Dennis Začek and Grippo Stage Co., Inc., are presenting CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P., written and performed by Broadway and Chicago star André De Shields, and directed by Samuel G. Roberson and Dennis Začek. The cast also includes Kimberly Lawson and Donica Lynn.
CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. has performances on Friday, August 26th at 8:00P.M., Saturday, August 27th at 8:00P.M. and Sunday, August 28th at 7:30P.M. in the Začek McVay Theater at Victory Gardens Theater, located at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave in Chicago.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.victorygardens.org or by calling the box office at 773-871-3000.
From the heat of urban insurrection in Baltimore, Maryland to the incandescent glare of New York’s Great White Way, “Jelly Belly” has many stories to tell. Through song, dance, and spoken word, join Victory Gardens Theater’s Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellow André De Shields in this riveting solo-performance as we follow this adventure from inner city impoverishment to self-actualization.
The creative team for CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. includes Doug Peck (musical direction), Jake Huppert (sound design), Brandon Moorhead (lighting design), Austin Pettinger (costume design) and Charles Smith (dramaturge). The band includes Tony Mhoon (bass) and Robert Reddrick (percussion). Tina Jach is the stage manager.
CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. originally premiered as part of Victory Gardens’ 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays.
On his day off from rehearsal, Mr. De Shields received the Black Theatre Network’s 2016 Winona Lee Fletcher Award for Outstanding Achievement and Excellence in Black Theatre, along with Marcia Pendleton, Walk Tall Girl Productions Founder and President, at the Black Theatre Network’s 30th Anniversary Conference Awards Bruncheon at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago on August 9, 2016. This prestigious award was established in 1994 and named after the leading theatre educator Dr. Winona Lee Fletcher. Past illustrious recipients include Ed Burbridge, Vinnie Burrows, Vinnette Carroll, Pearl Cleage, Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, Lloyd Richards, Philip Rose, Ntozake Shange and Glynn Turman.
Check back for my full coverage of Day 3 of the Black Theatre Network Conference.
Black Theatre Network (BTN) is the nation’s preeminent organization of scholars, artists, students, and educators dedicated to the study and promulgation of black theatre.
In a career spanning forty-seven years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. He is the recipient of three Jeff Awards, one as Director for Victory Gardens’ 1987 production of The Colored Museum, and two as Featured Performer in a Musical for the Goodman Theatre productions of Play On! (1998) and Mary Zimmerman’s The Jungle Book (2013). In fact Mr. De Shields’ professional career began at Chicago’s Shubert Theatre, now the Bank of America Theatre, in the 1969 production of Hair. From there he moved on to The Me Nobody Knows at the Civic Opera House, and ultimately became a member of The Organic Theatre Company, where he created the role of Xander the Unconquerable, Ruler of the Sixth Dimension in the cult sensation Warp. A multiple Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Play On! and The Full Monty. His numerous accolades include an Emmy Award for the NBC Special based on Ain’t Misbehavin’, the National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, a 2015 Award for Excellence in Theatre from the Theatre School at DePaul University, the Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance and two Doctor of Fine Arts degrees honoris causa one each from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State University of New York-College at Buffalo. A triple Capricorn, Mr. De Shields is the ninth of eleven children born and reared in Baltimore, Maryland. www.andredeshields.com
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Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.com, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.