Friday, August 16, 2019

Quote by Aretha Franklin

Quote by Aretha Franklin in NY Post article - Beautiful little girl had it all:
No matter how successful you are, one day the applause is going to die down. The amens and the hallelujahs will be silent and even the money will stop flowing. When that happens, you’ve got to know who you are and what you’re going to do.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Pose - "Love's In Need Of Love Today" Episode

Really enjoyed the awesome Billy Porter and the performances on the recent Pose episode. Here is the cast performing "Love's In Need Of Love Today." Enjoy!!!

Harriet Tubman Biopic

The Harriet biopic trailer dropped this week. Harriet Tubman is one of (if not) the most important black women in American history. Featuring this American story on the big screen is WAY overdue.The film features some of my favorite artists today - Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. and Janelle Monae. However, the week has been bittersweet as there has been renewed online backlash regarding a British actress being cast as Harriet. And if you recall, David Oyelowo, a British actor, played MLK Jr. (another iconic black American) several years back. There was even more online outrage when a few of Erivo's old social media postings were unearthed and viewed as disparaging to black Americans. Despite this, I will go to the theater in November, buy a ticket, and support this important film about my sheroe (just like I supported the film Selma). But it is NOT lost on me that true art is political and decisions made matter. And no one in 2019 should act like America's history has been a fair and level playing field for all...

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Quote from Lanford Wilson's "Burn This"

Burton in Lanford Wilson's Burn This:
Make it as personal as you can. Believe me, you can't imagine a feeling everyone hasn't had. Make it personal, tell the truth, and then write 'Burn this' on it.  

Monday, April 22, 2019

Quote from Will Eno's "Thom Pain (based on nothing)"

Thom Pain in Thom Pain (based on nothing):
What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? That's easy. You'd be brave and true and reckless. You would love life and people with wild and new abandon. If you only had a day. What if you only had forty years? What would you do? If you're like me, and - no offense, but - you probably are, you wouldn't do anything. It's sad, isn't it? 

Friday, April 19, 2019

My Quest to See August Wilson's American Century Cycle Continues

I've read August Wilson's 10 play American Century Cycle. However, I haven't seen them all. Several years ago at Signature, I was chitchatting with a fellow theatergoer (from Pittsburgh) who had seen the cycle and was even familiar with the Hill District where 9 of the 10 plays take place. After that conversation, I began a quest to: 

Read the cycle (I did it! Thanks, Julliard), 
Visit the Hill District (I did it! Thanks, Road Dawg),
And see the cycle (I'm working on it!). 

Lucky for me, several theaters have been mounting the cycle with Red Bank's Two River Theater even committing to mount all 10 plays.To cross another play off my list, I recently traveled down to Philly's Arden Theatre Company to see my 7th play of the cycle - Gem of the Ocean. And what can I say - Bravo to Zuhairah for literally bringing Aunt Ester to life before my admiring eyes and inviting me into 839 Wylie Ave. And then thank you for taking me on an uncomfortable painful journey on a slave ship (I honor every African who lost their life during the Middle Passage). 

What an evening...what a quest...

August Wilson's 10 Play American Century Cycle
1900s Gem of the Ocean*
1910s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
1920s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom*
1930s The Piano Lesson*
1940s Seven Guitars
1950s Fences*
1960s Two Trains Running*
1970s Jitney*
1980s King Hedley II*
1990s Radio Golf

* Plays seen

Thursday, April 18, 2019

TimesTalks x T Magazine: Terrence McNally

Terrence McNally joined by Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon at TimesTalk.

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, which begins previews on May 4th, was not on my Broadway "must see" list this season. However, after the TimesTalk, I may have to add it to the list. Interesting bit of trivia -- Frankie and Johnny is the first Broadway production to use an Intimacy Director.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Soundtrack of America: Night 4 at The Shed

Wow, just enjoyed two weekends celebrating African American voices. 

First, the National Symphony Orchestra with Cynthia Erivo at the Kennedy Center.

Then, Soundtrack of America: Night 4 - a concert series celebrating the influence of African American music with a new generation of groundbreaking artists. 

Soundtrack of America was conceived by filmmaker Steve McQueen after filming 12 Years a Slave. Standing in Congo Square, the birthplace of African American music, McQueen wanted to know more about the music and with no museum or other place to go, he gave us Soundtrack of America.  

The Artists - Night 4
Melanie Faye
Terrace Martin
Sy Smith
Cory Henry
DJ Natasha Diggs (Special Guest)

Monday, April 15, 2019

NSO Pops: An Evening with Cynthia Erivo: Legendary Women’s Voices

Wow, just enjoyed two weekends celebrating African American voices. 

First up, the National Symphony Orchestra joined by Cynthia Erivo singing some of her favorite songs at the Kennedy Center. What a special treat hearing Florence Price's Finale from Symphony No. 3. Unknown to me, Florence Price is the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra (the Chicago Symphony Orchestra).

Pieces Performed Include:
Ave Maria
I Put a Spell on You
Stormy Weather 
Ain’t No Way
I Never Loved a Man
Midnight Train to Georgia

Take Care of This Home
Ne Me Quette Pas
I Who Have Nothing
I'd Rather Go Blind
At Last 
Take My Hand Precious Lord

Natural Woman

Saturday, April 13, 2019

NYCB Art Series - Shantell Martin

Another enjoyable art installation at the New York City Ballet: Artist Shantell Martin