Waller revue ain’t through with flirtin’



Back in September, I saw On Q Productions original stab at their first musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’, at Duke Energy Theatre. There were a couple of problems at that time with my offering an objective view of the show, both of which should be swept aside as the Fats Waller musical shifts to McGlohon Theatre, the bigger hall at Spirit Square, through Sunday.

I sat close, which meant I heard everything from my cabaret table quite well. And all of it captured the distinctively robust, hedonistic spirit of the great piano-playing composer. Yet I was told afterwards that audibility was more than a little dodgy upstairs in the balcony, where part of the sell-out crowd was deposited. That problem should be cured by the necessities of restaging at McGlohon, where I expect all the singers will now be miked.

The second assault on my objectivity occurred when Mekole Wells came out into the audience for her “Mean to Me” solo and vamped me. Up until that point, Wells had already taken a commanding lead as the best jazz singer in the show, but after she sat herself down in my lap and sang specially for me, the polls were closed.

Now the complete story of what happened between Mekole and me during “Mean to Me” must remain private. Or as private as a borderline lapdance in front of a full house can be. But I can report that my wife Sue’s demeanor as the show moved along wasn’t altogether approving.

Just don’t take the title seriously. This On Q show is not through with flirting, no matter what the lyrics of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” say.

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