Tuesday, March 7, 2017

REVIEW: Powerhouse Personal Show "From Jackie With Love" Highly Recommended

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

March 6-8, 2017 at 7:30pm

 Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor will star in her one-woman show From Jackie With Love (What The World Needs Now) at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, March 6-8, 2017 at 7:30pm.  

Jackie Taylor may be 65, but she gives most 25 year olds a run for the money! She has the charisma, powerhouse vocals, and even the dance moves to bring down the house, coupled with the wisdom of a lifetime of experience. It's an irresistible combination. We've long been fans of her writing and directing talents and her skills in expanding the 40 year old Black Ensemble Theatre into a world class Chicago gem. Still, except for exuberant curtain calls, I've only had the pleasure of seeing her performing on stage once, in a roll she jumped into when a cast member had an emergency and couldn't make it in that day. 

From Jackie With Love (What The World Needs Now) is Jackie Taylor in her full glory, singing original songs, playing her first guitar, embodying favorite monologues, and sharing her personal back story. With a band of 5 musicians and 3 backup singers who are all veteran BET ensemble members, Jackie Taylor had the audience laughing, smiling, weeping openly, and singing along in turn. She is entirely genuine, with a real connection to the audience, and a raw willingness to share her passions, her pain, her past, and her hopes for the world. This show is nothing short of inspiring. Highly recommended.

You may know Jackie Taylor as the Founder and Executive Director of the Black Ensemble Theater, but have you ever experienced her as a performer on stage? Ms. Taylor will sing, dance and share her celebrated acting talents through monologues from her own works and the works of August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry, Pearl Cleage and Tennessee Williams. The story will be laced with Jackie’s own personal song compositions as we experience her perspectives on her life, from growing up in Cabrini Green to embracing a dysfunctional family to her own the successes and failures.  
Black Ensemble Theater will host a VIP night of From Jackie With Love (What The World Needs Now) on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, as a fundraiser to ensure the company’s future as the preeminent African-American theater company in the country.  The evening will begin at 6:30pm with a pre-show reception with appetizers, champagne and wine, followed by the performance at 7:30pm.

Regular tickets for all three performances are $65.  The VIP Event on March 8 is $150 which includes the private reception and performance.  Tickets are available at the Black Ensemble Box Office located at 4450 N. Clark St in Chicago, online HERE, or by phone at (773) 769-4451. 

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.

On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space, rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage.  The completion of a 150-seat theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), with construction by General Contractor Norcon Inc., is expected in 2017. 

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

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