The Ensemble Theatre Presents The Holiday Musical 'Christmas Is Comin' Uptown'
HOUSTON, Nov. 6, 2006 -- With the holiday season quickly upon us and in continued celebration of the 30th Anniversary, The Ensemble Theatre is pleased to present this year's holiday sensational musical, "Christmas is Comin' Uptown," which is loosely based on the original Dickens "Christmas Carol." This Broadway play is festive musical entertainment at its best celebrating the holidays and is directed by the Ensemble's talented Artistic Director Eileen J. Morris; it is co-written by well known authors Philip Rose and Peter Udell.
The traditional story of "A Christmas Carol" gets a jazzy and colorful makeover depicting Scrooge as a Harlem slumlord who is about to foreclose on a tenement house and a church when a surprise visit from an "old friend" and some groovy ghosts encourage him to reconsider. The musical provides the audience with the opportunity to engage themselves in what life would be like if we approached it unselfishly and with greater intent on becoming the best human being that we all can be.
Morris says, "The musical 'Christmas is Comin' Uptown' is one of my favorite plays because Christmas is the season of the year in which families come together, the human condition is enlightened and there is strengthening and softening of the human spirit. It is filled with hand clapping, soul stirring music infused with message about redemption and the importance of family."
The musical has an extremely talented production crew including musical director, Samuel Jackson; choreographer Patdro Harris; and musical composer Garry Sherman. Jackson debuted as musical director and arranger for "Get Ready" and is a dedicated teacher and band director at Madison High School; Harris recently choreographed the Tony Award winning Broadway hit "A Raisin in the Sun," starring Houston's own Phylicia Rashad and Sean "Puffy" Combs; and Sherman has composed and scored several New York Times critic's picks including "The Heartbreak Kid, "Alice's Restaurant" and "Call Me Anna."
Philip Rose began his career as a Broadway producer with Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun," starring Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee, as well as "Owl and the Pussycat," "Purlie," "Victorious" and Shenandoah"; Peter Udell has worked successfully as a songwriter, record producer, lyricist and book writer for Broadway musicals including, "Purlie," "Amen Corner" and "Comin' Uptown" to name a few.
Featured Ensemble actors along with newcomers in the musical production include: Gary E. Vincent (Scrooge), G. Allen Mack, Eve Tates, Derrick Cyprian, Noah Henry, Clarence Whitmore, Andrew Jackson, Aisha Ussery, Tommie Harper, Tamara Stewart, Elizabeth Earnest and Teacake Ferguson.
Preview dates are Saturday, Nov. 18th at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 19th at 3:00 p.m., and Wednesday, Nov. 22nd at 7:30 p.m. Opening Night is Friday, Nov. 24th at 7:30 p.m. with a media reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the performance at The Ensemble Theatre located at 3535 Main St. "Christmas Is Comin' Uptown" is generously supported by Target and a grant from the City of Houston through the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County (CACHH) and is rated (G) for general audience and family entertainment.
"Christmas is Comin' Uptown" Directed by Eileen J. Morris November 24-December 31, 2006 Performance Times Previews: Saturday Nov. 18th 8:00 p.m. Sunday Nov. 19th 3:00 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 22nd 7:30 p.m. Thursdays 7:30 p.m. Fridays 8:00 p.m. Saturdays 2:00 p.m. Matinee and 8:00 p.m. Sundays 3:00 p.m. Matinee
For ticket information and groups sales, call the Box Office at (713) 520-0055.
Founded by the late George Hawkins, The Ensemble Theatre is celebrating 30 years of uninterrupted performances during its 2006-2007 season. Each year, The Ensemble presents an annual repertoire of six critically acclaimed dramas, comedies and musicals that demonstrate the artistic ability of professional local, regional and national artists and support staff. The Ensemble is one of the largest African-American professional theatre companies in the U.S. that produces its plays in-house, has a comprehensive educational outreach initiative and owns its own facility. The theatre is a non-profit organization with an annual operating budget of $1.5 million. Located at 3535 Main St. in the heart of Midtown Houston, the theatre has three stages with a total seating capacity of 725. In keeping with the late founder's vision, The Ensemble also has an educational touring program and summer young performers training program. For more information or to subscribe to our season, please visit the website at www.ensemblehouston.com or call (713) 520-0055.
CONTACTS: The Ensemble Theatre Janette Cosley, Executive Director of The Ensemble Theatre (713) 520-0055 firstname.lastname@example.org Advantage Communications Linda K. Brown, Media Relations Consultant (713) 737-8321 email@example.com