The Marvin Gaye Story, With Rashawn Thompson, Opens May 20 at Chicago's Black Ensemble Theater
By Michael Gioia
The Black Ensemble Theater presents Jackie Taylor's The Marvin Gaye Story (Don't Talk About My Father Because God Is My Friend), officially opening May 20, following previews that began May 11, in Chicago.
Written and directed by Taylor, the limited engagement continues through July 29. The production revisits Gaye's life and career, which spans three decades.
The cast includes Rashawn Thompson as Marvin Gaye, Yahdina Udeen as Alberta Gaye, Donald Barnes as Marvin Gaye Sr., Lawrence Williams as Frankie Gaye, Rueben Echoles as Berry Gordy, Rashaad Hall as Smokey Robinson, Lyle Miller as Harvey Fuqua, Dawn Bless as Gwen Gordy, Katrina Miller as Anna Gordy and Melanie McCullough as Tammi Terrell/Jan Gaye with A'rese Emokpae, Stori Johnson and Cory Wright.
The late Gaye won the Grammy Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in 1983 for "Sexual Healing." His other hit songs included "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," "What's Going On" and "Inner City Blues" as well as "All I Need To Get By," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "If This World Were Mine," which featured Tammi Terrel.
Other members of the creative team include choreographer Rueben Echoles, musical director Robert Reddrick, scenic designer Carl Ulaszek, lighting designer Denise Karczewski, projection designer Mike Tutaj and sound designer Michael Pierce.
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