A spokesperson for Big League confirmed to Playbill.com Jan. 7 that "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard and former "American Idol" contestant and Rent star Frenchie Davis will head the cast of the tour, which will kick off Nov. 14, 2008, and continue through mid-May 2009. Among the many cities the tour will play are Boston, MA; Los Angeles, CA; Wilmington, DE; Birmingham, AL; Salt Lake City, UT; Pueblo, CO; Erie, PA; and Hays, KS. Additional casting and cities will be announced at a later date.
Richard Maltby, Jr. — who wrote and staged the original 1978 production of the Fats Waller revue — will direct the tour as well.
Conceived and originally directed by Maltby, Jr., Ain't Misbehavin' was based on an idea by Maltby, Jr. and Murray Horwitz. The original 1978 Broadway production made a star out of its leading lady, the late Nell Carter, and featured such Fats Waller tunes as "Mean to Me," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Black and Blue" and the title tune. The musical won Tonys for Best Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Carter) and Best Direction of a Musical (Maltby, Jr.).
Since winning the "American Idol" crown, Ruben Studdard has released three albums: "Soulful," "I Need an Angel" and "The Return."
Frenchie Davis, who was recently seen in Mahalia–A Gospel Musical, made her Broadway debut in Rent. She played Effie in a regional tour of Dreamgirls, and she has also performed in professional productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Jesus Christ Superstar in Germany.
For more information visit www.bigleague.org.