The Black Ensemble Theater continues its four Play Season with My Brother Langston, written and directed by Rueben D. Echoles. The production runs through September 18, 2022.
Langston Hughes is one of America’s most outstanding African-American Laureates. He was known as the Jazz Poet and the leader of the Harlem Renaissance. Writer/director Rueben D. Echoles does a good job painting an abstract of Hughes’ life. He touches on points of Langston’s life that were speculations and also delivered gems of information that made me want to research more about the life and times of the poet.
Chris Taylor (Langston) does an excellent job navigating the story. His performance is polished, and he possesses the ability to take the audience on a journey of emotions. The ensemble included Nolan Robinson (Gwyn), Rineisha Jenkins (Carrie/Billie/Zora/Dance Captain), Andre’ Teamer (Jim Hughes/Countee Cullen), and De’Jah Jerval (Nanna). Together this small cast does a phenomenal job bringing the story to life and entertaining the audience.
The integration of poetry and the influential jazz music which motivated Langston’s writing is key to the storyline. The set is simple, yet it makes room to move the story along. The transitions are flawless and keep the audience engaged as they anticipate the next scene. The costumes are pertinent to each era it depicts. Overall, Ruben D. Echols and his entire team connected all the dots.
My Brother Langston is a witty, informative, and well-put-together production. I highly recommend this production to those, especially the Harlem Renaissance era fans. The show run is 90 minutes without an intermission. Tickets are available here or 773-769-4451. Audiences can also purchase show tickets at the theater’s box office at 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago.
Photo Credit: Alan Davis