BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER
OPENS 40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON OF GREATEST HITS WITH
DOO WOP SHOO BOP
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 3:00pm. Those 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.