It’s Countdown to Black Nativity, showing at Goodman ‘til Dec. 31

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Congo Square Theatre Co.’s joyous Christmas tradition, Black Nativity, is currently being showcased at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Randolph, through Dec. 31.

Congo Square Theatre Co.’s joyous Christmas tradition, Black Nativity, is currently being showcased at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Randolph, through Dec. 31. Written by Langston Hughes and adapted by McKinley Johnson, the beautiful stage play is a testament to the power of gospel music, telling the story of the Nativity through a combination of African American scripture, poetry, dance and song while personifying the messages of family, unity and the ultimate love. This marvelous award-winning production is directed to perfection by Aaron Todd Douglas and sensually choreographed by Kevin Lega Jeff with music composed by the talented Jaret Landon. Target two-for-one matinee tickets may be available, so hurry and call (443) 3800. And for group sales, call (773) 296-1108.

Ladies’ Night ¡ Attn: sistahs, gurlfriends, sorors, BFFs, co-workers, et al! Party-planner extraordinaire Trudy Murrell is teaming up with the folks at Rumba, the popular night spot at 351 W. Hubbard, for “Live Ladies Night” on Thursday featuring “the sexiest, most luscious music men in the business.” As Christmas approaches, experience the chocolate-covered musings of Marquel Jordan, vocalist and saxophonist, accompanied by Tim Gant, soul jazz keyboardist, to set the mood. Add the heart of Lamar Jones on bass; Gerey Johnson on lead guitar; Khari Parker on drums and therein lies a sizzling stage spectacle of “fire and desire” ¡– a set with the funk jazz men who make Rumba the place to be this Thursday. And there’s no telling whom you just might meet. (Promised: what happens at Ladies’ Night stays at Ladies’ Night!) Doors open at 6 p.m.; Showtime, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. No cover!

Newsy Names ¡ Guys of The Chicago Rat Pack, headed by Bill Williams, continues its Annual Food Drive, Business Corner & Networking Event this Wednesday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m., at The Marmon Grand, 2230 S. Michigan. You’re all encouraged to come out and step, meet, mingle and celebrate the holiday season by contributing a minimum of six canned and/or other non-perishable food items to help feed needy families this Christmas/New Year season … A host of family and friends of Iberia Hampton gathered in her west suburban Maywood, IL home to honor the mom of Fred Hampton, activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party who was killed in the 1960s as he lay in bed in his apartment by a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office in conjunction with the Chicago Police Dept. and the FBI. Mrs. Hampton, also the mother of Bill Hampton, a community activist, was recognized as” an outstanding woman of distinction.” Fred Hampton‘s death was chronicled in the 1971 documentary film, The Murder of Fred Hampton, as well as an episode of the critically acclaimed documentary series, Eyes on the Prize Not My Bad! ¡ In a previous “Teesee’s Town” column, we wrote about Steven V. Hunter being named a partner in Quarles & Brady Law Firm’s Commercial Litigation Group in the Chicago office and we went on to expand on his educational background from incorrect information sent via a press release. Now, we learn that Hunter received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2002 and an A.B. from Brown University in 1999. So glad to make the correction! Happy b’day to Rev. Marrice Coverson, Dyanna Knight Lewis, Wayne Barrett, Drew Barrett, Mary Ann Lloyd, Mildred Porter, Geraldine Tyler, Shirlen Triplett, Lisa Spooner Whyte, Jerome Simmons, Wanda Carter, Tiffany Gregoire, Dea. John London, Bill Zwecker and Shirley Moms Mabey … So sorry to hear of the passing of Vanish Smith, insurance exec, West Side Association of Community Action board member and longtime Chicago Rat Packer. His services were Friday at Chatham-Avalon Church. Condolences to his family.

Attn: Jazz Junkies! ¡¡ Carolyn Albritton, our town’s noted jazz guru, wants us all to be aware of the January, 2011 calendar schedule for the Hyde Park Jazz Society that meets Sundays, 7 p.m., at Room 43, Jan. 2, “Three Tenors (Eric Schneider, Ari Brown and Hank Ford) Celebrate Gene Ammons;” Jan. 9, “A Tribute to Ken Chaney” by Bill McFarland & The Chicago Horns;” Jan. 16, “Miles Davis Festival” featuring Robert Irving II; Jan. 23, “Maggie Brown Celebrates Dinah Washington;” and Jan. 30, “Honoring Monk Montgomery” featuring Frank Russell, bass guitarist.

Countdown to 2011 ¡– ABC7’s Hosea Sanders takes viewers to the South Loop on New Years’ Eve for an unforgettable listen to R&B singer/songwriter Chico DeBarge when he makes musical magic for revelers at The Shrine, 2109 S. Wabash, and viewers at home. Along with co-hosts, Mark Giangreco and Janet Davies, and 190 North’s Mark Nilsson, they’ll once again take the reins of the show to help Chicagoans ring in 2011 during the station’s hour-long showcase, “Countdown to Chicago.” The special, 11:08 p.m.-12:15 a.m., kicks off 2011 with a bang featuring the hottest parties, spectacular fireworks, Chi-town musical talent and a live video rewind of the past decade. It’s one of the most thrilling night of the year and ABC 7 viewers will have front row seats to all the excitement and hoopla that’ are part of this city’s Dec. 31st tradition.

Davies and Giangreco will anchor from Mayne Stage. with the sexy, soulful sounds of Terisa Griffin, a fave singer/songwriter. Nilsson goes live from Merrionette Park to rock out at 115 Bourbon St. as 16 Candles plays hits from the 80s. Also, American Idol’s Gina Glockson, belts out a performance underscoring why she made it to the finals. Also on tap: performances from the hit rock ‘n’ roll musical, Million Dollar Quartet.

Music Masterminds – Mark your calendars (or Blackberrys or whatever you use to make note of your special days!) for March 25 when two jazz mastereminds join forces for an unforgettable double bill at Symphony Center. Three-time Grammy-winning saxophonist, Branford Marsalis, is known for his innovative spirit and broad musical scope, with a career that has traveled many paths, from traditional and modern jazz to hip-hop. And world-renowned trumpeter and Golden Globe nominated composer, Terence Blanchard, is one of the most important figures to emerge from the 1980 jazz resurgence and can be heard on nearly 50 film scores.

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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