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LISTEN TO THE HEART OF HARLEM page 2
"Ain't Misbehavin'" takes a spin at Riverside Dinner Theater

 Oh, behave: Theresa Cunningham, Brandon Martin and Kadejah One star in the small cast.
PHOTOS BY ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 1/24/2013

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While "Ain't Misbehavin'" is clearly about the music, it carries a bit more meaning. It's all about capturing the magical essence of 1930s and '40s jazz. This particular rendition features vibrant costumes, captivating choreography and a stage that truly gets the audience involved.

"We stuck with a very vague time period we didn't want to pin the revue to a certain year," said D'Beck. "We wanted to honor the jazz experience and truly present our cast. We use one set with a simple platform and footlights that brings the cast out and really into the audience. It's a very intimate experience."

The simple set often features a grand piano--a staple of Waller's--and a giant portrait of the jazz legend himself. It's a perfect backdrop for a powerful set of nearly 40 songs over the span of two hours.

"It's a visual that people can relate to," said D'Beck. "As a cast, we really feel like his spirit is right there with us in that room."

Since opening on Jan. 18, "Ain't Misbehavin'" has been nothing short of a hit. It's been so warmly received that the theater has invited one of the original creators of the revue, Murray Horowitz, to come check it out.

"The audiences so far have been up on their feet and humming along. It really is an interactive show," said Patrick A'Hearn, associate artistic director for Riverside Dinner Theater. "It all goes back to the comfort that people find in these songs. People are really identifying with it."

Jesse Scott is a freelance writer and Fredericksburg native. Email him at
Email: jesserobertscott@gmail.com.


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What: "Ain't Misbehavin'" Where: Riverside Dinner Theater, 95 Riverside Parkway, Fredericksburg When: Wednesdays to Sundays through March 10 Cost: $40-$60 Info: 540/370-4300; riversidedt.com