Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review: (Montreal) Ain't Misbehavin'

(photo by Andrée Lanthier)
This Joint is Jumpin'
by Élaine Charlebois

If you’re looking for a laid back yet highly entertaining night out at the theatre, Ain’t Misbehavin’ is the show to see. Starring the extraordinarily talented Kim Richardson, this tribute to the works of jazz legend Fats Waller is packed from beginning to end with amazing musicality and humorous banter. In spite of the absence of an actual storyline, each musical number became its own story, effortlessly capturing the mood of the 1930s American jazz scene. 

Throughout the show, Richardson delivered unquestionable mastery of each piece she performed, whether alongside her cast mates or solo. The actress’s great vocal abilities unsurprisingly wowed the audience, leaving them wanting more each time a song ended. Though Richardson and her fellow female performer Toya Alexis both gave strong and vocally powerful performances, it was nevertheless the young Aiza Ntibarikure who stood out the most during the show. Her high energy and awesome charisma made this young star the strongest comedic element of Ain’t Misbehavin’. 

Male performers Jonathan Emile and Michael Lamont-Lytle were also entertaining, though it is safe to say that the females commanded the stage. While Lamont-Lytle fell a bit short at times in his delivery, Emile’s solo is noteworthy as it provoked a rave reaction from the Segal Centre audience. Overall, director Roger Peace had a wonderfully talented cast to work with, making Ain’t Misbehavin’ a joyful and feel-good experience. 

Ain't Misbehavin' runs to October 23 
Read also Richard Burnett's profile of Kim Richardson and director Roger Peace

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