The Black Ensemble Theater will be dancing through its 2017 season with five shows featuring the stories of African-American dancers and dance history.
The Nicholas Brothers will be a subject of a show at the Black Ensemble Theater during its 2017 season. (Photo: Sun-Times archive)
The company’s 41st season will include:
— “The Nicholas Brothers” (Feb. 11 – March 26, 2017): Written and directed by Reuben D. Echoles (whose story about this fabled acrobatic tap duo featured in many Hollywood films, as well as in the theater, on television and in nightclubs, was presented in a different form in 2010). Fayard and Harold Nicholas dismantled many racial barriers and became one of the most famous dance teams of the 20th century.
— “Josephine Baker” (May 6 – June 25, 2017): Written and directed by Daryl Brooks
—”Dance to the Music: More than Hip Hop” (July 22 – Sept. 3, 2017): Written and directed by Rueben Echoles.
— “The Harlem Renaissance” (Oct. 7 – Nov. 19, 2017): Written and directed by Jackie Taylor.
— “The Sammy Davis Jr. Story” (Dec. 9, 2017 – Jan. 21, 2018): Written and directed by Daryl Brooks.
Also on the 2017 calendar at Black Ensemble Theater:
— The BPI Black Playwrights Festival (April 10 – 13, 2017): Written by BPI members and developed through the BPI process, all featured scripts will receive readings at the 12th annual festival.
— Sex In The Summer Series (July 10 – 12, 2017): the 9th annual series features new works by members of the Black Playwright’s Initiative (BPI) focused on the subject of sex.
— The Black Ensemble Theater Gala (date tba)
— The Annual Black Ensemble New Year’s Eve Show (Dec. 31, 2017): A performance by the stars of Black Ensemble Theater, along with food, dancing and champagne
All performances will be held at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark. For single tickets ($55 – $65) tocall (773) 769 – 4451 or visit www.blackensemble.org.
NOTE:The Black Ensemble Theater’s 40th anniversary gala will be held Oct. 14, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 Upper Wacker Dr., with a performance by special guest star Dionne Warwick, along with performances by Black Ensemble Theater artists, a live auction, cocktails, dinner and dancing. Proceeds from the event will fund both Black Ensemble Theater’s productions and its educational outreach programs which serve more than 12,000 “at risk” youth annually. To purchase tickets (starting at $300), call (773) 754 – 3917.