PORTLAND, Maine — Fats Waller packed a lot into his 39 years of life. He began playing the piano when he was six years old, started getting professional gigs as an organist at fifteen, and cut his first record at eighteen.

The music never stopped, as Waller wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs, toured the U.S. and Europe, and achieved critical and commercial success. He is one of the giants of American jazz, memorably described by his songwriting collaborator as “a man who made the piano sing…. a bubbling bundle of joy.”

What’s the best way to tell his story? Through his music. That’s what the revue “Ain’t Misbehavin’” does, and it’s being presented at Portland Stage as a collaboration of that company and Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick. We talked to director E. Faye Butler and actor Eddie Cooper about their biggest challenge—making this show sing.

For more information about the show click the links below:

Portland Stage

Maine State Music Theater