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Showing posts with label 40TH ANNIVERSARY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 40TH ANNIVERSARY. Show all posts

Thursday, July 28, 2016

OPENING: THE JACKIE WILSON STORY AT BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER
CONTINUES ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON OF HITS WITH
THE JACKIE WILSON STORY
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JACKIE TAYLOR

July 30 – September 4, 2016



In a 40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON in which Black Ensemble Theater is staging remounts of their classic hits and all time favorites, this Jackie and Jackie hit is sure to be a standout!  Don't miss The Jackie Wilson Story written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor. ChiIL Mama will be there to review on opening day, so check back soon for our full recap.

Black Ensemble Theater continues the 40th Anniversary Season (The Season of Greatest Hits) with The Jackie Wilson Story, written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor. The Jackie Wilson Story will be performed at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, July 30-September 4, 2016.  The official press opening is Sunday, August 7, 2016 at 3:00 pm.  Preview dates for the production are July 30-31 and August 5-6, 2016. 

The Jackie Wilson Story returns to Chicago after an extremely successful opening in 2000 and remount in 2011, plus a national tour in 2002, which culminated at the famous Apollo Theater in New York City. This high energy and touching story follows the career of one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived.  

The Jackie Wilson Story was first produced in 2000—and again in 2011—and was an immediate smash hit.  The highly popular national tour was launched in 2002, and culminated at the famous Apollo Theater in New York City, running a record of the most performances of a stage play at this historical New York City landmark. This high energy and touching production, which chronicles the rise and fall of the admired musician and performer, includes many of Wilson’s hits such as (Your Love Keeps Liftin’ Me) Higher & Higher, To Be Loved, Danny Boy and Doggin’ Me Around.  This time the audiences will also be treated to Frankie Lymons’ Goodie Goodie and the Crystals Dah Do Run Run.

The Jackie Wilson Story is one of Black Ensemble’s biggest hits.  We have assembled a fantastic team—including the return of Kelvin Roston, Jr. as Jackie Wilson—to remount this story about one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived,” comments Jackie Taylor. 

The cast includes:  Kelvin Roston, Jr. starring as Jackie Wilson, Melanie McCullough as Freda Wilson, (Jackie's wife) Kora Green as Eliza (Jackie's mother) and Rueben D. Echoles as BB (Jackie's best friend). Cast members playing multiple roles include Kylah Williams, Direoce Junirs, Kyle Smith, Brandon Eddins, Dennis Dent, Ekia Thomas and Vincent Jordan.

As with all Black Ensemble productions, the production features the Black Ensemble Theater Musicians.  The Musical Director is Robert Reddrick (drums) and the musicians include Danny O'Connor (bass), Herbert Walker (guitar) Clovise Bordeaux (piano), and Paul Howard (trumpet), Dudley Owens (saxophone) and Bill McFarland (trombone).

The designers are Ruthanne Swanson (costumes), Denise Karczewski (lighting/set), Aaron Quick (sound  and projection) and CoCo Ree Lemery (scenic artist). The production stage manager is Lemar Ezell and the Equity stage manager and production manager is Daryl Brooks. Caswell James is the Technical Director.


Schedule:                                
Thursday: 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: $55 on Thursday evenings; and Saturday matinees
$65 on Friday, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees
A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.
Box Office: Buy online at www.blackensemble.org or call (773) 769-4451

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.  The completion of a 150-seat theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), with construction by General Contractor Norcon Inc., is expected in 2016/17.


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 www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451.

Monday, June 13, 2016

“Flamenco Passion” Concerts return to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts June 17-19.


ENSEMBLE ESPAÑOL HEATS UP THE NORTH SHORE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS IN SKOKIE WITH FLAMENCO PASSION PERFORMANCES JUNE 17-19 



40th Anniversary Celebration Culminates 
with World Premieres by 
Internationally Acclaimed Choreographers 
Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez and 
Paloma Gomez, 
Dame Libby Komaiko’s Masterpiece “Bolero” and More 

Ensemble Español’s popular “Flamenco Passion” concerts return to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd, June 17-19. These performances are part of the company’s 2016 American Spanish Dance and Music Festival, June 8-25. This annual event, now in its 40th year, features performances, classes, seminars and lectures, showcasing the elegance and passion of Spain’s dance, music and culture. 


