Most people have heard of Thomas “Fats” Waller, the famous pianist. Fewer folks realize he was a comedian. You don’t have to search high and low for his humorous side. Listen to his songs (or look at his face), with titles like, “Your Feet’s Too Big,” “The Reefer Song” and “Fat and Greasy.” These gigglers and a string of Fats Waller hits make up the playlist for “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” which opened Oct. 12 as the final show of the 2012 season at International City Theatre in Long Beach and runs until Nov. 4.
Fats Waller was a national treasure. Legend has it that he was kidnapped in 1926 on his way out of a Chicago performance. When he was released inside the Hawthorne Inn, he realized he was the surprise guest at Al Capone’s birthday party. They sat him down at the piano, and he didn’t get up for three days. Obviously, he was known as the life of the party. “Ain’t Misbehavin’” honors Waller’s catalogue by letting the good times roll right off his fingertips.
I can’t help but chuckle when leading ladies Jennifer Shelton and Amber Mercomes deliver a Sugar Daddy ditty called “Find Out What They Like.” …
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