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Black Ensemble Theater

4520 N Beacon
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Detail for Black Ensemble Theater : Theater

Black Ensemble Theater began in 2001 as a vehicle for understanding, change, acceptance, and community involvement for African-Americans and non-African-Americans through theatre. Through its many productions and community outreach programs it continues to live out its mission statement. - Alotta, 09/30/2003

Up Date: The Jackie Poindexter story To Whom It May Concern, Thank you for publishing an article from my autobiography in 2003 about me Leaving Chicago in 1966 with Jackie Wilson and his entourage and coming to Ny to Start my singing career. i was only 16 years old and my mother had to sign for me to go. At the time when i wrote the article i was trying to get someone interested in doing a play on my life story. However that did not happen, i am still working on getting it done. However i did have some successes along the way that i am proud of. In addition to writing a classic song "Thin Line Between Love and Hate" and many more, In 2008 we ( my husband Robert and his brother Richard and I received platinum plaques for the million sellers "One Again" by John Legend and Back to Black by Amy Winehouse. Jet Magazine did a 2 page story on us and Daily News in NY did a full page spread on us too. Not bad for a Hometown girl from the Robert Taylor Projects!! - Jackie Poindexter, 02/04/2009

I saw Valarie Tekosky perform as Etta James in the Jackie Wilson story Three Times. This woman should be on broadway - she is awesome! - S. Banks, 04/25/2003

I'm from Cincinnati. While attending a birthday party in Detroit, my cousin asked if we were interested in seeing a play/concert about the Life of Jackie Wilson. She was impressed with the performance and the music. Because, the performance was held over, my husband and I had the opportunity to see the best show that I have seen in my entire life. The cast, the stage, the performances, not to mention the story was truly fantastic. I would even pay to see it again. I am trying to find a show that is near where I live in Cincinnati or surrounding areas. I can't find anything. Can you help? I would like to take my parents, and there are quite a few people I have told about the play (concert). They all are wanting to see. Please help me. I go out to ticketmaster weekly, believe it or not. Oh, did I mention, my husband loved it also. - Carol Y. Tyus, 04/18/2003

1966, I had the good fortune to meet Jackie Wilson through one of his sonwriters; a man named Alonzo Tucker. I was all of 16 and an avid fan of Jackie's. I was also a budding singer and songwriter with dreams of stardom. I met Jackie and Alonzo at the Regal Theater in my hometown of Chicago. During an engagement I managed to get backstage to audition my 'orignals for Alonzo, who introduced me to Jackie, I was thrilled because my named was Jackie too and I felt like destny was in the making! Alonzo was impressed with my bravado and recognized my talent, he talked to Mr. Wilson about taking me back to New York for Professional training. Jackie told him it was aright, there was enough room in the limo if my Mother said it was Ok and if she would sign some legal papers. To make a long story short. She did agree, that would impact my life forever! I eventually wound up living in Ny and meeting future husband. His name is Robert Poindexter; he is half of the writing team 'The Poindexter Brothers. Eventually I would join that team and we would go on to write a famous love ballard entitled 'Thin Line Between Love and Hate. The song sold millions around the world and Martin Lawrence did the Movie! i will forever be grateful to Jackie and Alonzo Tucker. No, I never did recorded my record but the song that I was learning to sing was immortalized by the late great singer 'Linda Jones' the song was called 'Hypnotized. I am currently writing a book of my experiences and hopefully one day it will become a play. Thanks for giving me the opportuniy to express my gratitude. sincerely, Jackie Poindexter -, 04/06/2003

I was privileged enough to witness the performance of the Jackie Wilson Story at the Lincoln Theater in Wasington DC and had hoped to see it again in Baltimore,but it appears that the March2003 dates in Baltimore have been changed.What a shame,this was one of the GREATEST shows I have ever seen. - Jack Boehmer, 12/01/2002

I saw Chester Gregory perform this piece twice. He is a remarkably talented actor. He had the most energy I have ever seen any performer have. Truly breathtaking. Thank You Mr. Chester Gregory for your inspiration. - zala lee, 08/16/2002

ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT! - anonymous, 08/15/2002

I saw Chester Gregory last night, but I heard Jackie Wilson!!!!!! It was amazing how he had Jackie's voice and all, and I do mean all, of his mannerisms. If you did not know before, you will know after you see the play where Elvis got his moves and where James Brown got his 'Camel Walk' and his 'splits'! I left the theater choked up because I realized, again, just how great he was, and worst of all, he will never be again. GO SEE THE PLAY!!!!! -, 08/11/2002

The Jackie Wilson story by Jackie Taylor and the Black Ensemble Theatre was a very phenomenal and extraordinary portrayal of this great and almost forgotten hero! Chester Gregory was so outstanding in the leading role that I had to see it more than once to believe it. I have told all of my friends, family and coworkers to witness Chester's mastery. The only problem with the Jackie Wilson story that I encountered was when after seeing it twice before, I took a group of high school students to the Regal Theatre to see it. The program did not feature Chester Gregory and it was condensed to 60 minutes. A three hour performance was chopped down and all of the substance removed. The students were totally disappointed and I was ever so embarrassed. I had advertised this show as if I was a professional promoter only to be devasted and blamed for this ($12 per student)debacle. - Reginald Brock, Sr. (Simeon Career Acad, 05/08/2002

The Jackie Wilson Story was absolute wonderful. Hats off to director Jackie Taylor, and especially to Chester Gregory who played Jackie Wilson. That young man is incredible in his portrayal of Jackie Wilson. Thanks to God for the gifts that he has blessed Chester with. May he continue to use them in the professional manner that he does. -, 08/14/2001

I am so happy to be able to reserve seats to see 'The Jackie Wilson Story for the second time as it will be two days before my birthday and there is nothing I would like to do better than to see the young man, who portrayed Jackie Wilson, Chester Gregory, perform again. What is more, I have invited two other couples to join us. What talent the entire show exhibits. I am hoping to hear and see more of these truly gifted performers. - F. Abdel-Wahab, 07/12/2001

Chester Gregory is phenominal as Jackie Wilson. That young man has talent! -, 06/05/2001

My daughter, her 2 teen friends and I just saw The Nat King Cole Story and we really came to admire and appreciate the man and his music even though none of us were born during that famous era. We learned a lot during the show and LOVED the fashions, style and grace of black performers then. It was great and classy that Nat took such good care of his finances so that his family didn't suffer financially either before or after his death. Mark Townsend was EXCELLENT and we could tell that he was probably acting JUST LIKE the 'real' Nat King Cole. My daughter cried when he was dying so the acting was very effective and real. Mr. Townsend deserves much applause as do the rest of the cast. Thanks for bringing the show to Gary, Indiana! We love ALL of The Black Ensemble shows!! -, 05/24/2001

Saw The Other Cinderella and The Jackie Wilson Story. Both outstanding performances by great actors. Especially was excited by Chester Gregory's superb abilities. He's a wonder!!!!! -, 04/16/2001

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