Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater kicks off their season-long celebration of Black Dance with MY BROTHER’S KEEPER: THE STORY OF THE NICHOLAS BROTHERS. The play is based on the lives of Hollywood’s fabulous tap dance team, Harold and Fayard Nicholas. It’s a reflection on the brothers’ acheivements and challenges as they fought to break the color barrier and achieve stardom on stage and screen. BET Associate Director Rueben Echoles wrote, directed and stars as Harold to Rashawn Thompson’s Fayard. The show features several original compositions interspersed with numbers the duo made famous during their years at MGM Studios. Included are classics performances such as Jumpin’ Jive from STORMY WEATHER, where the duo paired up such stars as Cab Calloway and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and a soundie appearance with a young Dorothy Dandridge, who would eventually becomes Harold’s wife. Soundie’s were musical short films played before the main attraction (an early version of music videos).
MY BROTHER’S KEEPER is produced by the Black Ensemble Theater and runs through March 26 at 4450 N. Clark in Chicago. For more information call (773) 769-4451 or go the website blackensemble.org.