Ain't' Misbehavin' celebrates the genius of Fats Waller and his rowdy tunes that captured the anything-goes energy of the roaring 1920s. It's a little bit jazz, a little bit swing, a little bit blues, with the infectious high spirits and the cheeky humor of classic Waller hits such as "Loungin' at the Waldorf" and "I Can't Give You Anything but Love."
Waller started out as a teen, playing the organ for silent movies, but his talent for catchy melodies and sly banter made him a favorite performer at rent parties and speakeasies. He quickly became known as a gifted composer who could turn out Tin Pan Alley tunes for any performer and any occasion. At 24, he was composing and performing the all-black musical revues featured at Harlem hotspots, among them Connie's Inn and the iconic Cotton Club.
Ain't Misbehavin' was introduced at Connie's in a revue, Hot Chocolates, that became the first show on Broadway with an all-black cast. Though he went on to make hundreds of recordings, tour Europe and play Carnegie Hall, Waller's fame endures as the voice of Jazz Age, the life of the party, raucous, witty, elegant.
Houston Community College Central Drama's production, written by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr., is directed by Kathleen Knight.