Around Town: The Nicholas Brothers

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The Nicholas Brothers were the most legendary dance team in history. Harold & Fayard Nicholas broke through racist color barriers and rose to international stardom on stage and screen. They were acclaimed as the greatest dance team in history during the 1930s and ‘40s. We know them as a dynamic, high-flying, dance duo, but who were these men outside of the spotlight?


This phenomenal story is told by the women who knew them best and features the music of Cab Calloway, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and Dorothy Dandridge, as well as original music written by Rueben D. Echoles, who also directs and stars as Harold Nicholas.  Don’t miss this vibrant, intriguing and exciting Black Ensemble musical production featuring the Black Ensemble Orchestra under the direction of Robert Reddrick.


The cast of My Brother’s Keeper (The Story of The Nicholas Brothers) includes Rueben Echoles (Harold Nicholas), Rashawn Thompson (Fayard Nicholas), Dwight Neal (Ulysses Nicholas), Shari Addison (Viola Nicholas), Katherine Thomas (Dorothy Nicholas), Taylah Thomas (Dorothy Dandridge), Jessica Seals (Geri), Joan Ruffin (Neeva), and Vincent Jordan (Cab Calloway). The Ensemble includes Dennis Dent, Paige Hauer, Devin Joyner, Linnea Norwood, William Rowland, and Henri Slater.


The creative team for My Brother’s Keeper (The Story of The Nicholas Brothers) includes Jackie Taylor (producer), Rueben Echoles (writer/director/costumes/choreographer), Alexis Roston (assistant director), Nichole Springer (assistant choreographer), Bekki Lambrecht (stage manager), Denise Karczewski (scenic/lighting), Caswell James (technical director), CoCo Ree Lemery (scenic artist), and Aaron Quick (sound). The production manager is Daryl Brooks.


As with all Black Ensemble productions the Musical Director is Robert Reddrick (drums).  Musicians include Roger Weaver (piano), Wayne Jones (bass), Herb Walker (guitar), Paul Howard (trumpet), Dudley Owens (saxophone) and Bill McFarland (trombone).


Tickets are available at the Black Ensemble Box Office located at 54450 N. Clark St in Chicago, or online at, or by phone at (773) 769-4451. Tickets are $45 for previews (February 11, 12 and 17, 2017); $55 (Thursdays and Saturday matinees) and $65 (Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees).  There is a 10% discount for students, seniors and groups.