full-blown party to the depths of love gone wrong.
Along the way, we are treated to exceptional solos, duets, trios, quartets, and quintets. The dancing is contagious and choreographed by resident artistic director Reggie Law (a man of many talents).
The set, the lighting, the costumes, and the wigs all contribute to the atmosphere.
Don’t wait to get your tickets. If there ever was a reason to purchase tickets through the website, this show is it. Better to have tickets in “will call” than not having tickets because you waited to purchase in person or over the phone only to discover there are no more seats available at any performance.
Seeing Wendel Werner play the piano nonstop without music in front of him is worth the price of admission!
Parents: Be forewarned. Children under the age of three are never permitted to attend a Playhouse production. Children from age three through say age 12 may wish to stay at home. Otherwise the parents/guardians will have a lot of explaining to do to their youngsters. This show, while more exciting than the Broadway revival, does have ADULT content.
See the Oak Ridge Playhouse website for more information.