Tickets
Friday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday June 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 19 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $46-$26.  Free parking is available. For tickets, call 847.673.6300 or visit northshorecenter.org/EE40.

This year’s “Flamenco Passion” performances feature more than 40 dancers, musicians and guest artists in an array of classical, traditional, contemporary and Flamenco styles. The world premiere of the highly anticipated "Iroko," choreographed by world-renowned dancers and choreographers Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez, is a centerpiece of the festival. Named for an African tree, Iroko is the perfect title for this work, as it celebrates the roots and branches of Spanish dance and its relationship to the continents of Europe, Africa and the Americas. This new Flamenco contemporary ballet is composed to original music by Juan Parilla. This program is supported by The Chicago Community Trust and the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund.

The performances also feature the world premiere of  "Memorias del Corazon (Memories of the Heart)" choreographed by guest artist Paloma Gomez, and  popular works from the Ensemble Español’s repertoire, including Gomez’s “La Boda de Luis Alonso” (2012), Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suarez Ruiz’s “El Baile de Luis Alonso” (2010), Juan Mata and Ana Gonzalez’s “Alegrias y Jaleos” (2006), and Ensemble Español Founder Dame Libby Komaiko’s masterpiece, “Bolero” (1993). The work of José Barrios (Cordoba), principal dancer of the Maria Pages Company; Carmela Greco (Madrid), daughter of the legendary José Greco; Flamenco guitarist Antonio Gabarri Jiménez (Madrid); Flamenco singer and guitarist Paco Fonta (Miami); Flamenco guitarist David Chiriboga (Ecuador); Flamenco singer, Manuel Palacin (Madrid) and Venezuelan-born percussionist, Javier Saume Mazzei is also reflected in the performances.



Works scheduled to be performed in the June 17-19 “Flamenco Passion” performances are as follows:
  • “La Boda de Luis Alonso (The Wedding of Luis Alonso)” (2012), choreographed by  Paloma Gómez.  This work, performed by the Ensemble Español’s company dancers, was choreographed to the first of a trio of compositions inspired by a text written by Javier de Burgos. 
  • “Duende Gitana (Gypsy Soul)” (2010), choreographed by Irma Suarez Ruiz to music by Geronimo Gimenez.
  • “El Baile de Luis Alonso (The Dance of Luis Alonso)” (2010) choreographed by Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suarez Ruiz. This work, set to the third of a trio of compositions inspired by a written text by Javier de Burgos, is performed by the Ensemble Español company dancers.
  • “Ausencia, Gris, Faruca (Absence, Grey, Farruca)” (U.S. Premiere), choreographed and performed by guest artist Angel Rojas. This work premiered in 2012 at the Flamenco festival of Tampere in Finland.
  • “Basque” (1984), choreographed by Juanjo Linares, and performed by Ensemble Ensemble Español company dancers and members of the Youth Company.
  • “Memorias del Corazon (Memories of the Heart)” (World Premiere), choreographed and performed by guest artist Paloma Gomez. Says Gomez, “This choreography is born from my deepest and sincerest admiration of Dame Libby’s love, passion and devotion to Spanish dance.”
  • “Iroko” (World Premiere), choreographed by Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez, original music by Juan Parilla. Rojas and Rodriguez join the Ensemble Español company dancers for this Flamenco contemporary ballet, commissioned to honor Ensemble Español’s 40th Anniversary year. “Iroko” is supported by The Chicago Community Trust, the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious International Connections Fund and Northeastern Illinois University.
  • "Alegrias y Jaleos,"(2006), choreographed by Juan Mata and Ana Gonzalez, former first dancers and founding members of the National Ballet of Spain for the Company for Ensemble Español's 30th Anniversary. This work reflects the joy and happiness of Flamenco’s important and popular song forms from the southwestern sea coast province of Cadiz  Alegrias and incorporates one of the oldest gypsy dances. It is dedicated to legendary master teacher, choreographer dancer and Director of Centro Andaluz de Danza, José Granero (1936-2006).
  • “Errante (Wandering)” (2015) (U.S. Premiere), choreographed and performed by guest artist Carlos Rodriguez.
  • “Algazara”( 2013), choreographed by José Barrios, principal dancer of the Maria Pages Company. Guest dancers, musicians and the Ensemble Español’s Company and Youth Company dancers are featured in this festive work that begins with the dramatic sounds of the cajon (percussive instrument) and incorporates the Buleria Flamenco style featuring a twelve count rhythm.
  • “Cinco Tiempos Para Amar (Five Times to Love)” (2010) choreographed and performed by Carmela Greco, daughter of the legendary José Greco, to music by guest Flamenco guitarist, Antonio Gabarri Jimenez.  This Flamenco solo is set to the music and lyrics of the Martinete & Siguiriya, in the Cante Jondo (deep song) style, the saddest and most dramatic songs of Flamenco, with musical arrangement and composition by Jimenez.
  • “Bolero” (1993) choreographed by Ensemble Español Founder Dame Libby Komaiko performed to music by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). Since its creation, Komaiko’s “Bolero” has been seen by more than one million people on stages around the country and internationally and featured in two documentaries. The “Flamenco Passion” 2016 performances of “Bolero” are made possible in part by the Cherry Family Foundation.
Selections/artists subject to change.


Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Center

Under the artistic and executive leadership of Founder and Artistic Director, Dame Libby Komaiko, Artistic Director, Irma Suárez Ruiz and Executive Director, Jorge Perez, Ensemble Español is internationally recognized as the premier Center for Spanish Dance, Music and Culture in America. Its 40 sensational dancers, singers, instrumentalists with international guest artists, promotes Spanish dance culture in all its forms – from Flamenco to traditional folkloric to classical renaissance to the 21st century.

In 1982, Dame Libby became the first American artist in history to be decorated with Spain's highest honor "Lazo de Dama" (Ribbon of the Dame) by his Majesty Don Juan Carlos I, King of Spain for her artistic, cultural and educational work throughout the United States. In 2011, United States President, Barack Obama, congratulated the Ensemble Español for their work in presenting this art form to the many communities served locally, nationally and internationally. The Ensemble Español has been in residence at Northeastern Illinois University since 1976.

Throughout the company’s 40 year history, Ensemble Español has changed lives through their education and outreach efforts. To date it has has awarded more than 2,600 scholarships, trained  more than 160 youth dancers and 90 youth apprentices to become professionals in the arts world, and this August, will conduct its inaugural artistic/cultural educational tour to Spain.

For more information about Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Center visit ensembleespanol.org.

Ensemble Español’s the 40th International American Spanish Dance & Music Festival June 8-15 
Listing of Events

The elegance and passion of Spain’s dance, music and culture is showcased in the 40th American Spanish Dance & Music Festival, Wednesday, June 8 through Sunday, June 25. The Chicago Sun-Times hails this 12-day celebration of Spanish culture as “a date worth keeping every summer.”  For Festival updates visit ensembleespanol.org.



Festival events are as follows:

Wednesday, June 8, 8 p.m.  
Duende Flamenco Music & Dance Concert
The Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Tickets: Free. Call 773.728.6000 or visit oldtownschool.org
This event is SOLD OUT

Tuesday, June 14, 12:15 p. m. 
An International Passion - Panel Discussion
Chicago Cultural Center ~ Claudia Cassidy Theatre, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago
Free and Open to the Public
For Questions: Josephine DiCesare at (773) 442-5916, or via email at G-DiCesare@neiu.edu

Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 19 at 3 p.m.
“Flamenco Passion” Performances
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie, Blvd., Skokie, Ill.
Tickets: $26-$46. Free parking is available. Call 847.673.6300 or visit northshorecenter.org/EE40

June 20-25
Spanish Dance Classes and Flamenco Master Workshops
Northeastern Illinois University Dance Studios, Building J.
5500 N. St. Louis Dr., Chicago.
Registration/more information: contact Festival Coordinator Joséphine DiCesare at 773.442.5916 or via email at G-Dicesare@neiu.edu

Artists and events subject to change.

Festival Sponsors: Northeastern Illinois University, Wintrust Banks, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Illinois Arts Council,  Caerus Foundation Inc., The Driehaus Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, N.I.B. Foundation, Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore,  Cherry Family Foundation, Southwest Airlines, José Greco Foundation, Splash Magazine/Chicago Sun-Times and Negocios Now.

