The joint starts jumpin’ at the Playhouse with Ain’t Misbehavin’ on January 24

Laguna Playhouse presents the first show of the new year with the roof-raising musical revue, Ain’t Misbehavin’, music by Thomas “Fats” Waller, conceived by Richard Maltby Jr. and Murray Horwitz, musical direction by Abdul Hamid Royal, choreography by Roxane Carrasco and directed by Yvette Freeman Hartley. Ain’t Misbehavin’ will begin previews on Wednesday, Jan. 24, (with a press opening on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, Feb. 11.

It’s 1930s Harlem, nightclubs like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom were the playgrounds of high society, and dive bars on Lenox Avenue pulsed with piano players banging out new tunes that were a wild mix of raucous, rowdy and mournful. Featuring the music of Thomas “Fats” Waller – the big-hearted, bigger-than-life impresario and international jazz pianist who helped create and define American swing – Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a roof-raising musical tribute to the era and winner of the Tony and Drama Desk Awards, featuring a song list that includes “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” and dozens more.

Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

Featuring the intoxicating music of Thomas “Fats” Waller

Yvette Freeman Hartley (Director). Freeman Hartley’s first major performance was in the first national and Broadway companies of Ain’t Misbehavin’, and she won an OBIE Award for her portrayal of Dinah Washington in the musical Dinah Was.

Abdul Hamid Royal (Musical Director) is a Broadway, international and national award-winning director. He was nominated for the Tony Award for Five Guys Named Moe, Sophisticated Ladies, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Jelly’s Last Jam, The Wiz, Truly Blessed, The Sound of Music, Concerts for the Earth, Twist, Fiddler on the Roof, Betsy Brown, Colors of Christmas, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Life. Regional: Alice in Wonderland, A Chorus Line, Songs of Nobodies, Lady Day, Big River, Black Pearl Sings, Sirens of Song and Blues in the Night.

Roxane Carrasco (Choreographer). Carrasco’s credits as a performer include Chicago on Broadway; international/national tours of West Side Story, A Chorus Line, and Chicago, among many others.

The cast of Ain’t Misbehavin’ will feature Dedrick Bonner (Ragtime at Pasadena Playhouse; Something Rotten at Musical Theatre West) as Ken; Summer Nicole Greer (44 at the Bourbon Room; Parade at the Chance Theatre) as Armelia; Jenelle Lynn Randall (All Shook Up on Broadway; Carrie the Musical at La Mirada Theatre) as Nell; James Tolbert (Clue) at La Mirada Theatre; Anything Goes at Goodspeed Opera House) as Andre; Amber Diane Wright (Aida at Candlelight Pavillion; Dreamgirls at Moonlight Amphitheatre) as Charlaine. The understudies for Ain’t Misbehavin’ are T.J. Wilkins, Jodi Marks and Samantha M. Lawrence.

The Design Team is as follows: Scenic design by Edward E. Haynes Jr.; lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg; sound design by Ian Scot; costume, hair and wig design by Wendell Carmichael and props design by Kevin Williams. Casting is by Michael Donovan Casting, Michael Donovan, CSA and Richie Ferris, CSA. The Production Stage Manager is Natalie Figaredo.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ will preview on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 25 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. (with a press opening on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Performances will be Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 1 and 5:30 p.m. There will be added performances on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. There will be no performance on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $55-$94 and can be purchased online at, or by calling 949.497.ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949.497.2787, ext. 229.  Prices are subject to change.

The box office is open Tuesdays through Sundays: 12-4 p.m.; Mondays open two hours prior to show time and until 15 minutes after curtain. Open until showtime on all performance days.

For more information on all shows and programming, visit

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