Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Kevin McIlvaine: Soul man
by Andrew Davis
2008-05-01

This article shared 15781 times since Thu May 1, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Black Ensemble Theater's I Am Who I Am chronicles the life of soul singer Teddy Pendergrass—and one of the reasons that the production has been widely acclaimed is Kevin McIlvaine's portrayal of the more mature Pendergrass. McIlvaine¬—who is an entertainer and a minister—talked with Windy City Times about the musical, Pendergrass and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Windy City Times: Tell me about your background. How did you come to be an entertainer?

Kevin McIlvaine: I became an entertainer because I saw one of my church members performing in a play. It was very exciting, [ and ] I thought, 'I could do that.' I went to audition at the ETA Creative Arts Center [ in Chicago ] for one of those plays, they gave me a shot and the rest is history.

WCT: Being a minister, how do you reconcile your religious side with some of Pendergrass' songs, which are known for being pretty sensual?

KM: Well, we're all human beings and everybody has not been saved all of their lives, and you have to go through some things. How are you going to know how good God is unless you've gone through something? No one goes through life untouched by pain and tragedy. It's not how you fall down, but how you pick yourself up, that determines your true character.

WCT: What was it like meeting Teddy Pendergrass?

KM: It was fabulous. Just to see the humbleness of this man and how he took this situation and [ realized ] that he still has a purpose. I believe that he's the only quadriplegic to get a recording contract. Many of the songs he's made since [ Pendergrass' 1982 car accident ] have been nominated for Grammys.

WCT: You and the show have gotten incredible reviews.

KM: Thank you. I'm just enjoying the opportunity to portray someone who is alive, and who has made an impact in American music. What I will tell you is that I really admire how Teddy Pendergrass takes care of his mom. He is truly a man who makes sure that his family is taken care of.

WCT: You're portraying Pendergrass, of course, but you've also portrayed historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Frederick Douglass. Which has been the most difficult role?

KM: Frederick Douglass, without a doubt—because I've never heard his voice. We've heard the voices of [ many figures ] , but there's nothing of Douglass on tape. We're fortunate to have his writings, though. He lived a long time, taught himself how to read and then wrote. He was, without a doubt, the greatest civil-rights leader of the 1800s.

WCT: Is there any other person you'd like to portray or is there a fictional role you'd like to take on?

KM: I don't know about fictional, but I like to portray people [ such as abolitionist ] David Walker, [ Haitian leader ] Toussaint L'Overture and [ jazz singer ] Johnny Hartman.

WCT: Now who's going to portray you?

KM: I don't know; I don't make enough money to have someone portray me. I feel fortunate and blessed that God has [ given ] me enough talent to bring this history to life and to inspire young people. That's what it's all about.

WCT: Let me ask something a little different: Being a minister, what are your feelings regarding the situation involving the Rev. Jeremiah Wright?

KM: Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a fantastic preacher. He's been at [ Trinity United Church of Christ ] for over 30 years, and they're going to [ scrutinize ] one little comment? C'mon, now.

You have to understand the importance of the African-American church to our people. At one point, that was the only place for [ Blacks ] . Anybody who has one of the largest congregations in Chicago has to be doing something right.

I believe that we live in a country where you're allowed freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. If that's what our constitution is about, then that's something we have to stand for. Just because one person makes a statement that everyone doesn't agree with … you just a person based on his character, not based on one sentence he said.

See www.blackensembletheater.org for more information about I Am Who I Am.


This article shared 15781 times since Thu May 1, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER Michael Dalke makes Pretty Woman: The Musical happy and gay 2021-12-04
- The fairy-tale story of Pretty Woman was brought to life as a musical by openly gay theater director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell in 2018. He debuted the original production of Pretty Woman: The Musical premiered in Chicago at ...


Gay News

Moises Kaufman takes audiences to 'Paradise' 2021-12-03
- Paradise Square is a new musical that opened in Chicago last month at the James M. Nederlander Theatre. This is based on a true story set in New York City in 1863, when Black and Irish immigrants lived together in a ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag Productions to present Christmas Dearest Nov. 27-Dec. 31 2021-12-03
--From a press release - CHICAGO (December 2, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to continue its 20th anniversary season with the return of one of its most popular holiday musicals: Christmas Dearest, featuring book and lyrics by ...


Gay News

Director Paris Barclay talks about virtual reading of 'The Normal Heart' 2021-12-01
- The seminal Larry Kramer play The Normal Heart—which focuses on the rise of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City in the early 1980s, through the perspective of the character Ned Weeks—is the subject of a ...


Gay News

THEATER 'It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!' through Dec. 31 2021-11-30
- American Blues Theater marks its return to live, in-person theater with its 20th annual production of It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, from Frank Capra's film. The production will run through Friday, Dec. 31, at ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Wicked' returning to Chicago in 2022 2021-11-30
- The blockbuster musical Wicked will return to Broadway In Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., on Sept. 28-Dec. 4, 2022. Now the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history—and featuring songs such as "Popular" ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Who's Holiday!' running through Dec. 26 2021-11-29
- Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont St., is running the Chicago premiere of Who's Holiday!—a production about a booze-guzzling, cigarette-smoking, adult Cindy Lou Who reminiscing about the night she first met The Grinch. The show is being ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Lighthouses in the Desert 2021-11-27
- Title: Lighthouses in the Desert. Playwright: Richard James Zieman At: Schwartz Stage at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. Tickets: $25; GlassAppleTheatre.com. Runs through: Dec. 19 Nowadays, the term "one-act play" can be applied to nearly ...


Gay News

Broadway titan Stephen Sondheim dies at 91 2021-11-27
- Stephen Sondheim, one of the giants of Broadway songwriting, died Nov. 26 at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, according to media reports. He was 91. Among the works in the legend's oeuvre are Company (1970), Follies ...


Gay News

Virtual reading, Q&A of 'The Normal Heart' with mostly LGBTQ+ and/or BIPOC cast on Dec. 4 2021-11-26
- ONE Archives Foundation, in collaboration with Invisible Histories Project, announced today that a brand-new Q&A will follow an encore and final presentation of the historic virtual reading of Larry Kramer's Tony-winning play The Normal Heart. The ...


Gay News

Goodman Theatre's 'A Christmas Carol' running through Dec. 31 2021-11-25
- Now in its 44th year, Goodman Theatre's classic production of A Christmas Carol is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge's discovery of kindness, compassion and redemption. Director Jessica Thebus co-adapted and helmed the 2020 audio streaming version, ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Q Brothers Christmas Carol' Dec. 7-23 2021-11-24
- The 80-minute hip-hop holiday hit Q Brothers Christmas Carol—created by Chicago sensations the Q Brothers Collective (GQ, JQ, Jax and Pos) and developed with Creative Producer Rick Boynton—is back in a limited engagement in The Yard ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Bug 2021-11-21
- Title: Bug. Playwright: Tracy Letts At: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets: $20-$110; Steppenwolf.org. Runs through: Dec. 12 When you hear the word "bug," do you think of an insect, a microbe or a ...


Gay News

Legendary costume designer accused of sexual harassment, abuse 2021-11-20
- Legendary costume designer and six-time Tony winner William Ivey Long—a onetime head of the American Theatre Wing, which gives out the Tony Awards—has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse by two different men, according to ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Cinderella' at Paramount through Jan. 9 2021-11-20
- Aurora's Paramount Theatre is presenting Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella through Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. According to a press release, "Paramount's Cinderella promises to come with all of the spectacle and splendor audiences have come to ex ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.