Ain’t Misbehavin’ Press

The Kansas City Star:

Andy Parkhurst and Michael Grayman, founders of Spinning Tree Theatre, have put together their most impressive production so far – a spirited reading of “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” the 1978 musical revue that celebrates music written or recorded by Fats Waller.

…this production honors (Fats Waller’s) creative genius with style.

The production unites three of the strongest women vocalists in Kansas City…and introduces two remarkable male artists…to a wider audience.

(Jennie) Greenberry performs with all the poise and elegance of a star and exhibits her laser-sharp sense of comic timing as she contributes her share of musical highlights, including the mournful ‘Mean to Me.’

(Eboni) Fondren, performing with earth-mother authority, demonstrates her ability to belt as well as a flair for comedy.

(Linnaia) McKenzie, a firecracker and the shortest performer on stage, has a thunderous voice of her own and brings a gleeful love of performing to the stage, never more evident than in her memorable rendition of ‘Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now.’

(Ron) Lackey, a big man with an immovable stage presence, can handle smooth ballads as well as novelty songs, and provides a show-stopper in the form of the deliriously absurd ‘Your Feet’s Too Big.’

(Matthew) King is a lithe performer with a dancer’s grace and a seductive, liquid voice. He’s at his best with ‘The Viper’s Drag.’


KC Confidential:

…this Ain’t Misbehavin’ is the Fall’s musical hit.

…fluid, inventive staging and the exceptional musical direction of wunderkind Angie Benson at the piano drive this fine production…

Penn Valley Park’s getting a dose of high energy fun for the next two weeks. Fats may have been famous for saying “One never knows, do one,” but there was no question in the minds of the happy patrons streaming out of Just Off Broadway last weekend.


The Pitch:

…by the end of the show I was ready to dance onto the stage myself…I truly wanted the party to go on and on. Too bad (it) doesn’t run for weeks or months as it would in New York. But we still have a couple of weeks for the sort of show that could draw us in, again and again.

The force of the man and his music comes through in this spirited Spinning Tree Theatre show…

Whether about love (“Honeysuckle Rose,” “Keeping Out of Mischief Now,”) war (“When the Nylons Bloom Again,” “Cash for your Trash”), sex (“Find Out What They Like”), good times (“The Joint is Jumpin'”) or painful times (“Mean to Me”), these singers inhabit each song and own the material.