B.B. King With Ruth Brown & Bobby "Blue" Bland | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

B.B. King With Ruth Brown & Bobby "Blue" Bland 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

If this were just B.B. and Bobby, it might not be noteworthy. King's show is always entertaining and occasionally transcendant, but we've seen it all before; Bland's voice these days usually sounds as if he's abused it past the point of reclamation, and he often seems as if he's phoning in his performances. But Ruth Brown is a dynamic and legendary performer who's reclaiming her place among R & B royalty. Brown has lost little of the powerful vocal elegance that skyrocketed her to fame back in the late 40s; she's one of the most musical of all R & B entertainers, with a feel for harmonic and rhythmic nuance that allows her to immerse herself in a swinging jazz arrangment as easily as a rough-edged R & B backing. Her performances serve as exhuberant rituals of renewal after years of undeserved obscurity; and her showstopper, "If I Can't Sell It (I'm Gonna Keep Sittin' on It)," is an anthemic celebration of sass and pulchritude that provides a welcome, brash challenge to the anorexic callowness of much contemporary pop. Tonight, 8 PM, and Saturday, 7 and 11 PM, Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 and U.S. 30, Merrillville, Indiana; 734-7266.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher, Paul Natkin.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
New Paradigms: #BlackGirlMagic Art Institute of Chicago
October 22
Lit & Lectures
October 22

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories