PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE KITAIF ROWDY TRIBUTE – The cast of Ain’t Misbehavin’ celebrates the music of Fats Waller July 16-August 16. 8. Left to right, Tatiana C. Rivera, Adonus Mabry, Gabriel Hannans, Matti Endsley, Lauren Muller and Eduardo A. Rivera.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE KITAIF
ROWDY TRIBUT – The cast of Ain’t Misbehavin’ celebrates the music of Fats Waller from July 16 to August 16. 8. Left to right, Tatiana C. Rivera, Adonus Mabry, Gabriel Hannans, Matti Endsley, Lauren Muller and Eduardo A. Rivera.

BY AYỢ DEMPS
SPECIAL AT THE BEACON

We’re about to “start spreading the beat” at Athens Theater like Don’t misbehave take the stage from Friday July 16 to Sunday August 8.

Don’t misbehave is a rowdy and hilarious tribute to Fats Waller and the black swing and jazz musicians of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural revival of music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater and African-American politics that was centered in Harlem in the 1920s and ’30s. Manhattan nightclubs, for example, were filled with singers and pianists like Fats Waller playing new music.

Waller laid the foundations of modern jazz piano and Don’t misbehave includes the title number and “Honeysuckle Rose”, both Grammy Hall of Fame inductees. It also includes his very first published composition, “Squeeze Me”, among many others.

Under the inspired direction of Josian Moralesthese stomping, deviant and flashy numbers are brought to life with a massive live band and a cast of talented black performers from central florida, including familiar stage stealers Matti Endsley (The producers, The Wedding Singer) and Gabriel Hannans (sister act, The Lion King), and Adonus Mabry, Lauren Muller, Eduardo A. Rivera and Tatiana C. Rivera their debut in Athens!

The original Broadway cast included sitcom and stage star Nell Carter (who won a Tony for the role), Hadesvilleby André De Shields and Ken Page (oogie boogie, Nightmare Before Christmas, among other Broadway credits). It was so successful that NBC aired a show featuring the original cast, and Carter and De Shields both won Emmys. Now, Central Florida audiences will have the chance to see a cast that could rival the original!

Winner of the Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Revival of a Musical, Don’t misbehave (according to The New York Times) brings “zing and sparkle” to its audience. The show includes favorites such as “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do”, “The Joint Is Jumpin'”, “Black and Blue”, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” and “I can’t give you anything but love. Grab a ticket, sit down, and ‘join the chilling crowd’ Athens-style, ‘to drown all their worries away!’

Tickets are $31 for preferred reserved seating (rows AF); $26 for adults; $24 for seniors; $12 for students/children; and $22 per person for groups of eight or more. A processing fee of $3 per ticket will be added to each purchase.

The Historic Athens Theater at 124 N. Florida Ave. in downtown DeLand, has taken extensive precautions to ensure the safety of its patrons, staff, volunteers and cast.

To purchase tickets in advance or for more specific information on dates, times and security measures, visit the Athens Theater website at www.AthensDeLand.com. The box office is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and 1.5 hours before live performances. Call 386-736-1500.

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