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Howlin Wolf at Black Ensemble
May 10, 2013

Black Ensemble TheaterBlack Ensemble Theater announces Ain't No Crying the Blues (In The Memory of Howlin Wolf), written by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor, directed by Associate Director Rueben Echoles, and starring Rick Stone, one of the stars of the classic movie Cooley High. Ain't No Crying the Blues will be presented at the new Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, June 1 - August 11, 2013.

When Rick Stone first performed as Howlin Wolf at Black Ensemble, Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "It's Rick Stone who consistently knocks your socks off in his terrifically sustained performance. And as he moves through Wolf's hits-Red Rooster, Goin' Down Slow, I Ain't Superstitious, Baby Please Don't Go and more-it's the audience that begins howlin' loudest."  Now Rick Stone returns to do it again with this brand new script, reflecting the life and times of one of the greatest blues singers the world has ever known-Howlin Wolf.

Howlin Wolf's was born "Chester Arthur Burnett" and became one of the greatest and most influential blues singers that ever lived.  Wolf was inducted into the Blues Foundations Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.  His musical influences can be heard in the country singers of the 1950's to the punk blues bands of the 1990's.  Wolf was highly known for his dynamic stage energy and presence - from crawling around the stage to climbing up the stage curtains.  No performance would be complete without his infamous howl.

"No one can bring Howlin Wolf to life better than Rick Stone.  Rick, who also played the famous Howlin Wolf at Black Ensemble in a different script in 2003, is Wolf reincarnated.  In bringing Howlin Wolf back to the stage there was just one man who could give the role justice and that's Rick Stone," says Jackie Taylor.  "This production takes us to a different place and time-and takes place in the mind of Howlin Wolf.  The cast and company, including director Rueben Echoles and the BE Band led by Robert Reddrick, is the perfect team for this new production." 

The cast, headlined by Rick Stone, includes Kylah Williams as Wolf's wife Lillie, Dwight Neal as Wolf's nemesis Muddy Waters, and Rashawn Thompson as Wolf's lifelong guitar player Hubert Sumlin.  The ensemble includes Claudia Cunningham, Cesil Jones, Raymond Wise, Theo Huff, Cynthia Carter, Danielle Davis, Michael Reckling and Mark Hood, all playing various roles.
Ain't No Crying The Blues is produced and written by BE Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor.  Associate Director of Black Ensemble Rueben Echoles is the Director, with Daryl Brooks, also an Associate Director of BE, serving as Assistant Director.  The creative team also includes Denise Karczewski (Lights), Kristy Leigh Hall (Costumes), Helen Latyak (Props), and CoCo Lemry (Scenic Painter), Bekki Lambrecht is the Technical Director and the Stage Manager is Emily Wall.

As with all Black Ensemble Theater productions, Robert Reddrick will serve as musical director.  The Black Ensemble Band includes Robert Reddrick on drums, Tracy Baker on bass, Herbert Walker and Oscar Brown on guitar, and Mark Moultrup on piano.

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