Media Sponsors: Univision Chicago, Arte y Vida Chicago, Telemundo Chicago, Comcast, La Raza, Spanish Public Radio, Arte y Vida, Hispanic Pro, Negocios Now.


Festival Collaborators: Instituto Cervantes, Chicago Tourist Office of Spain, Old Town School of Folk Music, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, International Latino Cultural Center,  Chicago Dance Supply, Studio Mangiameli, Flamenco Arts Center, Clinard Dance Theater, Flamenco Chicago LLC.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

DOO WOP SHOO BOP AND THOSE SENSATIONAL SOULFUL ‘60S KICK OFF 40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON OF GREATEST HITS

BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER
OPENS 40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON OF GREATEST HITS WITH
DOO WOP SHOO BOP 
AND 
THOSE SENSATIONAL SOULFUL ‘60S
Running in Repertory
February 13 – March 20, 2016




Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor opens the 40th Anniversary Season (The Season of Greatest Hits) with audience-favorites Doo Wop Shoo Bop and Those Sensational Soulful ‘60s running in repertory, February 13 – March 20, 2016. 

Doo Wop Shoo Bop, written by Jackie Taylor and Jimmy Tillman, and directed by Jackie Taylor, runs February 14 – March 20, 2016 with the official press opening on Sunday, February 21 at 3:00pmThose Sensational Soulful ‘60s, written and directed by Jackie Taylor, runs February 13 – March 19, 2016 with the official press opening on Sunday, February 21 at  7pm.  Doo Wop Shoo Bop and Those Sensational Soulful ‘60s will be performed at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago.

“The Black Ensemble 40th Anniversary Season is something to celebrate,” says Jackie Taylor.  “All season-long, we are bringing back some of the most critically-acclaimed and popular productions that help to reflect the 40-year history of the Black Ensemble Theater.  Together with the Black Ensemble musicians, performers and designers, I look forward to a season full of some of the greatest stories ever told, beginning with two of our most popular shows playing in repertory—Doo Wop Shoo Bop and Those Sensational Soulful ‘60s.” 

Doo Wop Shoo Bop takes a melodic look at the Doo Wop era, celebrating such iconic groups as The Platters, The Drifters, The Spaniels, The Bobbettes, The Chantels and many, many more.  The show first premiered in 1995 and has had several revivals because it is, indeed, a Black Ensemble Theater treasure.  Snap your fingers to the beat as we take a stroll down memory lane hearing those beautiful songs like “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” “This Magic Moment” and “Maybe.” This production explores how the successful music of today is related to the magical era of Doo Wop, bringing the ‘50s into the 21st Century. 

Those Sensational Soulful ‘60s is a highly energetic and fun remembrance of the golden era of the sixties. Audience will re-live some beautiful memories as Black Ensemble brings back the hits of the great 60's groups such as The Temptations, The Supremes, The Marvelettes and The Four Tops.  This well- loved production also features music from the soul singers of the era including Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Mary Wells with many other soulful surprises. 

Featured in both productions are RaShawn Thompson, Melanie McCullough, Kyle Smith, Shari Addison, Jessica Seals, David Simmons and Kylah Fry.  Direoce Junirs and Kora Green join the cast of Doo Wop Shoo Bop exclusively.  Rueben Echoles, Theo Huff and Kenny Davis are exclusively a part of "Those Sensational Soul '60s." 

The designers are Ruth Ann Swanson (costumes), Denise Karczewski (lighting), Aaron Quick (sound and projection) and Coco Ree Lemery (set). The production stage manager is Bekki Lembrecht.

As with all Black Ensemble productions Musical Director is Robert Reddrick (drums).  Doo Wop Shoo Bop will feature Donald O'Conner (bass), Herbert Walker (guitar) Justin Dillard piano, and Paul Howard (trumpet), Dudley Owens (saxophone) and Bill McFarland (trombone).

Those Sensational Soulful ‘60s will feature the Black Ensemble Theater musicians, including Robert Reddrick (Musical Director/drums), Mark Miller (bass), Gary Baker (guitar), Justin Dillard (piano), Paul Howard (trumpet), Dudley Owens (saxophone) and Bill McFarland (trombone).

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.

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