All In Love Is Fair

Written and Directed by Jackie TaylorAll in for love is fair by jackie taylor

Music Director Robert Reddrick

Choreographed by Rueben Echoles

At Black Ensemble Theater, Chicago

Silky smooth Luther Vandross tunes spark love

Jackie Taylor’s latest musical, All In Love Is Fair is a cute little book that features a representative assortment of couples living in a small town – Love, Illinois. Narrated by the sassy Ms. Katie (Katrina V. Miller), this musical is a tribute to romance and love songs by the likes of Luther Vandross, Brook Benton, James Ingram, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack.

all in love is fair by jackie taylor

We meet the senior couple – Rena (Rhonda Preston) and Zeland (Zachary Boyd) celebrating 50 years of love and marriage.  There is a newlywed couple whose love is more hate; a triangle inter-racial relationship; a closeted gay couple; and another inter-racial twosome who are more than friends.  Add a long-engaged couple and we have a story that helps define the meanings of who and why we love as humans.

all in love is fair by jackie taylor

Featuring a terrific collection of strong voices, especially from Zachary Boyd, Donald Barnes,  Aerial Williams, and Vasily Deris, this Black Ensemble production has a deep emotional core and a load of heart. Tunes such as “Wait for Love,” “The Way We Were,” “You Make me Feel Like a Natural Woman, ” “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” “Fools Fall in Love,” “For the Good Times,” and “Power of Love” make for a silky smooth mood altering romantic nostalgic trip back to your first love.  There is story and dance here that both examines relationships and celebrates love and romance.  Love wins and is deftly expressed by this fine cast of singers each having their moments to stir the audience by emotionally landing  the steamy song book selected by Jackie Taylor.  It is the music that makes this show sizzle.

Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2011

For full show information, go to the All In Love Is Fair page at  TheatreinChicago page.

At Black Ensemble Theater, 4520 N. Beacon Street, Chicago, IL, call 773-769-4451, www.blackensemble.org, tickets $45 – $47.50, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes with intermission, through May 8, 2011