Sunday, May 19, 2013




JUNE 1 – AUGUST 11, 2013

Black Ensemble Theater announces Ain’t No Crying the Blues (In The Memory of Howlin Wolf), written by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor, directed by Associate Director Rueben Echoles, and starring Rick Stone, one of the stars of the classic movie Cooley High. Ain’t No Crying the Blues will be presented at the new Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, June 1 – August 11, 2013. The official press opening is scheduled for Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 3:00PM.

When Rick Stone first performed as Howlin Wolf at Black Ensemble, Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "It's Rick Stone who consistently knocks your socks off in his terrifically sustained performance. And as he moves through Wolf's hits—Red Rooster, Goin' Down Slow, I Ain't Superstitious, Baby Please Don't Go and more—it's the audience that begins howlin' loudest."  Now Rick Stone returns to do it again with this brand new script, reflecting the life and times of one of the greatest blues singers the world has ever known—Howlin Wolf.

Howlin Wolf’s was born “Chester Arthur Burnett” and became one of the greatest and most influential blues singers that ever lived.  Wolf was inducted into the Blues Foundations Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.  His musical influences can be heard in the country singers of the 1950’s to the punk blues bands of the 1990’s.  Wolf was highly known for his dynamic stage energy and presence – from crawling around the stage to climbing up the stage curtains.  No performance would be complete without his infamous howl.

“No one can bring Howlin Wolf to life better than Rick Stone.  Rick, who also played the famous Howlin Wolf at Black Ensemble in a different script in 2003, is Wolf reincarnated.  In bringing Howlin Wolf back to the stage there was just one man who could give the role justice and that’s Rick Stone,” says Jackie Taylor.  “This production takes us to a different place and time—and takes place in the mind of Howlin Wolf.  The cast and company, including director Rueben Echoles and the BE Band led by Robert Reddrick, is the perfect team for this new production.” 

The, headlined by Rick Stone, includes Kylah Williams as Wolf’s wife Lillie, Dwight Neal as Wolf’s nemesis Muddy Waters, and Rashawn Thompson as Wolf’s lifelong guitar player Hubert Sumlin.  The ensemble includes Claudia Cunningham, Cesil Jones, Raymond Wise, Theo Huff, Cynthia Carter, Danielle Davis, Michael Reckling and Mark Hood, all playing various roles.
Ain’t No Crying The Blues is produced and written by BE Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor.  Associate Director of Black Ensemble Rueben Echoles is the Director, with Daryl Brooks, also an Associate Director of BE, serving as Assistant Director.  The creative team also includes Denise Karczewski (Lights), Kristy Leigh Hall (Costumes), Helen Latyak (Props), and CoCo Lemry (Scenic Painter), Bekki Lambrecht is the Technical Director and the Stage Manager is Emily Wall.

As with all Black Ensemble Theater productions, Robert Reddrick will serve as musical director.  The Black Ensemble Band includes Robert Reddrick on drums, Tracy Baker on bass, Herbert Walker and Oscar Brown on guitar, and Mark Moultrup on piano.

Black Ensemble Theater performance times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 and 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00.  Ticket prices are as follows:
Previews are $45; Tickets during the regular run are $55 (Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturday matinees) and $65 (Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees).

The Five Play Card is a much more flexible way of becoming a subscriber to the theater’s 36th Season of Excellence: Treasures and Tributes.  The Five Play Card can be used for one person to see 5 plays or to bring 4 other friends to one show or in any other combination that adds up to five.  The Five Play Cards issued in 2013 will be good for one year.

Gold Five Play Card, $247.50, can be used on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturday matinees.  The Platinum Five Play Card, $292.50, can be used for any performance.  

Tickets and Five Play Cards are available at the box office, 4450 N. Clark Street and by phone, (773)
769-4451. Performances are held at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street.


Title:                             Ain’t No Crying the Blues (In The Memory of Howlin Wolf)
Written by:                    Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor
Directed by:                  Associate Director Rueben Echoles
Assistant Director:         Associate Director Daryl Brooks
Musical Director:           Robert Reddrick

Featuring:  Rick Stone (Howlin’ Wolf), Kylah Williams (Lillie Wolf), Dwight Neal
(Muddy Waters), and Rashawn Thompson (Hubert Sumlin), with Claudia Cunningham, Cesil Jones, Raymond Wise, Theo Huff, Cynthia Carter, Danielle Davis, Michael Reckling and Mark Hood.

Orchestra:   Tracy Baker (bass), Robert Reddrick (drums), Herbert Walker (guitar), Oscar Brown (guitar), Mark Moutrup (piano)

Other Creative Team:  Denise Karczewski (Lights), Kristy Leigh Hall (Costumes), Helen Latyak (Props), CoCo Lemry (Scenic Painter), Bekki Lambrect (Technical Director), Emily Wall (Stage Manager)

Dates:                          June 1 – August 11, 2013
Schedule:                     Wed & Thurs:               7:30 p.m.
                                    Friday:                         8:00 p.m.
                                    Saturday:                     3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday:                       3:00 p.m.
Location:                      Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street.
                                    Valet parking is             available.

Ticket prices:   Previews: $45
Regular Run: $55 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday matinees; and $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees.
A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.  Preview tickets are $45.00
Box Office:  773-769-4451 or online at

The Black Ensemble Theater
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists.
On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space; rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage.  In addition, a 150-seat studio theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), is in development as part of a long range strategic plan for the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center.

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, please visit or call 773-769-4451.

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