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Dawn Marie Driver ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Lehman Center

Dawn Marie Driver and the cast of the show ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’

The joint will be a jumpin’ at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts when the Irving Street Repertory Theatre group brings their show “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” to the venue on Saturday, January 18 at 8:00 pm. Interested parties can purchase their tickets for the musical featuring 30 songs at the Lehman Center Box office by calling 718-960-8833 and/or online at

After speaking to cast member Dawn Marie Driver, she assures that the show told through music and dance, will be quite lively as well as amusing. Driver performs in the show with fellow cast members: Tony Perry, Anita Welch, Ron Lucas and Melvinna Rose.

“It is our intent to keep the music of Fats Waller alive. A Harlem Renaissance composer, piano player, comedian and singer, Fats Waller’s music kept audiences in the 1920s and ’30s frequenting Tin Pan Alley, jute joints and musical dives where they drank illegal booze, and whooped it up during the Prohibition era. Harlem was the place to go and both whites and blacks traveled uptown for the good times both via literature and music.

“I joined the Irving Street Repertory Theater eleven years ago. Irving Street is under the stewardship of CEO and 3-time Emmy Award winner A. Curtis Farrow and its co-owner Ron Lucas, who is also a fellow cast member in the show. Through Irving Street, I have had the fortune with Irving Street Rep to do collaborative movie sound work with Ruby Dee on the song Amazing Grace which she sang at the end of her movie Steam; to meet Broadway producer Woodie King and show stoppers like Carol Woods and Ben Vereen who over the years has supported Irving Street and whom we consider family.

“I have also been able to travel with shows like Ain’t Misbehavin and Smokey Joe’s Cafe both nationally and internationally. Prior to that, I joined St Mark’s Church in Brooklyn when I was 10 years old and got my start in music under the tutelage of Bishop Nathanial Townsley for the last 40 years. In fact, Bishop Townsley has composed many of the songs that we feature at the Church in the show Night Songs. Night Songs is an anthology of gospel music, some I even co-wrote,” explained the Audelco Award winner.

“It is such an honor to be part of Black Theater and I am so glad the Audelco board gave ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ the Audelco Award. Every November, Audelco pays tribute to black theater by honoring the shows and cast. It is nice to be appreciated for all the hard work we do,” remarked the soprano vocalist.

The show “Ain’t Misbehavin” has its comical aspects and the cast tries to keep the audience in stitches. The show music is comprised of blues, ragtime, swing, and jazz.

“We try to hit every musical cord. We also do some of the dances of the Harlem Renaissance era which we worked on with famed choreographer Louis Johnson. Mr. Johnson came in and changed our world. He worked with us on the choreography and made it lively and fun so audiences will see plenty of movement when they come see the show at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. We keep the show moving and alive so the audience is going to see a lot of jiggling and movement in the show. I had the pleasure of meeting the original composer of ‘Ain’t Misbehavin,’ Mr Richard Maltby, Jr.,” said Driver who plays the Nell Carter role in Ain’t Misbehavin and the BJ Crosby role in Smokey Joe’s Cafe. I encourage the audience to catch the show, they will be glad they did,” claimed the Brooklyn resident.

Tune into–dawn-marie-driver-of-aint-misbehavin to get further info about the show.

About the Author

Journalist and radio host, Deardra Shuler, has a background in publishing, theatre, concert promotion, producing and was the former PR chairman of FESPACO, an African film festival in Burkino Faso. She reviews books, plays, theater and movies. Her short story was published by Penquin Books in Aurielle Ford's book "Mystical Souvenirs." Deardra has her own blog under Writblog and writes for several African American publications in New York. She has a column and radio show in Sweden entitled Music Pastures. Her show Topically Yours is on the Blakeradio Network, Rainbow Soul. She also produces and facilitates other radio programs that she has brought to the BlakeRadio network.

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