CHICAGO — The Black Ensemble Theater is thrilled to launch 2011 with a different kind of love story featuring the music of Luther Vandross. "All In Love Is Fair" written, produced and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and Executive Director Jackie Taylor and choreographed by Rueben Echoles is a story about relationships and how the people that live in this fictitious multi-cultural town of Love, Illinois move in and out of love. "All In Love Is Fair" celebrates the music of Luther Vandross but also features music made popular by other classic artists such as Brook Benton, James Ingram, Gladys Knight and Roberta Flack. Running through May 8,preview performances begin March 12 at the Black Ensemble Theater, 4520 N. Beacon Street, with the official press opening on Sunday, March 20 at 3:00pm.
"All In Love Is Fair" takes place in Love, Illinois, a small fictitious town located on the southernmost tip of Illinois. This town is populated by an eclectic group of characters who have learned to live together. Although the town is multi-racial, that doesn't mean they don't have their racial issues. They do, and at the center of it all is love. Everyone in Love, Illinois loves someone, but as the story unfolds, each relationship reveals a different meaning when it comes to how we love ourselves, how we love each other and how we love our fellow man. "All In Love Is Fair" is a musical comedy, full of dance, great music and a whole lot of love that will uplift, inspire and ignite the fire that lives within us all.
"Black Ensemble Theater is known for its successful formulaic productions; however 'All Is Fair In Love' is not a tribute to an individual, but a story defining the meaning of who we love and how we love as human beings," states Black Ensemble Theater Founder and Artistic Director Jackie Taylor. "Love is a universality that all human beings can relate to and this is a story that will resonate beyond our racial identity and speak to everyone, while utilizing the beautiful language of music."
Rhonda Preston stars alongside Zachry Boyd as Renea and Zeland, an older couple experiencing a mid-life crisis. The cast of "All In Love Is Fair" also includes Katrina Miller (Katie), Lyle Miller (Lee), Vasily Deris (Venie), Carrie (Cara), Lawrence Williams (Lewis), Aeriel Williams (Athena), Jenny Lamb (Jenean), Quinton Guyton (Cortez), Deja Taylor (Diedra), Dwight Neal (Dorian) and Donald Barnes (Doug).
Musical Director Robert Reddrick is joined by a four-piece orchestra that includes Tracy Baker (bass), Herbert Walker (guitar), and Mark Moutrop (piano).
In addition to directing, Taylor is also the costume designer and is joined on the production team by Lyle Miller (vocal coach), Denise Karczewski (lighting design), Carl Ulaszek (set design) and Victoria Cammon (stage manager).
Performance Schedule & Tickets
Performances for "All In Love Is Fair" are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Preview performances will be held Saturday, March 12; Sunday, March 13; Friday, March 18; and Saturday, March 19, with the official press opening on Sunday, March 20 at 3:00 p.m. Preview tickets are priced at $40 and regular tickets are $45 on Fridays and $47.50 on Saturdays and Sundays. Discounts are available for students, seniors, and groups. Tickets, including group tickets, are available by calling the Black Ensemble Theater Box Office at 773-769-4451, or visiting www.ticketmaster.com . All performances will take place at The Black Ensemble Theater, 4520 N. Beacon Street.
The Black Ensemble Theater
The Black Ensemble Theater Company was founded in 1976 by Jackie Taylor, who has written and directed more than 100 productions for the company. In addition to its main stage productions, the Black Ensemble Theater Company produces 'Plays with a Purpose,' a series of original youth-oriented musicals, designed to teach students positive life lessons and values, as well as several community-based programs that use theater arts to enhance and enrich the lives of countless youth, students and families.
Black Ensemble Theater is in the final stages of its capital campaign to build a new home for the company, the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center. Of the $16 million needed for the project $13 million has been raised to date and the Black Ensemble Theater just broke ground this past September.
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.