It wasn’t long after the late great Oscar Brown Jr. took Morris Gearring under his wing in 1985 that Gearring realized the incredible position that he was in.
“I got to watch Oscar perform every night for three months and I was totally captivated,” Gearring recalls. “I was utterly amazed at the way in which he performed and how the audience reacted to him. I knew then that I wanted to do a show like his.
Life happened and Gearring never quite got around to putting together his show. But when Brown Jr. passed in 2005, Gearring decided he needed to do a tribute in honor of his mentor and thus Something About Oscar was born.
Produced by the Goodman Theatre’s Chuck Smith, the epic one-man show pays heartfelt tribute to the music, poetry, and social commentary of Brown Jr. The show also showcases the personal insights and stories of Morris as he performs a series of Oscar’s most famous songs while backed by a live band lead by the incomparable Calvin “Koco” Brunson. Gearring will be joined on stage by iconic poet Nikki Giovanni while performing some of Brown Jr’s greatest hits such as “Jitney” and “Bidemin” among others.
Giovanni says she loves doing the show here in the windy city not only because it is Brown Jr.’s home city, but also because of Chicago’s rich history in relation to black America.
“Chicago is so important to black American history,” she says. “When you think in context of the great migration and how people from all across the south ended up in this one city it is really mind blowing how integral Chicago is to us.”