The Curtis Mayfield Story – A Lasting Impression

  It was a Friday evening right before one of the final preview rehearsals, I sat with Jackie Taylor and Reggie Torian in her office at the north side Black Ensemble Theater on Clark street to interview them on Jackie’s latest play.  The phone was ringing off the hook placing  ticket orders.  The cast had Read More …

Pullman Porter Blues: History, Storytelling and The Blues

[dropcap]Music[/dropcap] has a way of defining a feeling and unifying cultures and communities.  People connect to synergies that reflect their triumphs and struggles – that’s part of the beauty in lyricism and melody. Throughout history music has played a role in signifying a certain era and sociopolitical moments.  The Blues genre became the voice during Read More …

Goodman Theatre’s “Pullman Porter Blues” Open Now!

This rollicking, music-fueled trip back in time takes us into the luxurious Pullman trains of the 1930s, where the hidden lives of African American porters emerge to take center stage and classic Blues favorites—including “Sweet Home Chicago”—come to life. It’s June of 1937, and the Panama Limited Pullman Train is speeding from Chicago to New Read More …

SMOKEY JOE IS A GREAT RETRO SHOW ON ROCK AND ROLL.

SMOKEY JOE’s CAFÉ is playing at the Royal George Cabaret, 1641 North Halsted. The show was just extended to June 30 by popular demand. It is no wonder why. They have also just received 5 Jeff Nominations. Way to go. This is a musical featuring the songs of Rock’N Roll pioneers – Jerry Leiber and Read More …

Meet Tamberla Perry, Meet “Vera Stark” At The Goodman Theater

Maid In Chicago:  Lottery Lady Lands “Vera Stark” Role At The Goodman By DeShong Perry-Smitherman Chicago’s own Tamberla Perry stars in the title role in the new Goodman stage play By The Way, Meet Vera Stark. But before her talents could help sell out major stages, before her teeth were “NeNe Leakes perfect”, even before Read More …

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle

Executive Director of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Brett Batterson, welcomes world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to Chicago for an unprecedented 10 performances, March 8 – 17. Robert Battle returns for his second year as Artistic Director to lead one of the most popular dance companies through a 21-city tour, continuing to Read More …

Review: From Doo Wop to Hip Hop

The smooth sounds from the band filled the Black Ensemble Theater as the audience anxiously waited to see the spectacular performance of From Doo Wop to Hip Hop, written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor and Associate Director Rueben Echoles. Let’s take a walk through Unison Hills where everyone is Read More …

Actress Tina Lifford Uplifts with ‘The Circle’

SOMEBODY ALMOST WALKED OFF WID ALLA MY STUFF! This line from Ntozake Shange’s artistic and in-your-face 1975 body of work, for colored girls who considered suicide/ when the rainbow wasn’t enuff  holds a valuable weight as it relates to womanhood. The original monologue given by Alfre Woodard as ‘The Lady in Red”, mirrored a woman Read More …