Ain’t Misbehavin’ at the Westchester Broadway Theatre

0
This post was sponsored by Westchester Broadway Theatre, but the opinions are my own.

Although I’ve lived in Westchester County for over 20 years, I’d never been to the Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT). In fact, both of my children went to a child care center in that very same corporate park and I’m pretty sure my car could get there on autopilot. I’ve never had the privilege of seeing a show in this hidden gem of a venue. My parents and many friends have gone and typically raved about the performances. I was so excited that I was finally getting an opportunity to go, as the Westchester Broadway Theatre kindly invited members of the Westchester County Moms Blog and Fairfield County Moms Blog to see Ain’t Misbehavin’.  

Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a three-time Tony Award-winning musical revue, including the winner of the 1978 Tony Award for Best Musical. As a child of the late 70s/80s, I remember the commercials for the Broadway show very, very well with “This Joint is Jumpin’” sounding from the TV. Now I’d get a chance to see it!

Dinner and A Show

The Westchester Broadway Theatre is located at 1 Broadway Plaza in Elmsford and has a 44-year history with over 200 main-stage productions. WBT is the only theatre of its kind in Westchester where Broadway performers, directors and designers gather to create this true level of theatre. Each show is produced exclusively for WBT and is approached similarly to a Broadway production. In fact, this production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ was directed by Richard Maltby Jr., who was the director of the original on Broadway.  

Along with the chance to see a play or musical, you are offered a full dinner with drinks, coffee and dessert. There are ample options on the dinner menu, with one vegetarian option. Dinner started off with a roll, cornbread and salad. I had ordered the filet of sole, which had to have at least five filets! The plate also came with vegetables and a potato. The meal concluded with coffee and dessert and we were all ready for the show to start.

AM Dinner
AM Dinner 2

And of course any time I have the chance to cheer with some of my blog sisters, it’s a good day!  

Drinks

Let’s Start Misbehavin’

Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a musical revue and tribute to Thomas “Fats” Waller. Waller was a gifted pianist, singer and songwriter who rose to fame during the Golden Age of the Cotton Club by introducing a new beat of swing music. The show is a musical revue which highlights Waller’s music during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s. 

The characters are based on the performers in the original Broadway production – Nell Carter, Ken Page, Andre DeShields, Charlaine Woodward and Amelia McQueen – who represented Waller’s music on stage. This production starred: M. Martine Allard (Nell), Ron Lucas (Andre), Tony Perry (Ken), Amy Jo Phillips (Arnelia) and Anita Welch (Charlaine). 

AMCast2 (1880x1504)
JVP_0632 (1504x1880)

Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a musical revue, where the story line is completely secondary to the singing, dancing, music and individual performances. And these five performers sang and danced their hearts out! They had amazing voices and their talents were surely highlighted. Something that stood out to me was how much fun the performers were having! They had such great timing and chemistry and played off of each other really well. Their energy was truly incredible – and pretty contagious too! 

I had read a quote in the playbill that said, “Waller was the greatest jazz pianist who ever tried to make people laugh, and the greatest comedian who ever played jazz.” This was clearly evident in the lyrics in a number of songs in the musical, including:

Your Feet’s Too Big: Say, up in Harlem at a table for two; There were four of us: me, your big feet, and you; From your ankle up, I’ll say you sure are sweet; From there down there’s just too much feet.

Fat and Greasy: Watch him while he’s sitting there, Chunks Of fat hanging over his chair, Oil just oozing from his hair, Fat and greasy as a grizzly bear.

And the song Find Out What They Like, a duet between Nell and Armelia, made me laugh with lyrics such as “Find out what they like, and how they like it, and let him have it just that way, Give them what they want, and when they want it, without a single word to say.” 

Definitely a different time!

The finale to the show was six songs that were sung as a full ensemble. For me, the standout star was M. Martine Allard, who made me believe that we really were hanging out in the 1920s. 

There were 31 songs performed during the musical. Thirty-one! The stamina of theses stars seriously inspired me! This show was honestly pure entertainment and the happy and lively performers looked like they were having a blast together. It was a joy to be a part of it.

If you’re up for a few hours of enjoyment, excitement and amusement – and don’t mind doing a jig or two in your seat – I’d recommend heading over to the Westchester Broadway Theatre to catch a performance of Ain’t Misbehavin’.   


Ain’t Misbehavin is on stage now through February 24, 2019 at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. 

Reservations call (914) 592-2222 or online at the Westchester Broadway Theatre

Previous articleBalancing Your Career and Motherhood
Next articleCelebrating Valentine’s Day
Melissa is a Bronx native who moved to Westchester County after she and her high school sweetheart got hitched in 1997. She and her husband live in Mount Kisco with their son Corey (2004) and daughter Mia (2007). Melissa spent many years working in Human Resources and currently works in enrollment and marketing for a child care organization. Melissa is a two-time survivor of Postpartum OCD. She initially became interested in writing to raise awareness for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders but has discovered that writing is a newfound aspect of her life that she thoroughly enjoys. Melissa is excited to write with the Westchester County Mom team and hopes you’ll enjoy her stories of the trials and tribulations of a born-n-raised city girl raising teenagers growing up here in Westchester.