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Black Ensemble Theater’s Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announced today the company’s 2018 season. Taylor comments, “This 42nd Season titled ‘Movers and Shakers’ has something for everybody! From Rock and Roll, to Soul, to Blues, to Hip Hop and everything in between, this is a musical smorgasbord that cannot be missed.”
The season begins in February with “Hail, Hail Chuck: A Tribute to Chuck Berry,” written by L. Maceo Ferris and directed by Daryl Brooks. “A New Attitude: In Tribute to Patti LaBelle,” written and directed by Rueben D. Echoles, opens in May. “A Tribute to the Blues: From Muddy to BB,” written and directed by Taylor, will star Rick Stone and Theo Huff in July. Echoles and Brooks’ “Hip Hop Revolution” will tribute artists such as Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh, Public Enemy, Lauren Hill, Biggie, and Tupac in September, and Brooks’ “Women of Soul” — featuring music from Chaka Khan, Sade, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Tina Marie and Whitney Houston — will close the season in December.
More info at BlackEnsembleTheater.org.
Black Ensemble Theater’s 2018 Season (from the press release):
“Hail, Hail Chuck: A Tribute to Chuck Berry”
Written by L. Maceo Ferris
Directed by Daryl Brooks
February 17 – April 1, 2018
“Hail, Hail Chuck” pays tribute to a man that revolutionized the music industry in an era of overt racism enforced by Jim Crowe laws. With songs like “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnny B. Goode,” the Black Ensemble pays tribute to one of the greatest rock and roll artists of our lifetime.
“A New Attitude: In Tribute to Patti LaBelle”
Written and Directed by Rueben D. Echoles
May 5 – June 17, 2018
“A New Attitude” is a fun-filled tribute to the ultimate diva—Patti LaBelle. This night of singing is sure to have you “Over the Rainbow.”
“A Tribute to the Blues: From Muddy to BB”
Starring Rick Stone and Theo Huff
Written and Directed by Jackie Taylor
July 14 – August 26, 2018
The history of the blues never looked so good as it does in this fun-filled bluesical featuring the music of some of the greatest blues artists of all time including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor and B.B. King, just to name a few.
“Hip Hop Revolution”
Written and Directed by Rueben Echoles and Daryl Brooks
September 29 – November 4, 2018
Hip Hop Revolution takes audiences on a journey through decades of Hip Hop music and how it changed the music industry we have today. With music by artists such as Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh, Public Enemy, Lauren Hill, Biggie, and Tupac, this show is sure to entertain and educate about a musical genre that has taken the world by storm!
“Women of Soul”
Written and Directed by Daryl Brooks
December 8, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Women of Soul guides us through the life of some of the most powerful women of soul music. Women like Chaka Khan, Sade, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Tina Marie and the incomparable Whitney Houston made a huge impact on the music industry. Women of Soul takes a look at the struggles and the triumphs these women went through to reach the pinnacle of their success.
In addition to Black Ensemble Theater’s regular season, a number of special events will be presented during the year:
BPI Black Playwrights Festival
January 23 – 25, 2018
The 13th Annual Black Playwrights Festival brings a weekend of new scripts to the BE stage, as part of the company’s Black Playwright’s Initiative (BPI). Written by BPI members and developed through the BPI process, all featured scripts will receive engaging and innovative readings.
Sex In The Summer Series
Black Ensemble presents its 10th Annual Sex in the Summer Series, featuring new works by members of the Black Playwright’s Initiative (BPI) focused on the subject of sex.
Black Ensemble Theater Gala
Friday, October 12 at the Swissotel Chicago.
The Annual Black Ensemble New Year’s Eve Show
December 31, 2018
Like all Black Ensemble events, the New Year’s Eve celebration will be an occasion filled with joy and excitement. Guests at the celebration will enjoy a performance by the stars of Black Ensemble Theater, along with great entertainment, fabulous food, dancing with the stars and champagne flowing all night long!