Richard Maltby, Jr. Issues Statement After Playbill.com Recognition of Ain't Misbehavin'

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07 Apr 2014

Tony Award-winning director and lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. issued a statement to Playbill.com following Ben Rimalower's article "Game Changers: The Broadway Musicals That Shaped the Art Form," which included the musical Ain't Misbehavin'.



Maltby Jr., who conceived and directed the production, said, "It is thrilling to be acknowledged for our historic significance. But of course Ain't Misbehavin' is much more than just the first jukebox musical. It has the content of a play subsumed in the structure of a revue — and that is what has always made Ain't Misbehavin' unique. It is the reason why many shows have tried to imitate it, and very few have come close. And it is also why 36 years after we opened the show is as fresh as ever. We are thrilled to be acknowledged in this way by Playbill."

Conceived and originally directed by Maltby, Jr., Ain't Misbehavin' was based on an idea by Maltby, Jr. and Murray Horwitz. The 1978 Broadway production featured Nell Carter and such "Fats" Waller tunes as "Keeping Out of Mischief Now," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Black and Blue" and the title tune.

The musical received three Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Carter) and Best Direction of a Musical (Maltby, Jr.).

Maltby, Jr.'s directing credits include Ring of Fire, Fosse, Song and Dance and Baby. He wrote the lyrics to The Pirate Queen, Big, Nick & Nora and Miss Saigon, among others.