Summertime’ wins Broadway’s ‘Bess’

Actress and opera singer Audra McDonald will be singing from springtime into summertime after recently winning a Tony award.

She joined the winner’s list in the category of Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Bess in George Gershwin’s classic “Porgy & Bess.”

The recent win marks her fifth Tony Award.

She is now tied with Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris as the third actress in history to hold five Tony Awards.

“I was a little girl with a potbelly and Afro puffs, hyperactive and overdramatic,” the 41-year-old Broadway star said after accepting the coveted theater honor.

“I found the theater, and I found my home.”

McDonald won a Tony in 2004 for her stellar performance in “A Raisin in the Sun.”

She is probably best known to television audience as the star of “Private Practice.”

Through four seasons she portrayed the character Dr. Naomi Bennett.

She won three NAACP Image Award nominations for that role.

McDonald was born in Germany but raised in California.

She studied classical voice at The Juilliard School in New York City.

The reworked version of the Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess” has been attracting packed houses to the Richard Rodgers Theater.

Co-starring Norm Lewis (Porgy), David Alan Grier and an extraordinary ensemble cast, the 1935 revival of George & Ira Gershwin’s four-hour opera was condensed into a two and a half hour musical delight.

Despite initial criticisms from so-called theater experts, theater audiences rallied to see the revised and adapted version by Diane Paulus, the artistic director of the American Repertory Theater.

Along with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and Obie Award-winning composer Diedre Murray, they retooled the musical for Broadway.

The musical is enchanting, the language – entrancing and the music?

Well, with Porgy and Bess, a song such as “Summertime” is a cue to cheer.

Harlem ‘Pride’ 2012 celebrates LGBTs

The third Harlem Pride celebration promises a variety of events to “foster and support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Same Gender Loving (LGBTQ & SGL) Pride in Harlem.

Beginning June 22 the activities include church services, fundraiser, walkathons, parades, cocktail sips and a variety of community-based activities in Harlem.

A three-day calendar of events culminates on Sunday, June 24 with the Heritage of Pride March in Greenwich Village. Here is an abbreviated listing of activities:

Friday, June 22, 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Harlem Pride 2012 VIP Launch Party and Fundraiser

730 Riverside Drive, Suite 9-E, West 150th St .

Cocktail reception catered by Chef Michael E. Hodge.

Saturday, June 23, 12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m.

Harlem Pride Day Celebration (FREE) – Jackie Robinson Park

Jackie Robinson Park is located on West 145th Street (Bradhurst Avenue and Edgecombe Avenue)

Harlem Pride Day Celebration will be held in Jackie Robinson Park and will include vendors, artists, food, films, lectures, VIP and political guest speakers and entertainment.

Opening invocation officiated by LGBT Faith Leaders of African descent.

Sunday, June 24, 12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m.

Heritage of Pride Parade – Starts at 36th Street & 5th Ave, ends at Christopher & Greenwich Streets (FREE) – Closing Event

For more information visit www.harlempride.org

Catch You On The Inside!

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