An Evening at the Theater / by Leslie Jones & Associates, Inc.

From left: Inga Dainius, Victoria Young, Nic Gabriel, Debra Justice, Leslie Jones and Marlene Iglitzen

This past month the LJAI team had the opportunity to have a night out to see a play called “Black and White Love," a production put on at the beautiful Black Ensemble Theater. This was a truly heart-wrenching love story depicting the relationship between Roger Ebert and his wife, Chaz, as told from her perspective. The play incorporated a lively 7-piece orchestra, a talented chorus of singers and dancers, and exhilarating choreography that kept the audience upbeat throughout, even during the more somber moments.

We were taken aback by lead actress portraying Chaz, Rashanda Dawan, who brilliantly exemplified her character. She carried herself in a confident and charismatic manner as if she were Chaz herself, through the way she moved and the way she talked. Chaz’s unending love for Roger was plainly evident, before, during and after his fight with cancer. There were many references to cancer as the story progresses, allowing the audience to experience the weight of the hardship felt by the couple.

Threads combating racism and promoting love for all were woven into the story and reflected in each scene. Roger and Chaz clearly demonstrated that, when it comes to their relationship, the only opinion that matters is their own, and with racial and other types of discrimination continuing to have a grasp on today’s society, their journey is something that many can find relatable. The strong message that there should be love for everyone, no matter your age, race, color or creed, was depicted tirelessly through this show. It was truly inspiring to witness such a heartfelt testament to true love, and it is productions such as these that will help to shed light and bring change to important issues in our society.