The Marvin Gaye Story: Don't Talk About My Father Because God Is My Friend | Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Marvin Gaye Story: Don't Talk About My Father Because God Is My Friend Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 10 2016

Black Ensemble is one of my favorite theaters in the city; an opening here is a religious experience, an immersion in joy and truth. In this case, the truth is the brilliance and trauma of Marvin Gaye (Rashawn Thompson), whose talent made him wildly famous but whose personal demons—a family legacy of abuse, violence, shame, and despair—destroy him. The show is narrated by Gaye, in his heavenly realm, where he's found freedom and a way to forgive his father, Marvin Gay Sr. (Henri Watkins), an ordained minister who shot him to death when Marvin Jr. was just 44. The story of Gaye’s rise and fall is strewn with musical numbers in this Black Ensemble revival—always a highlight of a show here, and Thompson, cast in Jackie Taylor's jukebox drama, has the charisma and power to inhabit the title role. The songs will be familiar, but for some of us the particulars of their conception will be newly revelatory. —Suzanne Scanlon

Price: $55-$65, seniors $49.50-$58.50

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