eta Creative Arts Foundation is proud to present a revival tribute to legendary native son Oscar Brown, Jr. with the production In De’ Beginnin’, the first in a trilogy of three verse musicals based on the Biblical story of The Creation. Iconic performer, writer and social activists, Oscar Brown, Jr’s. international body of work encompasses, film, stage and TV. This production is included in activities celebrating the 90th Birthday remembrance of Oscar by his family, particularly daughters Maggie and Africa Brown.
In De’ Beginnin’ tells the events leading to the eviction of Adam and Eve from the Paradise. Their encounter with De Devil and De Snake, narrated in rhythmic down home sermonizing by De Rev, bring charm and humor to a tragic tale. The music is by Oscar Brown, Jr., Oscar Brown, III and Calvin Brunson. It has a depth and brightness that illuminates the journey. Great family theatre experience for all ages.
In De’ Beginnin’ opens November 11, 2016 and will run through December 24, 2016 at eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. General Admission is $40 with reduced rates for seniors, students and groups. To purchase tickets and inquire additional information on Group Sales, call 773-752-3955 or visit www.etacreativearts.org.
“Dad created a rhythmic rhythming take on the Creation story in which he would poetically illustrate and act out all the characters in the world’s first domestic dispute,” said daughter Maggie Brown.
“When eta Creative Arts Foundation opened its first season in 1982, in the eta Gallery, Oscar Brown Jr’s. Journey Through Forever was the first play performed. Oscar mesmerized audiences with his portrayal of an old man’s poignant memories of his life told through songs. This tribute to Oscar is long overdue for followers of his work, and will be an exciting introduction for a new generation,” said Kemati J. Porter, Producing Artistic Director, eta Creative Arts Foundation.
The play will feature: Kai A. Ealy(Devil/Serpent), Khyel S. Robinson (Adam), Barton Fitzpatrick (Lawd), Tamara Bennett (Chorus/- Rev US), Colin K. Jones (Rev/Chorus), Fania Bourn (Eve), Imani Abernathy (Chorus), Gabrielle Lavigne (Female US), Kemati J. Porter, Director, Maggie Brown, Music Direction, Calvin Brunson, Vocal Coach and Accompanist, Darryl Goodman, Sr., Light Design and Sound Effects, Patrice Andrews, Set Design, Andrea Brown, Costume Design, Africa Brown, Production Consultant, and Will Green, Movement/Choreography.
Oscar Brown Jr., was born on October 10, 1926 on Chicago’s Southside to a father who was a successful attorney and a real estate broker and a mother who was a social worker and later homemaker. Brown was a man of many talents. Although he was a self-proclaimed “entertainer,” he became a pioneer in the entertainment industry by writing and performing songs, poems and plays about the celebration of African-American life, social justice and racism, right at the time when the civil rights movement in the 60’s was unfolding. Perhaps the title ‘civil rights activist entertainer’ would be more appropriate. He enjoyed entertaining and educating his listeners and even coined the word “edutainment” when describing his approach and style. Oscar Brown, Jr. will probably be best remembered for weaving together his unique storytelling and socially conscious themes into his music and performances before it was popular to do so.