Dueling Critics: Black Ensemble Theater revives 'The Jackie Wilson Story'

November 25, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(Photo courtesy of Black Ensemble Theater)
'The Jackie Wilson Story' runs through Jan. 8 at the new Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center.

The holiday season generally comes along with a nice big helping of schmaltzy sentiment on the side; It’s A Wonderful Life anyone? But at the risk of sounding corny, there is a local story that lets its audience believe dreams really can come true. It only required more than three decades of hard work and perseverance.

Jackie Taylor is the driving force behind Black Ensemble Theater: She has just opened up the space of her dreams, one that aims to serve the company, the audience and the broader community. To christen their new Cultural Center, BET revived of one of its most successful productions, The Jackie Wilson Story. The Dueling Critics Jonathan Abarbanel and Kelly Kleiman joined Eight Forty-Eight to examine whether the production packed as much soul as the lady who shepherded the new building into being.

The Jackie Wilson Story plays through Jan. 8 at the new Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.