CSU to Stage Aint Misbehavin June 2-4

Columbus State Universitys Schwob School of Music will stage Aint Misbehavin, the Tony Award-winning, Fats Waller musical revue, Friday through Sunday, June 2-4 in the RiverCenters Studio Theatre. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday.

We are doing the entire show, said stage director and choreographer Brenda May Ito, referring to 29 song performances in a two-act revue by an ensemble of CSU voice majors. The program features such favorites as Im Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter, Honeysuckle Rose, Lounging At The Waldorf and How Ya Baby.

According to Music Theatre International, Aint Misbehavin is one of the most popular, well-crafted revues of all time sometimes sassy, sometimes sultry, with moments of devastating beauty.

ErikaThe songs, either composed or covered by Waller, recall 1920s and 30s Harlem and represent a renewed interest in music of the Swing Era in the U.S., said CSU music professor Joseph Golden, the productions artistic director. The students have really taken to this highly specialized style, he said.

Aint Misbehavin also marks the first full-scale production to emanate from Goldens May-session opera/musical theater course. The current class comprises the performance ensemble: Carrie Beth Barnett, Becky Chambers, Preston Hicks, Hannah Massie, Erika Meder, Nikki Pockrus, Gwendolyn Reid, Michael Sumuel and Jeremy Williams.

Golden said the students intensive, three-week preparation was planned during his opera workshop courses this past year. It is particularly gratifying to see our young students go through two semesters of basic training and be able to put their skills to use immediately.

Golden cited Ito, a CSU theatre professor, for injecting insightful dance training in the show. There is currently no room for dance training in our students curriculum, so the skills that professor Ito teaches them for this show are the bulk of their experience with movement. It is invaluable, and she is an excellent, creative, imaginative and patient teacher, Golden said.

Golden also cited the productions assistant director, music professor Deborah Jacobs, for great work in the musical preparation department, and polishing the large ensemble numbers.

The crew is rounded out by theatre department costume shop manager Kim Garcia (costume designer), theatre major Kristen Metcalfe (stage manager), music major Mark Dermer (assistant stage manager) and RiverCenter staff member Kevin Newton (lighting designer).

Though unusual for CSU to stage a production outside the fall or spring semesters, Golden said the timing is ideal, particularly for local performing arts enthusiasts. The time slot is after most of our local performance venues have closed their seasons and before any sort of summer season has begun.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, with discounts for seniors and military personnel. For tickets, call the RiverCenter Box Office at 706-256-3612. For more information on the production, call 706-649-7225.