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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 5 to 7 (R for sexuality) Romantic romp revolving around an aspiring young writer (Anton Yelchin) and a married, middle-aged socialite (Berenice Marlohe) who rendezvous at the same time every day for a passionate affair at a classy, Midtown Manhattan hotel. Featuring Glenn Close, Olivia Thirlby and Frank Langella. Comment.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Trini film to debut at BAM

Movies: The Caribbean Film Academy that has been entertaining moviegoers with stirring films by gifted filmmakers from the region since 2012 is proud to debut its series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Rose Cinemas, beginning on Tuesday, April 7. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Comment.

Take 6 takes center stage

Music: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 60th Anniversary Season with a concert by Grammy-winning a cappella jazz group Take 6 on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. Heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet,” the most awarded vocal group in history (10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more) celebrates their 25th Anniversary in a soulful concert that fuses gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop. Comment.

AILEY RETURNS TO LINCOLN

Arts & Theater: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, will return to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for a two-week 15-performance engagement at the David H. Koch Theater June 10 – 21, 2015. Comment.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ferrell, Hart co-star in unlikely-buddies comedy

Movies: Thanks to a flourishing career as a hedge fund manager, James King (Will Ferrell) is living in the lap of luxury in a sprawling, Bel Air mansion. Furthermore, the pampered multimillionaire’s stock seems about to skyrocket, given his promotion to partner and his impending marriage to the boss’ (Craig T. Nelson) daughter, Alissa (Alison Brie). Comment.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

An oddball’s life after high school

Books: There is life after high school. And were you ever happy to learn that! You couldn’t imagine spending the rest of your days feeling like you did at 13, or enduring a not-cool lifetime of zits, hormones, self-consciousness, bad hair, and Mean Girls. You were only able to endure it then by remembering that you weren’t alone. And in “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” by Issa Rae, life got better. Comment.

Neville Jules, steel band icon, to be honored

Music: One of the revered and legendary names of steel band history in Trinidad and Tobago, Neville Jules, the former longtime leader of the popular Trinidad All Stars band, will be honored by the Trinidad & Tobago Folk Arts Institute for his singular devotion to and impact upon steel band culture, at a gala celebration on Sunday evening, April 26 at Brooklyn’s Tropical Paradise Ballroom. Comment.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Apartment Troubles (Unrated) American Dream dramedy about a couple of Bohemian artist roommates (Jess Weixler and Jennifer Prediger) on the verge of eviction who relocate from Greenwich Village to L.A. to take a shot at fame and fortune. With Megan Mullally, Will Forte, Jeffrey Tambor and Lance Bass. Comment.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Classical Theatre celebrates 15th anniversary

Arts & Theater: The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) (Ty Jones, producing artistic director; David Roberts, managing director) proudly announces plans for its landmark 2015 season. The Harlem-based American theatre company will present its 15th Anniversary Celebration and Benefit Concert this spring, featuring songs from the musical “Witness Uganda,” winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2014 Richard Rodgers Production Award for Musical Theater; a free summer production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest; and the winter holiday world premiere of a new CTH-commissioned musical, “The First Noel.” Comment.

Slave Girl

Arts & Theater: A new stage adaptation of Harriet Jacobs’ 1861 autobiography, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Comment.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

TALLEST TREE

Arts & Theater: Daniel Beaty gives a tour-de-force performance, playing up to 40 characters in “The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” a solo play, which he also wrote. It tells the life story of Paul Robeson, a towering figure among our nation’s prominent African-Americans. Renowned director Moisés Kaufman returns to BAM (The Laramie Project, 2013 Winter/Spring) to direct this show which has delighted and enlightened audiences from Kansas City, to LA, La Jolla, and Washington, DC. Comment.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ghanaian ‘game changer’ with a twist

Books: Your father always told you to reach for the stars. Be the best you can be, he said. Never let obstacles get in your way. Strive for success and challenge yourself – all excellent advice, but how can you harness astronomical success in this, or any economy? In the new book “It’s Not Rocket Science” by Mary Spio, you’ll find some stellar ideas. Comment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Charity quilts go to region’s agencies

