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Black Ensemble Theater announces 2013 season

Updated: October 30, 2012 2:19PM

The Black Ensemble Theater (BET) has had a very good inaugural year in its handsome new home at 4450 N. Clark. Not only has it broken box office records with more than $2.5 million in ticket sales, but it has broken the mold with its current production, “One Name Only (A Different Kind of Reality Show),” which runs through Nov. 11.

Now, with the announcement of its 2013 season, it is revamping its scheduling policy. In a season that will arrive under the umbrella title of “Treasures and Tributes,” each play will now run as scheduled instead of extending for a lengthy time. Of course music will continue to be the dominant theme of the season, moving from doo wop, to blues, to rhythm and blues, to soul.

In a prepared statement, artistic director Jackie Taylor and her associate directors, Rueben Echoles and Daryl Brooks, noted that “We are in a new space and we want to continue pushing the momentum forward. In that sense we think it is important to concentrate on the variety of the productions rather than the length of the run. This also will allow us to better promote our 5 Play Card while offering even more flexibility in its use.”

The 2012 season will close with a revival of a BET classic, “The Other Cinderella,” running Nov. 23-Jan. 13.

The new “Treasures and Tributes” season — the company’s 36th — will include:

— “Doo Wop Shoo Bop” (Feb. 7-March 31, 2013), a remount of the 1995 hit by Jackie Taylor, Jimmy Tillman and Rueben Echoles that looks at such iconic groups as The Platters, The Drifters, the Chantels and many others, with performances of such songs as “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” “This Magic Moment” and “Maybe.” The emphasis will be on bringing the sound of the 1950s into the 21st century.

— “It’s All-right To Have A Good Time (The Story of Curtis Mayfield)” (April 25-June 23, 2013), Liz Catherine’s tribute to the master song writer — including the music of the Impressions and such movie hits as “Superfly.”

— “Howlin At The Moon (The Story of Howlin Wolf)” (July 25-Sept. 15, 2013), a remount of the hit show by Jackie Taylor and Jimmy Tillman, starring Rick Stone in his fabled turn as the larger-than-life blues man singing “Red Rooster,” “Goin’ Down Slow,” “I Ain’t Superstitious,” “Baby Please Don’t Go” and more.

— “Chicago’s Golden Soul” (Oct. 17, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014), the show, first produced in 1998, that pays tribute to the music that put Chicago on the map as a national force, including a look back at the music of Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, Gene Chandler, Barbara Acklin and many others.

Individual tickets range from $45 (for previews), to $55-$65 for the regular run. The flexible Five Play Card can be used for one person to see 5 plays, to bring 4 other friends to one show, or in any other combination that adds up to five. The Five Play Cards issued in 2013 will be good for one year. The Gold Five Play Card ($247.50), can be used on Wed., Thurs. and Sat. matinees. The Platinum Five Play Card ($292.50), can be used for any performance. Call (773) 769-4451 or visit or

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