American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard Preps Broadway Musical Tour

R&B singer Ruben Studdard may have been dropped from his record label, but he still has plenty of work coming in. Big League Productions, the company that books Broadway musicals for touring throughout the world, recently announced the launching of traveling revival of the Tony-winning revue “Ain’t Misbehavin” with headliners Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis. Richard Maltby, Jr. — who wrote and staged the original 1978 production of the Fats Waller revue — will direct the tour as well. The original Broadway production made a star out of its leading lady, the late Nell Carter, and featured such Fats Waller tunes as “Mean to Me,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Black and Blue” and the title tune. The musical won Tonys for Best Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Carter) and Best Direction of a Musical (Maltby, Jr.). The national tour is scheduled for 2008-09, although specific dates have yet to be announced. Since winning the “American Idol” crown in 2003, Studdard has recorded four albums: “Soulful,” “Flying Without Wings,” “I Need an Angel” and “The Return.” Frenchie Davis, who was recently seen in Mahalia–A Gospel Musical, made her Broadway debut in Rent. She played Effie in a regional tour of Dreamgirls, and she has also performed in professional productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Jesus Christ Superstar in Germany.

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