By Ensemble Member Eric Simonson, Music Written and Performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 7 – Jan. 5
Tickets are on sale for Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s highly anticipated world premiere production of ‘Lindiwe,’ featuring music written and performed by the five-time GRAMMY winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Written by ensemble member Eric Simonson, and co-directed by Eric Simonson and Jonathan Berry, Lindiwe is a life-affirming love story that marries the traditional South African sounds of Zulu with Chicago’s iconic blues. As the story travels from Chicago’s Kingston Mines to South Africa and beyond, Lindiwe’s love story challenges us to define the boundaries between this world and the next, all the while exploring the sacrifices we make for love.
Starring South African stage and screen star Nondumiso Tembe (Avengers: Age of Ultron; True Blood) in the title role, Lindiwe begins November 7 and runs through January 5, in the Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St).
Lindiwe marks the third collaboration between Steppenwolf and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The legendary South African a cappella group and Steppenwolf first partnered in 1992 for The Song of Jacob Zulu, which was also directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson and transferred to Broadway receiving six Tony nominations. Actor Cedric Young who will be featured inLindiwe was part of the original Zulu cast. Then in 1996, Simonson, Steppenwolf and Ladysmith teamed up again for the “beautiful and deeply moving” (Chicago Tribune) production of Nomathemba, which went on to The Kennedy Center. Simonson received an Oscar nomination for his 2000 documentary On Tiptoe: The Music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo about the group’s global impact and message of love and peace.
“We are very excited to be working with Eric Simonson and Steppenwolf again. What we love about the creative people at Steppenwolf is that they understand our group and our rich history. They are able to connect their theatrical dreams with our culture and our country of South Africa. Lindiwe is exactly this—a connection between our two cultures, American and South African. We have been writing new songs and look forward to presenting them to the people of Chicago. Ngiyabonga (Thank You in Zulu),” shares Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Cost is $20-$109. For tickets, call 312-335-1650 or visit steppenwolf.org.