West Side Theatre Guild's Mark Spencer is debuting a new series tonight in Gary.
Spencer's Mas Media Seven company will present its first summer concert series show featuring R & B singers K-Ci & JoJo. The duo will perform at 7 p.m. today at West Side Theatre.
"This is a group we've been wanting to invite to perform here for quite some time," Spencer said. He added a summer concert series has also been a longtime wish of his.
Spencer said the time was right for the series to begin and he's presenting this show in conjunction with Pride of the Side Alumni Association, which will be having reunion festivities this weekend.
"K-Ci and JoJo are a perfect fit. They're the last of an era of soul singers the likes of Al Green and others. They're very natural and exude a rare ability to really express a song," Spencer said.
The duo, who are brothers, were also members of the R & B group Jodeci and branched off on their own in the late '90s. Among their hits are tunes "Come and Talk to Me," and "Forever My Lady."
During a recent interview with JoJo, the singer said he looks forward to bringing their show to Gary.
"Just knowing that's where the Jacksons came from played a big role in wanting to perform there. We've been to Gary before and it's always been a nice crowd," JoJo said.
JoJo, who's given name is Joel Hailey, said he and his brother Cedric are currently making new music. Their latest hit offering is "Knock It Off."
"That song will be on our album "My Brother's Keeper" which will be out in September or October," he said. While they've been away from the mainstream music scene for awhile, this year is seeing the duo striving to come back in a big way.
"This time around it will be a lot easier to do what we want to do," JoJo said.
The brotherly bond, JoJo said, is still intact and so is their love for the music.
"Me and my brother fight like no other. But when we have a fight we know (it'll pass) and we're always going to be brothers," he said, with a laugh.
On the performance roster with K-Ci and JoJo in Gary will be K'LA, a West Side Theatre Guild alum; Glen Kimble, who won "Windy City Live's" Mazda6 Dare to Dream Search for a Star contest, dancer Asia Dickens, and comedian Bryant "BLT" Turner. Chris Michaels of WGCI radio will act as host.
FYI: General admission tickets are $35, Reserved tickets are $45, Super Saver Tickets are $25. West Side Theatre is at 900 Gerry St., Gary. Call (855) 447-6824.