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Arts & Theater

April, 2014

May Day debut for ‘Taboo Yardies’ docu

Arts & Theater: After years of anticipation, Jamaican filmmaker Selena Blake recently announced the opening of her much talked about documentary about Jamaica’s homosexual community titled “Taboo...Yardies.” Comment.

RAISIN’ BACK ON BROADWAY

Arts & Theater: Much ado about Denzel Washington’s return to Broadway focused on his age and a question as to whether the 60-year-old could convincingly portray 35-year-old Walter Lee Younger, the lead character in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin In The Sun.” Comment.

Vanessa Williams: Great time ‘After Midnight’

Arts & Theater: Vanessa Williams took time out of her busy schedule to talk to this writer about her role in “After Midnight” which she presently appears in until May 11 with Dule Hill as her leading man. After Midnight is at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, located at 256 West 47th St. (Between 8th Avenue and Broadway) in Manhattan. She replaces Toni Baxton who was featured until recently with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. Comment.

Brooklyn quilters display their artistry

Arts & Theater: Recognizable Brooklyn scenes — the Brooklyn Bridge to the Aquarium, each in fabric square blocks in a quilt, greeted quilters and fans as they entered the downtown Brooklyn exhibit. This weekend, at the NY Marriot, more than 500 attended the “Brooklyn Squared” 2014 Quilt Show that displayed the skilled and loving work of members of The Quilters’ Guild of Brooklyn. Comment.

LOVE, Above All Things

Music: By Lem Peterkin Comment.

‘Mother Goose’ love reigns

Arts & Theater: Many New York City parents and children are very concerned about children getting a well-rounded education. Some children instead of training in various sports or running home to homework and video games are getting arts education after school. Fortunately, for those who want to follow in the footsteps of off-Broadway and Hollywood actors, actresses, singers, dancers, playwrights and poets in the dramatic theatre arts programming, there are opportunities at the historic Billie Holiday Theatre on 1368 Fulton St. Comment.

PBS Series on Educational Crisis Wins Peabody Award

Books: NEW YORK (April 4, 2014)—The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) documentary series, “180 Days: A Year Inside An American High School,” which shines the spotlight on the nation’s educational crisis, has won a Peabody Award, the Pulitzer Prize of electronic media. Jacquie Jones, the executive director of NBPC, will be presented the award on May 19th at the Peabody Awards ceremony at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria. Comment.

PBS Series on Educational Crisis Wins Peabody Award

Books: NEW YORK (April 4, 2014)—The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) documentary series, 180 Days: A Year Inside An American High School, which shines the spotlight on the nation’s educational crisis, has won a Peabody Award, the Pulitzer Prize of electronic media. Jacquie Jones, the executive director of NBPC, will be presented the award on May 19th at the Peabody Awards ceremony at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria. Comment.

ATLANTIC MUSIC EXPO

Arts & Theater: Song saturated with soudade, humor, and irresistible dance rhythms are as omnipresent as ocean breezes on the Islands of Cape Verde. In April it is the destination of industry professionals and music lovers for the Atlantic Music Expo and Kriol Jazz Festival in Praia on Santiago, largest of 10 islands that make up this country. Draw a line from Europe to Brazil or Senegal to the Caribbean and you pass through the Cape Verdean Islands. Its location and historical importance in the slave trade makes it an ideally suitable environment to bring these elemental cultures together. In its music can be heard echoes of zydeco, blues, fado, and influences of zouk and kompa. Comment.

Dancehall comedy

Arts & Theater: The awaited end to this year winter season couldn’t come sooner for Caribbean nationals living in the tri-state area. With the long anticipated wait of Jamaican’s young and talented comedian Keith “Shebada” Ramsey returning to the area, the rainy weekend could not stop theater lovers from returning to their local venue in Brooklyn and Bronx for their belly wrenching, tear dropping laughter. Comment.

Caribbean cultural group stages ‘Pantomime’

Arts & Theater: Of all the locations to experience authentic theater on the international day named for it, Brooklyn scored cool points by inviting Derek Walcott, the first Caribbean writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature to witness his own “Pantomime” acted by one American and one Caribbean. Comment.

March, 2014

2014 AFUWI Awardees

Music: Famed international opera star Jessye Norman was awarded this year’s Bob Marley Award at the 17th American Foundation for the University of the West Indies’ AFUWI legacy awards benefit gala held recently in New York. The recipient of the award, sanctioned by the Marley family, is given to an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime of excellence and commitment in vocational, philanthropic and humanitarian pursuits; and whose sphere of influence goes beyond national boundaries impacting the world at large. Comment.

