Black Ensemble Theater's production of THE Marvin Gaye STORY celebrates its press opening Sunday, May 20, 2012. The show runs now through July 29 at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street.
Marvin Pentz Gaye Jr. is considered to be one of the greatest talents to come out of the Motown dynasty, with a career spanning over three decades. His sound began with Doo Wop in the ‘50s, and moved to Rhythm and Blues in the ‘60s, political awareness in the ‘70s, and sophisticated soul in the ‘80s. Some of his greatest contributions include “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “What’s Going On,” and “Inner City Blues,” as well as numerous hits from his partnership with Tammi Terrel such as “All I Need To Get By,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and “If This World Were Mine.” He was also the winner of two Grammy Awards including Best Vocal Performance for “Sexual Healing” in 1983.
Marvin Gaye’s life was plagued with depression and drug addiction and ended in tragedy on April 1, 1984 when he was shot and killed by his own father. The Marvin Gaye Story will reveal his struggles while also honoring his vast contributions to the music industry and the world. To many, Marvin Gaye represents the ability to face the worst of life’s adversities and still accomplish great success. This Black Ensemble Theater production, written, produced and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor, will embrace this sentiment and celebrate a legacy of beautiful music that will last forever.
The Marvin Gaye Story (Don’t Talk About My Father Because God is My Friend) is written & directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor and features choreographer Rueben Echoles and musical director: Robert Reddrick.
Featuring: RaShawn Thompson (Marvin Gaye), Yahdina Udeen (Alberta Gaye - Mother), Donald Barnes (Marvin Gaye Sr. – Father), Lawrence Williams (Frankie Gaye), Rueben Echoles (Berry Gordy), Rashaad Hall (Smokey Robinson), Lyle Miller (Harvey Fuqua), Dawn Bless (Gwen Gordy), Katrina Miller (Anna Gordy), and Melanie McCullough (Tammi Terrell and Jan Gaye). The ensemble also includes A’rese Emokpae, Stori Johnson, and Cory Wright.
Orchestra: Tracy Baker (bass), Dudley Dunlap (saxophone), Robert Reddrick (drums), HerBert Walker (guitar), Mark Moutrop (piano), Bill McFarland (trombone) and Paul Howard (trumpet).
Designers: Daryl Brooks (technical director), Denise Karczewski (lighting design), Michael Pierce (sound design), Vickie Spires (stage manager), Mike Tutaj (projection design), Carl Ulaszek (set design), and Rueben Echoles (wigs and makeup).
Dates: May 11 – July 29, 2012 (Press Performance: Sunday, May 20 at 3:00 p.m.). Schedule: Wed & Thurs: 7:30 p.m., Friday: 8:00 p.m., Saturday: 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday: 3:00 p.m.
Ticket prices: $55 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday matinees; and $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups. Box Office: Buy online at www.ticketmaster.com or call (773) 769-4451.