Musical Tribute to Roger Ebert and Drama About First Black Major League Baseball Player Headed to the Stage

News   Musical Tribute to Roger Ebert and Drama About First Black Major League Baseball Player Headed to the Stage
Chicago's Black Ensemble Theater will present The Black White Play, a musical tribute to late critic Roger Ebert, as part of its 2015 season, which also includes stage productions based on the lives of Moses Fleetwood Walker and Bill Withers.

The theatre's "Stir Up the Pot" season will also feature an updated version of the musical Dynamite Divas, featuring music from Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, as well as the girl-group musical Sounds So Sweet.

The Black Ensemble Theater's 2015 season follows:

The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker
Written by Ervin Gardner
Directed by Jackie Taylor
Feb. 7-March 15, 2015
"When you ask who was the first Black major league baseball player most people would say, 'Jackie Robinson' — and most people would be wrong. The first Black baseball player was Moses Fleetwood Walker and he played for the Toledo Blue Stocking in 1884 in the major leagues. However this is not a story about baseball. This is the trial of a Black man who was as popular in his time as Michael Jordan is in ours. Moses is accused of murdering a white man in a time when Blacks were traditionally lynched without a trial for far less crimes such as looking directly in the eyes of a white man. This is a powerful true story and speaks directly to the mission of the Black Ensemble Theater—to eradicate racism."

Sounds So Sweet
Written and directed by Rueben Echoles
April 11-May 17
"It’s a battle of the Girl Groups. Old School vs. New School, from the Supremes, to En Vogue to Danity Kane, this fun filled musical will thrill all ages while featuring more than 20 girl group knock out hits from the '60s to the '90s to today."

A Tribute to the Incomparable Bill Withers
Written and directed by Daryl Brooks
June 20-Aug. 16
"Songs such as 'Lean On Me,' 'Use Me,' 'Grandma's Hands,' 'Ain't No Sunshine' speak to the genius of one of the most outstanding songwriters of our time." The Black White Play
(Honoring the Memory of Roger Ebert through Music)
Written and directed by Jackie Taylor
Sept. 19-Nov. 1
"The Black White Play is a tribute to Roger Ebert where the music will speak to his philosophy of life."

Dynamite Divas
Written by Jackie Taylor
Directed by Daryl D. Brooks
December 6, 2015-Jan. 12, 2016
"What happens when you put Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight and Roberta Flack in the same room for a day? Well you certainly get some great nostalgic music and that’s for sure. Originally presented in 2001, Dynamite Divas will be updated to feature some of our Divas of today, including Beyoncé and Mariah Carey. Let the fun begin."

Tickets are available at, (773) 769-4451 or at the Black Ensemble Theater Box Office, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago

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