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Arts & Theater

June, 2017

ART IMITATES LIFE

Arts & Theater: Call it art imitating life. A Prospect-Lefferts Gardens dance school is reimagining the company’s displacement in their new stage play inspired by the Sister Act films, which will debut at Kings Theatre on June 25. AbunDance Academy of the Arts is presenting their project, “Sister Act, Abundantly.” Comment

Free boro-wide entertainment in City Parks

Music: One of the best bargains of the year comes every summer when City Parks announces its free, series of music, dance, films and theater. Already in full swing in many of the neighborhood parks in all five boroughs, the biggest and longest announced Brooklyn’s Celebrate Brooklyn Festival in Prospect Park. Comments (1)

Drama in the modern church

Arts & Theater: The new off-Broadway musical, “The Church…A Hospital?” received such rave reviews after its Brooklyn preview, the producers have decided to do a second performance. Writer / producer / director John Andrews is pleased to announce that the play will have a reprise showing at the York College Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017 at 5 pm. Comment

Town brawl! J’ouvert organizer criticizes pol at parade public safety meeting

Arts & Theater: She put him in line. Comment

Tribute to Afro-Cuban music diva

Music: The life of Afro-Cuban singer La Lupe, is going to be celebrated with a musical concert paying homage to her life at the City College Center for Performing Arts on June 9. Together City College, Pregones Theater, and the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute organized a series of events to celebrate the singer which will conclude with a concert. Because La Lupe was a trailblazer during a time when women were still restricted in the arts, she should be praised, said the founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. Comments (1)

‘Sweetee’ adds music to Theater Row

Arts & Theater: There’s music in the air and an abundance of melodic, harmonious rhythms onstage nightly at the Pershing Square Signature Center where “Sweetee” recently opened for a limited engagement until June 18. Comment

‘Daughters of the Mock’ witchy women

Arts & Theater: I took the L Train to First Avenue to get to Theatre 80 on St Mark’s Place where the Negro Ensemble Company is presenting playwright Judi Ann Mason’s play “Daughters of the Mock,” until June 10, 2017. Comment

Caribbean Cultural Theatre to present WordFest

Arts & Theater: E. Wayne McDonald, director of Caribbean Cultural Theatre has announced an impressive list of Caribbean authors who will headline their works, that the artists said would take patrons on a Journey of (Re)Discovery into Caribbean Literary Classics Old and New, during WorldFest, an afternoon-long literary event on Sunday 11, from 12 noon to 7 pm, at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton St., Brooklyn, New York. Comment

Caribbeing House reopens with a new look

Arts & Theater: They’re back and with a new look. The Flatbush Ditmas Park-based cultural center Caribbeing House is open again after its winter hiatus. The center which officially re-opened in April, is also sporting a new look leaving its signature red color behind for a metallic gold. The change of color is a change of direction for the hub, and a commemoration of the West Indian American Day Parade’s 50th anniversary, said the executive director. Comment

Jamaican poet in Britain honored in South Africa

Arts & Theater: Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jamaica’s premier dub poet was recently honored with a doctorate in literature from a university in South Africa for his “inspiring political activism” and relentless dedication to his craft. Comment

May, 2017

Back-to-back Reggae, Dancehall fetes to preview J55

Arts & Theater: Jamaica could easily claim the title of being reggae central this summer when the island marks 55 years of self rule. Comment

Vicitms of police violence: Playwright debuts play on injustice

Arts & Theater: The painful tale we all know. A new thought-provoking play documenting the horrors of police brutality and vigilantism is debuting at the National Black Theatre starting on May 31. “Kill Move Paradise” is a story that follows four men who meet the fate of extra-judicial or vigilante violence, mirroring major headlines following the deaths of black men. The play is a timely reminder of what is continually happening and sheds light on the aftermath, said the playwright. Comment

‘FOUR CAN’T PLAY’

Arts & Theater: The dramatic-comedy play direct from Kingston, Jamaica, “Four Can’t Play,” starring Oliver Samuels with Ruth Ho Shing, Maylynne Lowe and Dennis Titus will make its United States premiere on Saturday, May 20, 8 pm at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. Comment

Heritage and hair

Arts & Theater: Let’s talk hair. A play discussing some black lady hair struggles is debuting at the Black Lady Theatre on May 12. “Hair’itage the Play, The Journey of Sistahs and Their Hair,” follows six women dealing with the negative notions that come with their hair. The show not only identifies the varying perceptions associated with a black woman’s hairstyle but will also challenge them, said one actress in the play. Comment

