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December 3, 2008

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

American Idol Ruben Studdard to Star in Broadway Musical at UT Tyler

Ain't Misbehavin' graphic from UT Tyler Cowan Center

The 2003 American Idol winner Ruben Studdard will take the stage at The University of Texas at Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center in the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, Susan Thomae-Morphew, Cowan Center director, announced.

“For those who love this upbeat, jazzy style, you won’t be disappointed in this revue filled with stylized dance of the era that Fats Waller music helped define,” Thomae-Morphew said.

The Fats Waller musical is a part of the Performing Arts Series and will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009.

The performance is sponsored by Dermatology Associates of Tyler. Media sponsors are KETK 56 and Gap Broadcasting.

Tickets are $66, $56, $46, $41 and $26 and are available at the Cowan Center box office, online at www.cowancenter.org or by calling 903.566.7424. UT Tyler Cowan Center box office hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“The unique sound of Fats Waller makes you want to get up and dance. With American Idol champion, Ruben Studdard, in the starring role, Fats Waller himself would be proud,” Thomae-Morphew said.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ depicts the world of the legendary Fats Waller and Harlem in the 1930s where the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom were hot spots.

The musical delivers several layers of entertainment, which include 30 songs and piano solos as well as the enormous talent of its all-star cast led by Studdard and featuring “American Idol” alum Frenchie Davis.

Fats Waller was considered one of the greatest jazz pianists, as well as an extremely amusing entertainer. He was truly gifted when it came to playing the piano. Waller is known for his unique use of what he called the “God box” or pipe organ in jazz. As a composer and improviser, he created endless joy with songs like “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” “Keepin’ out of Mischief Now,” “Blue Turning Grey Over You” and the extraordinary “Jitterbug Waltz.”

Ain’t Misbehavin’
originally opened on Broadway on May 9, 1978 with the late Nell Carter and made history. Within four weeks, the musical revue won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Director and Best Featured Actress. It also earned the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. Nearly 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


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