Arts & Theater: In an atmosphere of creativity, the energy was infectious in the main hall, also the sanctuary, of Manhattan’s Church of Holy Apostles. While the judging for the Empire Quilters bi-annual group show taking place March 28 and 29 at FIT was going on in a side room, clusters of women positioned themselves around circular tables amiably chatting, yet completely focused. Comment.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Amour Fou (Unrated) Costume drama, set in Berlin in the Romantic Era, about a young poet (Christian Friedel) who enters a suicide pact with a terminally-ill socialite (Schnoeink) after failing to convince his kissing cousin (Sandra Hueller) to do so. Supporting cast includes Stephan Crossmann, Barbara Schnitzler and Marc Bischoff. (In German with subtitles) Comment.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Josephine Baker’s many faces

Books: You are a kid with determination. You set your sights on something, and it’s done. You don’t waste any time, don’t mess around — you want it and you’ll have it, one way or another. Comment.

Lady Day induction to Apollo Walk Of Fame

Music: It’s hard to imagine the inimitable Billie Holliday at 100 years of age. Images of a fresh gardenia in her hair, a sassy sway of her hips; smooth, sensuous sounds from her jazzy repertoire and the Diana Ross film “Lady Sings The Blues” makes it difficult to perceive the talented singer a centenarian. Comment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Back to the subcontinent for pleasant, if pat, sequel

Movies: When we last saw Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel), he had just proposed to his thoroughly-modern girlfriend Sunaina (Tina Desai), much to the chagrin of his meddling, more traditional mother (Lillete Dubey). The ambitious young entrepreneur had also landed the funds to renovate his ramshackle hotel with the help of Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith), one of the residents of the retirement community. Comment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Angella Ricot pens new story of lust, greed, politics

Books: The new novel “Sahara” (published by AuthorHouse) by author Angella Ricot follows a beautiful heroine through the political intrigues of the 1990s and early 2000s as she finds herself in the center of a political scandal that threatens to consume her. Comment.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 3 Hearts (PG-13 for sexuality, brief nudity, mature themes and pervasive smoking) Romantic romp revolving around an incestuous love triangle that arises when sparks fly between a newlywed tax inspector (Benoit Poelvoorde) and his bride’s (Chiara Mastroianni) sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg). With Catherine Deneuve, Andre Marcon and Patrick Mille. (In French and Chinese with subtitles) Comment.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

DANCE TREAT

Arts & Theater: “Kumina” and other island dance favorites are among treats programmed into a two-day repertoire billed for the 60th anniversary season at Brooklyn Center of the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College when the National Dance Theater Company of Jamaica (NDTC) return here. Comment.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Con man matches wits with former protégé

Movies: Good (2 stars) Comment.

Postage stamp to honor ‘Miss Calypso’ Forever

Arts & Theater: It is Women’s History Month and a phenomenal woman is being memorialized when spring breaks — less than a year after her death. First acclaimed as Miss Calypso — prior to becoming the well-known Maya Angelou — she was known by a moniker that lauds the Caribbean and its music. Comment.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Patoranking signs deal with VP Records

Music: Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, better known by his stage name Patoranking, is a Nigerian reggae-dancehall singer and songwriter. Patoranking started his musical career doing underground collaborations with artists such as XProject, Konga, Slam and Reggae Rockstone. He signed a record deal with K-Solo’s Igberaga Records in 2010, releasing “Up in D Club” under the outfit. Patoranking became a protégé of Dem Mama Records after collaborating with Timaya on his song “Alubarika.” Comment.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015

Steel Pulse to liven Brooklyn book launch

Music: Reggae fans will be nourished mentally, physically and probably in other ways when they stop into the Brooklyn Public Library on March 4 for a book launch. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Bad Asses on the Bayou (R for violence, profanity, sexuality and nudity) Danny Trejo and Danny Glover reprise their roles in this sequel to “Bad Ass 2” set in Baton Rouge where the aging tough guys take the law into their own hands to rescue a pal’s (John Amos) daughter kidnapped for ransom (Loni Love). Rob Mello, Sammi Rotibi and Jimmy Bennett. Comment.

Friday, Feb. 27, 2015

Brooklyn actor receives Black History Month award

Movies: Brooklyn Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, deputy leader and chair of the City Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, has presented a New York City Council Proclamation to Brooklyn actor and activist Wendell Pierce (“Selma,” “The Wire,” “Treme”) as part of Black History Month celebrations. Comment.

