_dawn-bless-2Losing a loved one is hard but losing your entire family, splitting from your husband of 32 years and dismantling the girl group that was like family can be devasting. You will need a new attitude, and The Black Ensemble Theater has the musical for you; a tribute to Patti Labelle.

 A songbird by the name of Patricia Louise Holte-Edwards was the third daughter born in the city of "Brotherly Love" on May 24, 1944. Her parents were a railroad worker/lounge singer and housewife in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The world would come to know this young lady with the soulful and gifted voice who would make her mark for five decades selling more than 50 million records as an entertainer and a singer.

LaBelle began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer of the Bluebelles. After a rocky past and a lot of traveling, the group name changed to Labelle during the 70's which is when they released their iconic disco song "Lady Marmalade." This led to them being the first African-American vocal group to be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Black Ensemble's tribute was totally enjoyable from beginning to end. The production of In Tribute To Patti LaBelle features 20 enjoyable songs that will have you singing along with every song.  The song list  included the crowds favorite, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" to "Lady Marmalade" ending with a culmination of "When You've Been Blessed!"

Dawn Bless (older Patti) and Cherise Thomas (young Patsy) were remarkable. These two women gave us insight on__cherise-thomas_renelle-nicole_jessica-brooke-seals_kylah-williams-1 Labelle's humble beginnings, from an introverted little girl in her childhood and early teens to the superstar singing sensation that we know today.

The cast of ensemble members added to the transition of Labelle's life, making it a pleasure to watch.

Patti's backstory of setbacks, restrictions, adversity, and comebacks of breaking into the music business is the premise of "A New Attitude." Director Rueben Echoles creatively crafted her musical bio in flashbacks of her life; which included how she wanted to sing, form a band, and become a star; it is, in fact, her life story that inspired the memorable songs that we have grown to love.

A New Attitude is a fun-filled tribute to the ultimate diva—Patti LaBelle. The singing and performers in this play will indeed have you "Over the Rainbow."

This electrifying musical is a "must-see" and has a running time of 2 hours-20 minutes (including a 15-minute intermission) in two acts. Featuring the young Patsy played by the very talented Thomas who went to Thornwood High School, studied at Columbia College Chicago and has worked at several Chicagoland theaters along with the older Patti played the unconquerable voice of Bless. Bless is also a Chicago Native from Proviso East High School and a Drama Instructor/Director/Elective Teacher at LEARN Charter School Network. These two ladies have made Chicago proud.

_cherise-thomas-3Director and writer Rueben Echoles pays tribute to the lady with the big voice, big hair, and even bigger personality and the one who will kick off her shoes in the middle of her stage performance with much respect in "A New Attitude: In Tribute To Patti LaBelle.

We highly recommend that you get ready for a performance of pure delight of the soulful singer in this play/musical of the legendary performer Patti LaBelle!


The cast includes:

Dawn Bless (older Patti)

Cherise Thomas (young Patsy)

Renelle Nicole (Nona/Vivian)

Kylah, Williams (Chubby/Sarah Vaughn/Cindy Birdsong)

Jessica Seals (Sarah/Dinah Washington/Jackie/Ms. Harriett Chapman)

Emily Hawkins (Vicki Wickam /Secretary)

Linnea Norwood (Barbara)

Isaac Roseborough (James Moody/James Brown/Zuri)

Trequon Tate (Henry/Armstead)

Christopher Taylor (Johnny/Bernard Montegue/Otis Williams)

Mark Yacullo (Harold Robinson/Larry Le Gasspi/Michael McDonald)





 May 5-June 17, 2018

Filed under: ChicagoNow

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