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Ain't No Crying the Blues (In the Memory of Howlin Wolf) 

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 11 2013
Price: $45-$65
blackensemble.org
Chicago blues legend Chester Arthur Burnett—better known as Howlin Wolf—is the subject of this stage biography by Black Ensemble Theater founder Jackie Taylor. Like all of Taylor's shows about African-American entertainers, it favors music over narrative. The production is packed with hits made famous by Howlin Wolf and others, performed by a powerful, first-rate blues band, but the skimpy, nearly drama-free story feels like a hastily written eighth-grade book report. Instead of finding a central conflict or theme, Taylor presents an aggregation of facts. Still, the production features plenty of fine performances; Rick Stone, who's played Howlin Wolf before at Black Ensemble Theater, is especially riveting. —Jack Helbig

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