Hail Hail Chuck: A Tribute to Chuck Berry | Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Hail Hail Chuck: A Tribute to Chuck Berry New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thu., March 1 2018

This stage biography of rock 'n' roll pioneer Chuck Berry, written by L. Maceo Ferris and directed by Daryl D. Brooks, follows the formula of the Black Ensemble Theater to a T: present lots of kick-ass live versions of the subject’s most popular tunes intercut with a few scenes from the artist’s life. In this case, we get rousing cover versions of Berry hits such as “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Nadine.” The nonmusical portions of the show are less satisfying. Ferris’s storytelling is often flat and awkward—even the section dealing with Berry’s racially motivated conviction at the height of his career for violating the Mann Act lacks drama—and large swathes of Berry’s long life are just left out. —Jack Helbig

Price: $49.50-$65


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