It’s the first musical in the University of Houston-Downtown’s history and director Thomas J. Lyttle will have waited more than 30 years to see a musical in UHD’s intimate O’Kane Theatre when the curtain goes up on opening night for “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.
Lyttle, professor of drama in UHD’s Department of Arts and Humanities and the director of the theatre, says he is pleased that over the course of his 33-year tenure with UHD, it has grown to support a wider variety of productions. “Our student body contains a good pool of potential talent for this production,” he said. “UHD has reached the size (nearly 13,000 students) that we can draw multi-talented students. This show demonstrates their outstanding abilities.”
Jazz lovers will enjoy the celebration of the music of American jazz pianist and composer, Thomas “Fats” Waller (1904-1943). The musical includes the well-known songs, “Honeysuckle Rose,” “The Joint is Jumpin’” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
Tickets are $5 and will go on sale Monday, Oct. 26. Theatergoers can purchase tickets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the UHD Cashier’s Office at 310 South, in UHD’s One Main Building. All ticket sales benefit the University’s endowed drama scholarship fund.
Former UHD student Tony Glover will direct the musical and it happened to be one of his personal favorites. Glover was one of Lyttle’s earliest students. A Houston native, Glover graduated from Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He attended UHD and the State University of New York at Purchase where he studied theater arts. Glover has appeared professionally with the Houston Grand Opera, The Alley, and Theater Under the Stars, among others.
He credits UHD’s theater program and Lyttle with encouraging him and supporting his career. UHD hosted the 1990 SUNY auditions in Houston that provided an opportunity and a scholarship for Glover to study in New York.
“I am so excited and honored to direct this show in the O’Kane Theatre,” Glover said. “What I really love is that the cast is non-traditional, because UHD and the UHD theater are non-traditional. We have created a show where everyone in the cast is a star.
“We have created a show where everyone in the cast is as star.”
There are eight actors in the ensemble cast. The cast includes UHD students Lindsey Ball, Josh Jackson Emil G. Niz, Martina Sandoval-Murphy, Michael Schultz, and Samantha West. Playing Club Patrons are UHD students Ornella Ashcraft and Ashley White. Phillip Hall is the musical director.
Here is the performance schedule:
8 pm., Friday, Oct. 30
8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31
3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1
8 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, Nov. 3-7
1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4
1:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 6
The UHD O’Kane Theatre, established in 1971, welcomes participation from students, faculty, staff and alumni. The University presents one theatrical production as well as student-directed, one-act plays, each semester.
UHD’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers degrees in traditional liberal arts disciplines and interdisciplinary studies and in select applied programs that serve important needs in our employment and educational market. For more information on the UHD fine arts program, go to http://www.uhd.edu/academic/colleges/humanities/arts_humanities/, or call the UHD College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at 713-221-8009.
UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university, that offers more than 40 undergraduate and four graduate degree programs. UHD is one of the most diverse institutions west of the Mississippi River.