It’s been 25 years since rapper, producer, singer, entrepreneur, actor, TV game show host, football coach, and weed enthusiast Snoop Dogg released his debut album Doggystyle. He has become an all-around influencer of the culture ever since.
To celebrate the milestone, Snoop is touring the country in his theatrical debut, performing in a sort of autobiographical stage play called Redemption of a Dogg, which is produced, written and directed by the iconic Je’Caryous Johnson.
The production makes its only Chicago stop this Saturday, October 20 at the Arie Crown Theater with two shows at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Redemption Of A Dogg examines the internal battle one man has between preserving his life-long legacy and losing the love of his life when he is faced with choosing fame and fortune over faith and family. It chronicles a character built around the persona of a certain Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., – professional stage name Snoop Dogg. He is a multi-faceted personality who is a gangsta rapper, family man, and man of God, as Snoop has become in the past years.
Producer Je’Caryous Johnson says his “Snoopsical” (get it?) is set against a backdrop of Snoop Dogg’s greatest hits, as well as songs from Snoop’s recently released chart-topping gospel album, Bible Of Love.
“I get to work with hip-hop legend Snoop. That thought alone leaves me speechless,” Johnson says. “I am honored and humbled to be able to partner with him and make history with Redemption of a Dogg. As a fan, it’s exciting and a dream come true and as a partnership this is revolutionary. The culture of American theatre is about to be redefined.”
For his part, Snoop says, “I’m excited to link up with my guy Je’Caryous Johnson on Redemption Of A Dogg the stage play. Please believe you’ve never seen urban theatre like this! With my flavor and his expertise, we’re gonna bring the people an unmissable show. I can’t wait for everyone out there to see it!”
In addition to Snoop, Redemption of a Dogg also features R&B superstar, four-time Grammy nominated and four-time Emmy nominated Tamar Braxton, who stars in the hit TV show Braxton Family Values.
Four-Time Grammy Award nominee Eric Benet (his hit songs include Spend My Life With You, You’re The Only One, Sometimes I Cry, When You Think Of Me) is making his theatrical stage debut, as is Snoop. Benet plays the role of Terrence, Snoop Dogg’s manager who ultimately starts managing Snoop’s wife in more ways than one.
Actress and singer Demetria McKinney (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Saints and Sinners, Superstition) takes the stage in the role of Shani, Snoop’s wife. Actor Omar Gooding appears as Ray Boogie, Snoop Dogg’s DJ and long-time friend and producer. Rounding out the principal cast is actor and comedian James “Lil’ JJ” Lewis, who will take on the iconic role of Young Snoop.
Tamar Braxton will be guiding Snoop along his life’s journey as “The Angel” and serving him up witty, what you need to do moments as the voice of women everywhere who want their man to treat them right and do right.
“Audiences will not be ready for what this show is going to give them,” says Je’Caryous Johnson, who has written over 37 plays and toured over 21 stageplays, usually always at the Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place in Chicago.
“This will be unlike anything urban theatre audiences have seen,” Johnson says. “Think of merging some of the best moments of Cirque Du Soleil, Preacher’s Wife, Straight Outta Compton and Back to The Future all into one. It will be one of the most moving, visually stimulating, dramatic and musically charged shows audiences have seen with some of the most talented, iconic musical stars of our time.”
To that end, the show will feature music not only by Snoop, but will also include musical favorites and numbers from Tamar Braxton and Eric Benet, as well as original numbers penned by Johnson and the production’s musical director, Donnie Boynton.
In addition to the energetic musical numbers, the show will also have some high flying stunts, action sequences and surprise reveals.
Tickes may be purchased in person through the Arie Crown box office, which is located at Wintrust Arena at 200 East Cermak Road between Prairie and Indiana. Or go online to www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone with Ticketmaster at 1-800/745-3000.