SOULFUL SPIRIT

Music: “Vilnerab” (Vulnerable), the second studio album from Haitian Roots singer/composer/guitar player Paul Beaubrun, was released on Feb. 19, 2015 on Itunes worldwide. “Vilnerab” is steeped in traditional acoustic instruments, yet wrapped in a modern arrangement with a soulful spirit. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015

‘1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music’

Books: You turned up the volume – again. Surely, the guy in the car next to yours must think you’re weird. There you are, groovin’ to your tunes, seat-dancing, singing along like you were in-concert. Really, is there such a thing as having the music too loud? Comment.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: ’71 (R for graphic violence, disturbing images and pervasive profanity) Historical drama, set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, about a British soldier’s (Jack O’Connell) desperate effort to survive after he‘s severely beaten during an IRA riot and separated from his unit. With Richard Dormer, Jack Lowden, Sam Reid and Martin McCann. Comment.

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

Haitian and Dominicans artists collaborate

Arts & Theater: Twenty-seven artists of Dominican and Haitian-heritage together are collaborating in what seems impossible on the island of Hispaniola itself. Comment.

READY FOR MASH

Arts & Theater: New York mas band “Honest Illusions” is ready to capture the crown in the medium band category when revelers take to the streets of Georgetown to celebrate Guyana’s 45th Republic Anniversary and Mashramani Parade on Feb. 23. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015

Kool Jamaican Father of Hip-Hop

Music: On any given day, tourists and curious individuals stop at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx to take selfies and snap photos of the façade of the apartment building. Comments (1).

Fetish flick fails to match erotic best-seller hype

Movies: “Fifty Shades of Grey” marked the remarkable writing debut of TV executive-turned-romance novelist Erika Mitchell. Publishing under the pen name E.L. James, the British author has enjoyed unparalleled success, selling over 100 million copies worldwide in just a few years. Comment.

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015

FANTASTIC MONTANO

Music: Machel Montano showed once again he is the boss of soca when he copped the International Power Monarch for the fifth straight year on “Fantastic Friday” night at the Hasley Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, Trinidad, to kick off of the Carnival celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago. Comment.

Monday, Feb. 16, 2015

‘Pirate of the Caribbean’ weds in the Bahamas

Movies: From a choice of all the paradise islands spread throughout the Caribbean and another 700 sprinkled over 100,000 square miles of The Bahamas, actor Johnny Depp found one ideal to say his vows to his new bride Amber Heard. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015

Colorful Indian culture celebrated at the UN

Arts & Theater: A colorful spectacle of the rich Indian culture, mesmerized guests on Friday, Feb. 6, at the United Nations in New York City, where music, dance and national fare were celebrated with enjoyment. Comment.

Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

LATIN DANCE FEST

Arts & Theater: New York City Center will present “A Bailar: Dance at the Center,” a three-week Latin dance festival featuring three acclaimed dance companies from Cuba, Argentina and Spain, running Feb. 18 – March 7, 2015. Comment.

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015

‘Adam’ spotlights Bimini, Bahamas

Arts & Theater: Few plays ever shine a spotlight on the Caribbean except to marvel at the pristine beaches, eternal sunshine and soulful music that endears carnival and revelry. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015

Robert Blackburn’s ‘Passages’

Arts & Theater: “We show Black History all the time,” said Corrine Jennings director of Wilmer Jennings Gallery. Through March, selections from the master printmaker “Robert (Bob) Blackburn: Passages” is on exhibition at the Wilmer Jennings Gallery, 219 E. 2nd St., a satellite space of Kenkeleba House. Comment.

Colin Firth shines as suave spy in nostalgic movie

Movies: Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is such an unassuming, buttoned-downed bloke that no one in his right mind would suspect him to be a highly-skilled secret agent capable of killing at the drop of a derby. But as a Kingsman, he belongs to an exclusive fraternity of nattily-attired spies who abide by the motto “Manners Maketh Man.” Members of this covert organization consider themselves modern-day knights, and they see their suits as body armor. Comment.