Brooklyn artist creates vintage furniture from African textiles

Arts & Theater: Benga Akinnagbe is an American-born artist of Nigerian lineage, so it is not surprising that he sources some of the most beautiful prints from the continent of his ancestors, to fashion his Enitan Vintage furniture collection. Comment

Community event to focus on Haitian culture

Music: A fun community event for action. The third annual Lakay Se Lakay conference returns on May 7 in Crown Heights. The event puts Haitian culture at the forefront for a daylong meeting with musical and creative workshops, dance, art galleries, and a panel Comment

Queens play to showcase Indo-Caribbean theater

Arts & Theater: All shades of island comedy. A Queens-based theatre company is trying to create more visibility for Indo-Caribbeans in the media, and are premiering their new stage show to support this mission in June. Flat Tire Productions is crowdfunding for their five one-act play “Love Bites,” a Caribbean comedy presentation about love and relationships. Comments (1)

April, 2017

Kids get a Haiti cultural experience

Arts & Theater: Young tots got a cultural experience at a Haitian dance event in the Flatlands library branch on April 19. Comment

Clarke announces 2017 Congressional Art Competition

Arts & Theater: Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has announced the 2017 Congressional Art Competition, which allows young Brooklyn artists to share their inspiration with the entire community. Comment

Poetry, dance and all that jazz celebrating life

Music: What do teachers do in their spare time? Most teachers would say that’s a contradiction in terms! Teachers who are also artists have in fact two vocations — like Brooklyn’s PS 138 middle school teachers Michèle Voltaire Marceline and Alix (Buyu) Ambroise and teaching artist Jessica St. Vil-Ulysse. Comment

Life and struggles of Josh Gibson

Arts & Theater: He was the black bambino before the great bambino. A production highlighting Pittsburgh baseball player Josh Gibson is premiering at the Theater for the New City in Manhattan from April 19–May 7. Comments (2)

New musical spotlights Caribbean experience

Arts & Theater: The Caribbean American immigrant experience comes forth in a new musical highlighting some common themes of the Diaspora. “Welcome to America: A Caribbean Musical,” is a musical about one undocumented immigrant attempting to find her dreams and learning some life lessons along the way. Comment

The Mama Foundation revives ‘ALIVE!’ musical for spring

Music: Vy Higginsen and The Mama Foundation for The Arts announces their Spring 2017 Season with the revival of the hit musical ALIVE! 55+ and Kickin’ at The Dempsey Theater in Harlem, New York on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 7 pm, followed by Saturday matinees on May 6, 13 and 20 at 1 pm. Comment

Art exhibit celebrates Jamaica’s 55th

Arts & Theater: The Jamaican Consulate in New York celebrated some of the country’s most talented at an exhibit in Manhattan on March 31. The “Literary Salon, Jewelry, and Art Exhibit” highlighted the artwork, literature, and designs from Jamaican authors, artists, and designers, as part of honoring Jamaica’s 55th year of independence. Comment

France hosts major exhibition on Jamaican music

Arts & Theater: PARIS, March 29, 2017 (IPS) — It’s one of those movie-like spring days in Paris, where blue skies and brilliant sunshine lift spirits after a long, wet, grey winter. Many people are outdoors trying to catch the rays, but Jamaican artist Danny Coxson is not among them. He’s inside a museum in a northeastern neighbourhood of the French capital, with a brush in his hand and tubs of vivid paint beside him, focusing on finishing a portrait of a deejay named Big Youth. Comment

March, 2017

‘GOLD’ STRIKE

Arts & Theater: Thespians seem to cultivate their gift of expression by affecting the emotions of an audience large or small using comedy, drama to elicit tears and laughter within a brief period. Comment

Vincy group hosts National Heroes Day celebration

Arts & Theater: Despite the bitterly cold weather, the Brooklyn-based Garifuna Indigenous People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Inc. (GIPSVG, Inc.) Saturday evening held a very successful 2nd Annual National Heroes Day celebration at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn. Comment

On their feet: Jamaican dance group honors its founder

Arts & Theater: They are playing tribute. Comment

Queens residents celebrate Phagwah

Arts & Theater: The warm friendliness of participants at the Grand 29th Annual Phagwah Parade, melted the cold weather that blanketed Richmond Hill, Queens last Sunday, March 12, as hundreds of Indo-Caribbean nationals and citizens of all religions and races, lined the streets, while others danced on colorful floats to celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi. Comment

‘DEMERARA GOLD’

Arts & Theater: She is going solo with her bio. A one-woman show portraying multiple characters is tackling the immigrant experience and domestic violence in the Caribbean community at the New Perspective Theatre in Manhattan from March 8–12. Guyanese-American actress Ingrid Griffith’s tale “Demerara Gold,” explores the different figures in her life before and after entering the United States, and the adversity she experienced as a newcomer to the country, she said. Comment

