National singer E. Faye Butler returns

The Rockford Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is bringing a national, originally local, singer home to Rockford’s Midway Theater Saturday, Aug. 2. Accompanied by a six-piece band from Chicago, E. Faye Butler is bringing her talent back to benefit the NCNW’s annual Black Family Reunion.

For those who haven’t heard Butler, she is well versed in gospel, jazz standards and show tunes. She also performs a little pop R & B, and will be joined on stage at the Midway by a special youth choir from area churches. She has made a name for herself as an international crowd-pleaser, receiving a standing ovation at a sold-out concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Butler has been recognized with nothing but outstanding reviews from theater and music critics everywhere, although she has no recorded albums to circulate and relies on her live performances to spread the word. She has many performance credits to her name, such as her work in Comfortable Shoes at Chicago’s Royal Theater, Gospel According to Fishman and Polk County on tour on the East Coast. Butler performed in B.L.U.E.S and Nunsense on Broadway, and recently just finished touring Maine, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. in the production of Ain’t Misbehavin’. And, to top it all off, she has also acquired television and film credits in Popular, South Central, Courthouse, Ahh…Real Monsters, Sound Stage, and Totally Out of Control.

All these achievements do not even begin to cover everything Butler has done, especially in the regional theaters. Dorothy Paige Turner, concert coordinator, said of Butler: “Faye will perform a little bit of everything. Gospel, jazz, pop, show tunes…you name it. Local people may remember her best as ‘Mrs. Peterd’s granddaughter.’ It will be a fabulous concert.” Theater critics have cited Butler as “a dazzling star who has a five-octave emotional range and a lubricious stage presence.” And the list goes on.…

Winner of the 2003 RAMI award for “Outstanding Achievement,” Butler will return to Rockford to benefit the NCNW’s annual Black Family Reunion, held on Saturday, Aug. 16 at Levings Lake Park. Founded in 1935, the NCNW’s mission is to advance the opportunities and quality of life for African-American women, their families and communities. Keep your eyes open for further information in future issues of TRRT. The benefit concert will be Saturday, Aug. 2 at The Midway Theater, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10/adults, and $5/youths and seniors, and can be purchased at the door or by calling Centre Events at 968-5222.

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