Griffith tells her story in ‘Demerara Gold’

Arts & Theater: Fresh off a successful performance in Georgetown, Guyana, Ingrid Griffith’s phenomenal one-woman satirical drama - “Demerara Gold” will give an audience a belly-full of laughs when she comes to Brooklyn’s St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church at 331 Hawthorne St., on Feb, 21. Show time is 3:00 p.m. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015

Challenges, solutions for Caribbean energy security: WB

Movies: The World Bank says while there are many challenges, there are also solutions to Caribbean energy security. The Washington-based financial institution said oil provides more than 90 percent of primary energy needs in the Caribbean, making the region highly vulnerable to price fluctuations. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Crazy Bitches (Unrated) Horror comedy about seven sorority sisters whose weekend getaway with a gay pal (Andy Gala) to a remote cabin in the woods is ruined by the arrival of a bloodthirsty psychopath who proceeds to pick them off one-by-one. Co-starring Samantha Colburn, Cathy DeBuono, Liz McGeever, Victoria Profeta, Guinevere Turner, Nayo Wallace and Mary Jane Wells. Comment.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015

Rikki Jai wins Chutney Soca title

Music: Veteran Chutney singer Rikki Jai captured two crowns at the annual Chutney Soca Monarch finals held last weekend at Skinner Park, San Fernando. Comment.

Garifuna jazz goes to Trinity College

Music: “This is our launching of Black History Month,” said Dr. Dario Euraque, Trinity College history professor. “And, we’re giving it a more international focus.” Comment.

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015

DIANA ROSS WOWS CROWD

Music: Diana Ross probably isn’t used to being the opening act. The soul legend captivated a sold-out crowd at the grand reopening of the Kings Theatre in Flatbush on Tuesday night, but the main attraction was the majestic and painstakingly restored venue. Comment.

Rihanna to duet with rapper West & British Knight

Music: Saint Michael, Barbados-born, Robyn Rihanna Fenty AKA Rihanna is part of a triumvirate billed to take the stage at the Staples Center in California Sunday to perform from her anticipated “Four Five Seconds” CD during the 57th annual Grammy awards. Comment.

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015

Irrepressible, super-talented Hazel Scott

Music: A befuddling curiosity it is, how conspicuously absent Hazel Scott’s name and contribution on more than one level have been from the story of African American struggle and survival, in New York City and in the U.S. overall. For an individual who accomplished as much as she did, both as an exceptionally gifted artist and a crusader for equal rights, Scott’s exclusion from, or at best minimalist presence in, the honor roll of outstanding trailblazers of color is a travesty. Comment.

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015

Cautionary tale revisits sub-prime mortgage crisis

Movies: It is California in 2007, at the height of the sub-prime mortgage boom. Jason “Jay” Kelley (Beau Martin Williams), a cash-strapped bouncer is offered an alternative line of work in a higher tax bracket by Devin Weiss (Matt Funke), a hotshot real estate broker whose company is in the midst of a hiring blitz. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 3 Nights in the Desert (Unrated) Intriguing romantic romp revolving around the awkward love triangle drama which arises when a musical trio reunites in the desert a decade after the band members went their separate ways. Co-starring Wes Bentley, Amber Tamblyn and Vincent Piazza. Comment.

Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015

Kings Theatre re-opens in Flatbush

Arts & Theater: Brooklyn Councilman Dr. Mathieu Eugene last week joined top city officials at the re-opening of Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Comment.

Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

Tenza charms Scottish crowds

Music: Over the past few years multi-award winner Tenza from Montego Bay, Jamaica has cultivated a very specific brand identity with her charismatic, prolific and candid lyrics. Comment.

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

MISS JAMAICA STANDS PROUD

Fashion: “Old pirates, yes they rob I” — Bob Marley. Some Jamaicans are voicing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” to express their ire about Miss Jamaica’s fourth-runner up position in the recent Miss Universe beauty pageant. Comment.

Yearlong birthday celebration for Third World superstar

Music: While many distinguished individuals share Black History Month to commemorate their life’s outstanding work, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., remains the singular achiever afforded a day to mark his iconic deeds. Comment.

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015

Grandparents square-off over biracial child

Movies: When Elliot Anderson’s (Kevin Costner) wife Carol (Jennifer Ehle) perishes in a tragic car accident, he suddenly finds himself facing the prospect of raising his seven-year-old granddaughter Eloise (Jillian Estell) alone. After all, the couple had originally assumed custody from the moment their own daughter died giving birth to the little girl, since the baby’s drug-addicted father (Andre Holland) was behind bars and totally unfit to be a parent. Comment.