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Black Ensemble Theater opens Season of Change with Legends the Musical
2020-02-18

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CHICAGO, IL — Black Ensemble Theater opens its 2020 Season: Season of Change with Legends the Musical: A Civil Rights Movement, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor. Legends the Musical will be performed February 22-April 12, 2020 at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago.

Jackie Taylor's Legends the Musical: A Civil Rights Movement, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow makes a bold statement against racism and discrimination of any kind. It is a dramatic presentation that speaks to the root of racism and how this disease has affected all of our daily lives. As you travel the journey, you will experience music like What's Going On, You've Got A Friend, Time to Make That Change, Stand By Me, Loves in Need of Love Today and many, many more. Legends the Musical: A Civil Rights Movement, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow may be uncomfortable at times, but audiences will come out of those moments feeling inspired, joyful and ready to make this world a better place.

"Legends the Musical: A Civil Rights Movement, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is a bold musical journey that examines the effects of racism on America, a tribute to those who have fought against it and a demand for it to end. Legends is a serious call to action that will leave you with hope and an answer to the ongoing question, 'What can I do?' It is a call to action—to do something to address the disease of divisiveness rooted in our country." comments Jackie Taylor. "The understanding of racism begins with a healing, and Legends the Musical: A Civil Rights Movement, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is a healing process.

Leading us through The Healing are Dwight Neal and Dawn Bless as The Guides. The Village People, also helping us through this life-changing journey, include Vincent Jordan, Jasmine Bomer, Blake Hawthorn, Colleen Perry, Blake Reasoner, Stewart Romeo, Hannah Simpson and MJ Rawls.

The musicians are led by musical director Robert Reddrick ( drums ) and include Adam Sherrod on ( piano ), Gary Baker ( guitar ) and Mark Miller ( bass ). Designers include Bek Lambrecht ( set ), Denise Karczewski ( lights, Davis Samba ( sound ), Jackie Taylor ( costumes ), DJ Douglas ( projections ), Nicholas Belanger ( technical director ). The choreographer is Lemond D. Hayes. Original music is by Jackie Taylor. Jessica Moore is the company stage manager and Daryl Brooks is the Equity stage manager.

Tickets are available at www.blackensemble.org, ( 773 ) 769-4451 or at the Black Ensemble Theater Box Office, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. Tickets for regular season performances are priced at $55 for Thursdays and Saturday matinees; and $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups. Previews are $45.

The Black Ensemble Theater will continue with the 5 Play Card which allows the holder to see up to 5 plays for $210 which represents a $30% discount on full price tickets. The 5 Play Card is a flexible and can be used in any combination up to five times. For more details or to purchase a Five Play Card contact the box office at 773-769-4451.

Legends the Musical: A Civil Rights Movement, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow was written and Directed by: Jackie Taylor. It features Dwight Neal and Dawn Bless ( The Guides ), Jordan, Jasmine Bomer, Blake Hawthorn, Colleen Perry, Blake Reasoner, Stewart Romeo, Hannah Simpson and MJ Rawls ( The Village People ). The creative team is Jackie Taylor ( original music ), Lemond D Hayes ( choreography ), Bek Lambrecht ( set ), Denise Karczewski ( lights ), Davis Samba ( sound ), Jackie Taylor ( costumes ), DJ Douglas ( projections ), Nicholas Belanger ( technical director ). Jessica Moore is the company stage manager and Daryl Brooks is the Equity stage manager.

The play will run February 22 — April 12, 2020 with previews February 22, 23 and 29 and March 1, 2020. The press opening is Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Thursdays: 7:30pm ( March 5 only )

Fridays: 8:00pm

Saturdays: 3:00pm ( except February 22 and 29 ) and 8:00pm

Sundays: 3:00pm

Ticket prices are $45 for previews, $55 on Thursdays and Saturday matinees, $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups. Buy online at www.blackensemble.org or call ( 773 ) 769-4451.

The remainder of the 2020 Season of Change includes:

B-Side

Written and Directed by Kylah Frye

May 9 — June 28, 2020

Previews: May 9, 10, 16 and 17

Press Opening: Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

In this fun-filled, exciting musical we turn the record over to the B-Side. Join us as we pay tribute to some of the greatest music of all time.

I'm Every Woman: In Tribute to Chaka Khan

Written and Directed by Rueben Echoles

August 15 — October 4, 2020

Previews: August 15, 16, 22 and 23

Press Opening: Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

This is not a Chaka Khan musical impersonation but you can be absolutely certain that our outstanding women will give you soaring tribute you won't want to miss.

Reasons: The Story of Earth, Wind & Fire

Written and Directed by Daryl Brooks

November 7, 2020 — January 10, 2021

Previews: November 7, 8, 14 and 15

Press Opening: Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Reasons takes us on a journey of how Earth, Wind, and Fire became the musical revolutionaries that changed the course of music.

In addition to Black Ensemble Theater's regular season, a number of special events will be presented during the year, including:

The Soul Of A Powerful Woman — May 17, 2020

A Personal Evening with Jackie Taylor — ( date to be announced )

A Soulful Christmas — December 20, 2020

The Annual Black Ensemble New Year's Eve Show

December 31, 2020

Like all Black Ensemble events, the New Year's Eve celebration will be an occasion filled with joy and excitement. Guests at the celebration will enjoy a performance by the stars of Black Ensemble Theater, along with great entertainment, fabulous food, dancing with the stars and champagne flowing all night long!

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.

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

—From a press release


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