NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Company celebrated the opening night performance of their encore production of Ain’t Misbehavin’, starring Johmaalya Adelekan as Armelia (Ragtime), Zurin Villanueva as Charlaine (Mean Girls and Shuffle Along), Rheaume Crenshaw as Nell (Groundhog Day), David Samuel as Ken (Ruined, Arena Stage), Borris York as Andre (Holiday Inn; Love Never Dies, U.S. tour), with musical direction from David Alan Bunn, in NJPAC’s Victoria Theatre on February 2, 2018.
Two-time Tony Award nominee and Emmy-winning actor André De Shields was an original cast member of Ain’t Misbehavin‘ when it opened on Broadway in 1978 and swept up a few Tonys, including best musical. De Shields returned to direct and choreograph this acclaimed production of the Fats Waller award-winning musical, which premiered during Crossroads Theatre Company’s 2011-2012 season. The show was conceived by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Murray Horwitz.
The creative team includes costume design by Deborah Caney, sound design by Joshua D. Reid, scenic and lighting design by Burke Wilmore, assistant choreographer Camille Moten and Production Stage Manager Brian Westmoreland.
The band includes Kenneth Crutchfield (drums), George Grier (bass), Irwin Hall (clarinet/tenor sax), Robert Stringer (trombone) and Donald Malloy (trumpet).
The limited run ends on February 4, 2018. Crossroads is also currently On The Road! While Crossroads Theatre Company awaits Fall 2019 for the arrival of the state-of-the-art New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, the Company will take their productions on the road in New Jersey. After their stop at NJPAC, they will present the world premiere of the cutting-edge satire Back to the Real, by Pia Wilson, at Rutgers University on May 28.
Crossroads Theatre Company continues to lead the nation with its commitment to literary works that examine the African American experience so that it may be understood and appreciated by all people. When co-founders Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson envisioned a space where, as actors, the two young men could work on substantive, non-stereotypical roles, little did they realize that their vision would grow into the major institution that it is today. Crossroads has filled an otherwise empty space on the cultural canvas of the country and the world, with a collective body of work that remains unparalleled by any other of culturally-specific theater in the nation by presenting over 50 world premieres. Crossroads forged its vision into reality through the development, production and touring of new works from throughout the African Diaspora where positive images of African American life, history and culture is celebrated. These honest theatrical portrayals helped move the consciousness of the nation forward. Crossroads continues to lead twenty-first century story-telling by building bridges of understanding and veracity between people of all backgrounds in this society and the world. Find out more at CrossroadsTheatreCompany.org.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.