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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



Mercury Theater Chicago announces casting and artists for 'Women of Soul'
--From a press release

This article shared 846 times since Thu Jan 6, 2022
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Chicago —Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Shane Murray-Corcoran, and Executive Producers Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizonannounce the cast and creative team for the next Mainstage production of the 2021-2022 Mercury Theater Chicago season, Women of Soul, featuring a special tribute to Aretha Franklin. This production is written and directed by Daryl D. Brooks, with music direction by Robert Reddrick. Women of Soul runs January 28— March 6, 2022 at Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Avenue. The press opening is scheduled for Thursday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Women of Soul is a celebration of the most powerful women of soul to ever grace the stage. Audiences will jump to their feet to honor dozens of incredible women including Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson and Janis Joplin. This musical features powerhouse performers singing legendary music including "I Say a Little Prayer," "I Will Survive" and "Respect." This musical revue recognizes the struggles and triumphs these women went through to reach the pinnacle of success. This is a once-in-a-lifetime musical masterpiece that audiences will remember for years to come.

Writer and Director Daryl D. Brooks is delighted to revisit this hit show.

"Women of Soul had its world premiere at Black Ensemble Theater in 2018. This feel-good revue is being given an exciting new life and the chance to be seen by new audiences at Mercury Theater Chicago. The production is a tribute to iconic female artists. Audiences will celebrate these artists performed with love and passion by Chicago's favorite performers," comments Brooks.

The cast of Women of Soul includes Cynthia Carter, Robin DaSilva, Jerica Exum, Hannah Efsits, Dwight Neal, Colleen Perry, Rhonda Preston, Jessica Seals, Aeriel Williams, and Katherine Viviano (understudy).

The creative team for Women of Soul includes Daryl D. Brooks (Writer and Director), Robert Reddrick (Music Director), Christopher Chase Carter (Musical Staging) Angela Weber Miller (Scenic Designer), Denise Karczewski (Lighting Designer), Carl Wahlstrom (Sound Designer), Max Maxin IV (Video Designer), Rachel West (Master Electrician), Rueben Echoles (Wig Designer/Costume Designer), Nathalie Silva(Wardrobe Supervisor), Kristi J. Martens (Stage Manager), Lucy Whipp (Assistant Stage Manager), Will Hughes (Scenic Charge), and Keely Vasquez (Casting Associate).

Tickets for Women of Soul, starting at $35, are on sale now at the box office, 3745 N. Southport Avenue in Chicago, .


Women of Soul facts:

Title: Women of Soul

Written and Directed by: Daryl D. Brooks

Music Direction by: Robert Reddrick

Featuring: Cynthia Carter, Robin DaSilva, Jerica Exum,Hannah Efsits, Dwight Neal, Colleen Perry, Rhonda Preston, Jessica Seals, Aeriel Williams, and Katherine Viviano (understudy).

Creative Team: Angela Weber Miller (Scenic Designer), Denise Karczewski (Lighting Designer), Carl Wahlstrom (Sound Designer), Max Maxin IV (Video Designer),Rachel West (Master Electrician), Rueben Echoles (Wig Designer/Costume Designer),Nathalie Silva (Wardrobe Supervisor), Kristi J. Martens (Stage Manager), Lucy Whipp (Assistant Stage Manager), Will Hughes (Scenic Charge), Keely Vasquez (Casting Associate) with Walter Stearns (Executive Producer), Eugene Dizon (Executive Producer), Reneisha Jenkins (Associate Producer), Christopher Chase Carter (Artistic Director / Musical Staging), and Shane Murray-Corcoran (Managing Director).


Previews: January 28 — February 2, 2022

Regular Run: February 4 — March 6, 2022

Press Opening: Thursday, February 3 at 7:30 pm

Schedule: Wednesdays: 7:30 p.m.

Thursdays: 7:30 p.m.

Fridays: 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Sundays: 2 p.m.

Location: Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago

Tickets: $35 — $80

Box Office: 3745 N. Southport Avenue in Chicago;

Director Daryl D. Brooks is Producing Managing Director of Black Ensemble Theater, where he previously director Women of Soul. In addition to his many Black Ensemble Theater credits Daryl recently directed Pump Boys & Dinettes and Memphis with Porchlight Music Theater.

Music Director Robert Reddrick is the music director and drummer for Chicago's Black Ensemble Theater. He is a seven-time recipient of the Black Theater Alliance Award, and five-time Jeff Award nominee for musical direction. He has been music director for projects at Steppenwolf Theatre, University of Illinois, Free Street Theater, and drummer for many other productions throughout Chicago. He also performs with his band The R2Project featuring Bonnie Phillips.

Aeriel Williams recently returned from New York where she played Diana Ross in the off-Broadway production of Trevor the Musical.

Cast member Jerica Exum was in the national tour of Waitress and has been seen locally at Black Ensemble and Paramount, where she performed in Cinderella and Newsies.

Rhonda Preston has performed with Black Ensemble Theater for 25 years. She has traveled internationally, performing with Blues band Mississippi Heat and Gospel favorite Tina Brown and the Gospel Messenger.

Robin J. DaSilva was awarded the 2019 Jeff Award for playing the title role in Mahalia Jackson: Moving Through the Light at Black Ensemble. She has also performed at Porchlight, Theater at the Center and Theo Ubique, among others. As a vocal arranger, she has worked with many churches, recording artists, commercial, television shows and musical theatre productions.

COVID PROTOCOL: For the safety and comfort of patrons and staff, Mercury Theater Chicago will be requiring audience members to provide proof of vaccination either with a physical copy of the vaccination card or on a smartphone. In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests 18 years and older must present a government-issued ID, such as driver's license or passport. Guests under 18 may also use a school photo ID. People with a medical condition that prevent vaccination may provide proof of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance start time. All patrons will have to wear a mask throughout the performance when not actively eating or drinking regardless of vaccination status.

About Mercury Theater Chicago

The beautifully renovated Mercury Theater Chicago is in the heart of the Southport Corridor at 3745 North Southport Avenue, within a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques just steps from Wrigley Field. A delightful destination, Mercury Theater Chicago is a live-theater seating 280 people, adjoining Venus Cabaret Theater (seating 80).

The building that houses the Mercury opened in 1912 as a silent film nickelodeon, named The Blaine Theatre after actor and former Senator and Secretary of State James G. Blaine. The Blaine became obsolete when talking pictures became popular nationwide in 1928. The building served a variety of uses until 1994, when it was purchased by theater producer Michael Cullen and transformed into a live theatre, named the Mercury Theatre.

In 2010 the building was sold again and reopened as Mercury Theater Chicago under the direction of Walter Stearns, a veteran theater director and producer. Mercury Theater Chicago's second performance space, Venus Cabaret Theater, offers a unique intimate theatrical experience complemented by specialty cocktails. Mercury Theater Chicago is thrilled to be part of the city's vibrant theatre community, boasting record-setting long runs, employing hundreds of artists and recognized with dozens of award nominations.Mercury Theater Chicago's team includes Christopher Chase Carter (Artistic Director),Shane Murray-Corcoran (Managing Director), Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizon(Executive Producers) and Honey West (Cabaret Director). Visit .

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