Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson’s First Musical at Court Theatre
For many, the 6-man band playing the jump blues standards that are Louis Jordan’s Greatest Hits (Piano/Band Leader, Abdul Hamid Royal; Trombone, J.P. Floyd; Bass, Chuck Webb; Drums, Harold Morrison; Trumpet, Sam Hankins; Reeds, Jarrard Harris) will in itself be worth the price of admission. They sit on a perch above and behind what feels like a gauze curtain, allowing you to tune them in and out as you shift focus to the talents on the stage.
Talents they are!- these five triple threat Moes ,and the young modern day man they are attempting to school, Nomax. Nomax (Stephen ‘Blu’ Allen) has just been jilted by his long time girlfriend who tired of his bad ways, and these five Moes (Eat Moe, James Earl Jones II; No Moe, Eric A. Lewis; Little Moe, Darrian Ford; Four Eyed Moe, Kelvin Roston Jr. and Big Moe, Lorenzo Rush Jr.) have jumped into his life to teach him the a, b, c’s of being a man. They sing of ways to navigate getting hitched and getting nookie. They cajole him that there is no reason for him to stop drinking if he’s only going to start again. They roll their eyes at his slowness to get how he isn’t getting it, in all senses.
It’s the rare moment when these Moes stand still (Movement/Musical Staging, Christopher Carter). Toe heel gliding as an ensemble across the stage, bouncing off three snaked tubes that give them a gymnasium within the set (Scenic Design, Courtney O’Neill), or Big Moe shimmying his oversized chest with a smile oversized in scale to match—this is a perpetual motion machine ensemble with rhythm.
27 songs —catchy tunes all—and YOU join in the performance! (No spoiler details here—other than to caution women to wear shoes they can dance in, just in case.)
Five Guys Named Moe is first and foremost about FUN.
Playwright: Clarke Peters
Director: Ron OJ Parson
Music Director: Abdul Hamid Royal
Associate Director: Felicia P. Fields
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Note: an excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago.
Thru October 8
Wednesdays and Thursdays 7:30 PM
Fridays 8:00 PM
Saturdays 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Sundays 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM
5535 South Ellis