Colorful Carnival in Haiti’s storm-hit region

Arts & Theater: LES CAYES, Haiti (AP) _ Haiti’s three-day Carnival festivities have brought rum-fueled parties, imaginative costumes and high-energy dance music to a southern city that’s still recovering from last year’s punishing Hurricane Matthew. Comment

Colorful Carnival in Haiti’s storm-hit region

Arts & Theater: LES CAYES, Haiti (AP) _ Haiti’s three-day Carnival festivities have brought rum-fueled parties, imaginative costumes and high-energy dance music to a southern city that’s still recovering from last year’s punishing Hurricane Matthew. Comment

Diversity, culture, mark Guyana’s 47 Republic Day

Music: The Guyana Consulate in New York City was a scene of comradely, and jollification, on Friday, Feb. 24, when compatriots joined hands to mark their homeland’s 47th Republic Anniversary, and Mashramani celebration. Comments (1)

February, 2017

Museum Hue celebrates second anniversary

Arts & Theater: A cultural organization diversifying the museum and arts preservation industry is celebrating its anniversary at BLDG 92 on Feb. 24. Museum Hue is turning two and the founders of the arts collective are hosting a fiesta alongside Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn’s Black Artstory Month series. For their first anniversary they focused on promoting the mission and culture, this year they are creating a safe space for their supporters in light of social issues and highlighting black pride, said one of the founders. Comment

St. Lucian artist debuts in Manhattan

Arts & Theater: A St. Lucian sculptor, internationally-known for recreating human life in his works, has brought his art to New York City for the first time. Comment

Quilts: Tribute to Black History 2017

Arts & Theater: “This exhibit makes me so happy,” says Gale Brewer, the borough president of Manhattan, of the “Quilts: Tribute to Black History 2017” exhibit in the art gallery of the Borough President’s Office Comment

STEP AFRIKA!

Arts & Theater: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2016-17 season with the much-anticipated return of Step Afrika! on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 8 pm. Comment

Multi-city workshop to prep east-coasters for carnival

Arts & Theater: Get ready for carnival. Fuze carnival is taking off its third annual three-city dance tour in three states starting this month to prepare parade goers for carnival festivities in the Caribbean. Comment

DANCE GHANA

Arts & Theater: On Saturday, Feb. 4 Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater celebrated its 16th anniversary by performing a ballet, “Ghana: The Place Where the Chief Sleeps” to a full house at Symphony Space. Comment

New York mas band at Guyana’s Mashramani

Arts & Theater: Now in its fifth year of revelry, New York costume band “Honest Illusions” will once again bring excitement to the streets of Georgetown, on Feb. 23, in a kaleidoscope of colorful pieces, under the theme “Mardi Gras,” to celebrate Guyana’s 47th Republic Anniversary, and Mashramani festivities. Comment

New play explores Harriet Tubman’s life

Arts & Theater: She is more than her narrative. A play highlighting Harriet Tubman’s final days opens at Crossroads Theatre on Feb. 16. “Beyond the Oak Trees” is a play about the freedom-fighter’s last journey on the Underground Railroad and her life in the elder home that she founded. Comment

Myrtle teach: Fort Greene artwalk celebrates black history month

Arts & Theater: Take a stroll down memory avenue. The fifth annual “Black Artstory” series of events and exhibitions will turn six blocks of Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill into a walkable history of African healing practices this month. Comment

January, 2017

DANCE JAMAICA

Arts & Theater: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2016-17 season with the much-anticipated return of National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC) on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 8 pm and on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 3 pm. Comments (1)

Haitian Revolution captured in new US exhibit

Arts & Theater: The Haitian Revolution is captured in a new exhibit here that features 15 rarely seen silkscreen prints about Toussaint L’Ouverture, the Haitian ex-slave turned general who led a revolution that ultimately wrested the Caribbean island from French control and ended slavery. Comment

‘Wake Up and Smell the Coffee’

Arts & Theater: Triskelion Arts, in association with Vangeline Theater, presents Wake Up and Smell the Coffee - Butoh for Waste Prevention: Reducing Coffee Trash in New York at Triskelion Arts (106 Calyer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222) from April 20-22, 2017 at 8pm. Comment

WIADCA unveils huge 50th anniversary celebrations

Arts & Theater: The Brooklyn-based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), organizers of the extravagant Labor Day Carnival Parade on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway, has unveiled several activities to mark its 50th anniversary. Comment