Shot mostly in Chicago in the aftermath of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, "Within Our Gates" (1920) is the earliest known African American-directed feature film in existence. Directed by entrepreneurial Chicagoan Oscar Micheaux, the son of a Kentucky slave, it is the second of more than 40 films that Micheaux would make in his prolific career. The sole print of this film was restored by the Library of Congress in 1993. It will be shown as part of the Second Saturday Silent Cinema with live organ accompaniment at noon on Saturday, February 9, at the Music Box Theatre on 3733 N. Southport Avenue.
Black Ensemble Theater presents the world premiere of "From Doo Wop to Hip Hop" at the new Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center on 4450 North Clark Street from February 15 to April 24, 2013. Written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor and Associate Director Rueben Echoles, the play includes songs by The Platters, The Drifters, The Chiffons and The Shirelles, Ludacris, Jay-Z and Kanye West.
“This Black Ensemble treasure (originally "Doo Wop Shoo Bop") is being rewritten and updated for the 2013 production,” explains Taylor, who also produced the show. “With this production, we celebrate music that every generation will enjoy. As always at Black Ensemble, we are bringing audiences of different generations and races together to experience a universal story with exceptional music like you won’t hear anywhere else in Chicago.”
The production features the Black Ensemble Musicians (Robert Reddrick on drums, Tracy Baker on bass, Herbert Walker on guitar, and Mark Moultrup and Andrea Moore on piano) as well as the cast: David Simmons, Monty Montgomery, Christopher Straw, Dwight Neal, Matthew Payne, Kelvin Roston Jr., Brandon Holmes, Lawrence Williams, Corey Wright, Cynthia Carter, Erin O’Shea, John Keating, Megan Murphy, Lisa Beasley, Danielle Davis and Marquicia Jordan.
Tickets range from $45 to $65. For more information, visit www.blackensembletheater.org.
"The World Famous Platters Revue" will perform the greatest hits of The Platters, who had 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1950s and ’ 60s. Performances are at at 1:30 pm on Monday, February 4 and Tuesday, February 5 at the Drury Lane Theatre on 100 Drury Lane in Oak Brook. For visit www.ticketmaster.com or www.drurylaneoakbrook.com.
The HistoryMakers announce "An Evening With Berry Gordy"—an interview with the legendary songwriter/producer/director/entrepreneur and Motown founder—will be broadcast on Friday, February 22 at 10:00 pm on WTTW /Chicago. Featuring host PBS-TV journalist Gwen Ifill, the show includes insights from Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, President Bill Clinton, Edgar Bronfman, Leon Huff, Kenny Gamble, Doug Morris and Marty Bandier.
5. PANEL DISCUSSION
Victory Gardens Theater, The League of Chicago Theatres, Silk Road Rising and Lifeline Theatre are collaborating on a new conversation series "Race and Representation in Chicago Theater" that will discuss the issues of race and representation in Chicago’s theater community at Silk Road Rising at 7:00 p.m on Monday, February 18. Tickets are free and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The League is honored to be a part of these important discussions about race and theater in Chicago,” says Deb Clapp, Executive Director of The League of Chicago Theatre. “These issues cannot be left to work themselves out but must be talked about in an open forum for real change to take place.”