Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor concludes the 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healing and Joy with the world premiere musical Blue Heaven, written and directed by Producing Managing Director Daryl D. Brooks. The production runs from October 22 - November 27, 2022. The press opening is Sunday, October 30 at 3:00 pm.
We are in what looks like a performance venue where four great blues legends - Big Momma Thornton, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Stevie Ray Vaughn - are reminiscing about the ups and downs of their careers while waiting for the "new guy" to show up. They are eager to give him advice about meeting 'The Boss.' The new guy, B.B. King, arrives and what ensues is a blues concert that is heaven-sent! Blue Heaven is guaranteed to heal the soul!
Daryl D. Brooks comments, "Through our journey in life, we all have had triumphs and failures. In retrospect, maybe there were also things we did for which we felt deeply ashamed. With some of the most iconic blues artists in history, Blue Heaven takes us to the ultimate place of forgiveness-a place that teaches us that those who appear strong may still seek forgiveness from the most important person of all: themselves. In conjunction with this season's theme of 'Healing and Joy,' we invite audiences to find the answers with us in the music of Big Momma Thornton, Howlin' Wolf, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and B.B. King."
The cast includes Lyle Miller (Howlin Wolf), Dwight Neal (Muddy Waters), Michiah Lathan (Big Momma Thornton), Aaron Reese Boseman (BB King), and Billy Rude (Stevie Ray Vaughn).
The creative team is: Executive Producer Jackie Taylor, Daryl D. Brooks (writer/director), Robert Reddrick (musical director), Sydney Lynn Thomas (set designer), Denise Karczweski (lighting designer), Marquecia Jordan (costume designer), and DJ Douglass and Carl Wahlstrom (sound designers).
Tickets are available at www.blackensemble.org, (773) 769-4451 and at the Black Ensemble Theater Box Office, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. Performances are Fridays at 7:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Tickets for previews (October 22 at 7pm, October 23 at 3pm, October 28 at 7pm and October 29 at 7pm) are $50 and tickets for the regular run, October 30 - November 27, are $55 ($50 for seniors).
Due to the challenges and uncertainties that have been brought about by the pandemic, Black Ensemble Theater is proceeding slowly, cautiously, and carefully. Mainstage shows will run 90 minutes and will be performed without an intermission. There will not be any food or drinks served. Masks are mandatory and must be worn at all times in the theater. Valet parking is available for $10.