Machel Montano sets another record

Music: Trinidad and Tobago Merry Monarch reigned for two days as Carnival dubbed the “Greatest Show on Earth,” kicked off with Fantastic Friday, followed the next day with the crowning of the National Panorama Champion and the Calypso Monarch on Carnival Sunday night Dimanche Gras show at the Queen’s Park, Savannah, Port of Spain. Comment.

February, 2014

Children’s show for Vincy storm relief a success

Fashion: Organizers have described as a major success a recent children’s fashion/talent show in Brooklyn aimed at raising funds for the pediatric ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that was affected by the freak Christmas storm last year. Comment.

Vincentian cultural tribute to Grenada

Arts & Theater: One of the leading Vincentian cultural groups in the United States has joined in the celebration of Grenada’s 40th anniversary of political independence in Brooklyn, greatly impressing the audience with its performance. Comment.

Arts program for NYC public schools

Music: The Town Hall (123 W. 43rd St.) and Con Edison recently presented their annual Black History Month celebration for public school children with free performances by percussionist and Grammy® winner Jeff Haynes. Sponsored by Con Edison, the shows were presented to children in grades 3-8 from participating New York City schools as part of their school curriculum to introduce students to the arts. Comment.

Al Johnson’s new solo exhibition

Arts & Theater: Acclaimed visual artist Al Johnson recently opened his latest exhibition of mixed media paintings “The Room Of Wonders” at La Maison d’Art Gallery (259 W. 132nd Street) in Manhattan. Comment.

AILEY II PREMIERS ‘ALCHEMIES’

Arts & Theater: Ailey II, the youthful and gifted second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, returns to its home, the Ailey Citigroup Theater, from April 2 - 13 for a highly anticipated 40th anniversary season – the second led by Artistic Director Troy Powell. For two weeks, audiences will experience 14 performances featuring two dynamic programs, which come on the heels of a successful North American tour to more than 30 cities and an array of critically acclaimed performances in Germany and France. Comment.

WOODIE KING’S PLAY FEST

Arts & Theater: On Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 Woody King, Jr.’s National Black Touring Circuit in conjunction with Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theater Group kicked off the 2014 Black History Month Play Festival with a press conference and star studded reading of Ossie Davis’ play, “The People of Clarendon County” at Aaron Davis Hall, City College of New York. Comment.

SINGING FOR FREEDOM

Arts & Theater: Spoken-word vignettes segway into acapella song in the production of “Thokoza, I Sing for Freedom” that reopened its weekly run, now, every Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at the Jackie Onassis Theatre on 120 W. 46th St. Comment.

Jean- Léon Destine

Arts & Theater: As part of the 92nd St. Y’s “Friday at Noon” series, “Homage to a Legendary Choreographer: Jean-Léon Destiné, Tribute to a Master” was presented on Friday, Jan. 24. Comment.

LITERARY PROGRAMS

Books: This year, to celebrate Black History Month, the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College (MEC), CUNY, will present a host of informative and inspiring events celebrating 10 years of honoring the literature of people of the African diaspora. Comment.

January, 2014

THREE LITTLE BIRDS

Arts & Theater: NEW YORK (AP) — A snowy, frigid New York is about to enjoy a blast of Caribbean warmth courtesy of Jamaica and its most favorite son, Bob Marley. Comment.

First Saturday at The B’klyn Museum

Music: Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturdays’ presentation of dance, music, film, fashion co-sponspred by CARIB Being, presents a diverse group of artists of the African Caribbean Diaspora on February 1, in celebration of Black History Month. Comment.

An entertaining evening in ‘Winter Wonderland’

Arts & Theater: Despite a pall that was cast on the Vincentian community in the United States over the unexpected Christmas tragedy and destruction at home by a freak storm, the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association of New York, Inc. still sought to put on a very brave face in staging its inaugural Winter Wonderland Entertainment Evening. Comment.

Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’ premieres in NYC

Arts & Theater: A song about Bob Marley’s three backing, songbirds – The I-Three – is now a musical production and heading to a Times Square theater one day after his 69th birthday anniversary. The lyrics he penned and named “Three Little Birds” was transformed into a children’s book written by his eldest child Cedella and it is that version that is slated to open at the New Victory Theater on Feb. 7. Comment.
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