The Joint Is Jumpin’ at Broadway Rose Theatre

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Broadway Rose Theatre Company presents Tony Award® winning Ain’t Misbehavin’ The Fats Waller Musical Show, evoking the infectious energy and humor of American jazz legend, Fats Waller. Preview performance is Thursday, September 21, with opening night on Friday, September 22, and performances continuing through October 15. Evening performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Matinees are at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. A post-show talkback will be hosted at the Saturday matinee on September 30; audio description is available at the 7:30 p.m. Friday showing on October 13. Performances are held at the Broadway Rose New Stage located at 12850 SW Grant Avenue in Tigard.

Charles Grant and Antonia Darlene in Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Broadway Rose Theatre Company, September 21 – October 15, 2023. Photo by Fletcher Wold.

Tickets are priced from $30 to $52 for adults (depending on date). Tickets in the upper section for ages 6-18 are $20 and ages 19-35 are $25. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Two $5 tickets are available for each Oregon Trail Card holder for this performance through the Arts for All program. For a full listing of show performances or to order tickets visit www.broadwayrose.org, call 503.620.5262, or visit the box office at 12850 SW Grant Avenue, Tigard.

Winner of the 1978 Tony Award® for Best Musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’ features a versatile cast who struts, strums, and sings the songs that Fats Waller made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown, Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood, and concert stages in the United States, Canada, and Europe. This musical revue features over 30 Waller favorites including “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Black And Blue,” “The Joint Is Jumpin’,” and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.”  

“This ‘bookless’ show evokes a bygone era of music called Tin Pan Alley, yet conveys a tremendous amount of feeling and humor within the lyrics,” says Director and Choreographer Eugene Ware-Hill. “Waller’s music remains relevant and speaks directly to issues society still struggles with today.”

Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller was an African American jazz pianist, organist, composer, and entertainer born on May 21, 1904, in Harlem, New York. Legendary Harlem stride pianist James P. Johnson taught Waller the stride style which would launch his jazz career, and Fats was an excellent pianist, usually considered one of the very best in the stride style, but his songwriting and lovable, roguish stage personality (“One Never Knows, Do One?”) overshadowed his playing. 

The stride style is melodic while allowing ample room for improvisation, which is why Fats preferred stride piano as his musical medium. “Concentrate on the melody,” Fats suggested. “If it’s good, you don’t have to shoot it out of a cannon. Jimmie Johnson taught me that. You got to hang onto the melody and never let it get boresome.”

Waller was a prolific songwriter and received many posthumous honors, with recordings of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Honeysuckle Rose” inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, while Fats himself received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993, and is listed in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame. 

“Fats Waller is what they call a class act,” says Music Director William Knowles, “A very exuberant being who always saw the good. But he does stop and talk to you, and in those important moments, all the shenanigans stop, and something important is said.”

Conceived by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Murray Horwitz, and created and originally directed by Richard Maltby, Jr. with original choreography and musical staging by Arthur Faria and musical adaptations, orchestrations, and arrangements by Luther Henderson. The Broadway Rose production will be directed and choreographed by Eugene Ware-Hill with music direction by William Knowles. Scenic design by Eugene Ware-Hill with lighting design by Janessa A. Harris, and costume coordination by Allie Schluchter-Cox. Properties design by Liz Carlson, wig design by Antonía Darlene, and sound design by Brian Karl Moen, with Seth Renne as production manager, Raef Wheaton as technical director, and Jessica Junor as production stage manager. 

The phenomenal cast includes James Creer, Antonía Darlene, Charles Grant, Troy A. Jackson, and Jai Shanae, featuring Music Director William Knowles as Fats Waller himself.

Broadway Rose’s 2023 season is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the City of Tigard. 

Broadway Rose’s 2023 season is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the City of Tigard. The title sponsors are Harvey and Sandy Platt and Precision Door Service is the production sponsor.

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