American Idol veterans Ruben Studdard who won the competition in 2003 and Frenchie Davis who went on to the Broadway company of Rent have signed on for a 30th anniversary national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical revue Ain't Misbehavin'. Richard Maltby, Jr., who co-wrote and directed the Broadway production, which showcased the music of "Fats" Waller, will re-create his original direction.
According to a spokesperson for Big League Productions, the tour will begin in November and play at least through May 2009; specific cities are currently being booked.
Ain't Misbehavin' opened on Broadway on May 9, 1978, and won three Tony Awards Best Musical, Best Featured Actress for the late Nell Carter, and Best Director for Maltby. The book was by Murray Horwitz and Maltby, with music by Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller and lyrics by various writers. The original production, which starred Carter, Charlayne Woodard, Armelia McQueen, Ken Page and Andre De Shields, ran for 1604 performances and is considered one of the best Broadway musical revues of all time.
Davis will perform the numbers created by Carter, and Studdard will follow the track of Page, with addtional material to be added especially for him. The other three roles will be cast in late spring, according to the production spokesperson.
The Alabama-born Studdard defeated Clay Aiken coming soon to Broadway in Spamalot in the second season of American Idol and has recorded five albums. Studdard is scheduled to perform concerts in support of his most recent recording before taking the stage in Ain't Misbehavin' in the fall.