“Jitney” is a triumph for the great playwright August Wilson, director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the cast and Broadway! It opened this past Thursday and features a brilliant ensemble cast.
Forty years ago this February, President Gerald Ford, was the first to recognize “Black History Month.” This period of acknowledgement evolved from “Negro History Week,” that was created by historian Carter G. Woodson, and other prominent African-Americans. This installment of the FUNKALICIOUS blog, is a retrospective of some American and Internatinal “Black” History accomplishments and occurrences, throughout 2015…
“The Color Purple” opens on Broadway tomorrow night! Starring Jennifer Hudson as “Shug Avery,” the all around female entertainer performed a segment of the show, on “The Late Show” after taking the couch with Stephen Colbert on Monday night.
“What Now?” is Kevin Hart’s fifth major LIVE stand-up outing. I had the fortune to attend the second set on his stop in Boston last night at TD Garden — he killed it. I LOVE comedy shows! Over the years I’ve seen Paul Mooney, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, each of them two or more times.
Not too long ago, Laurence Fishburne played “Dr. Raymond Langston” in CBS’ CSI series, but first he was Dr. Joshua “Josh” Hall (#1) on “One Life to Live” on ABC TV from ’73 to ’76; he did a television movie, then began a career in film. He took on a role with Pee Wee’s Playhouse as “Cowboy Curtis” from 86 to 90; and most recently was “Jack Crawford” in the small screen version of “Hannibal,” that was based on the character made famous in the Oscar award winning film, “The Silence of the Lambs.”
One of entertainment’s true black cultural icons has passed away. Ever since childhood, my life was touched by the presence, of Geoffrey Holder. From commercials to film to actually meeting him, Holder has unquestionably influenced, encouraged and inspired dynamics of my life, that led me to choose pursuing the world of entertainment and writing as a career. A true giant in stature and in life, I am honored to have been in his presence and humbled, by the advice he rendered.
Patti LaBelle is back on Broadway this month! Appearing in the stage production of “After Midnight,” she fills in where Vanessa Williams, Toni Braxton and Fantasia have all taken bows, opposite Dule Hill http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2014/02/25/vanessa-williams-funks-up-broadway-again/. Her run goes through June 29th at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
I Funkin’ LOVE Tamar Braxton’s new CD! If you haven’t heard it, GET IT, it’s unquestionably one of the best in R&B this year. Titled “Love And War,” it’s actually set a record in Billboard history. The album features the hit “The One,” which samples the classic Mtume jam, “Juicy.”
Went to see “The Butler” last night, Loved It! Part of me was just gonna “write something” on FB, but I had to write more, and GIVE IT UP to the filmmaking genius of Lee Daniels. Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo and an impeccable ensemble cast, Lee has another future classic on his hands.
Chris Rock is presently shooting his new film “Finally Famous.” Starring Kevin Hart, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union and Rock, it’s said to be an edgy showbiz-themed comedy with romance. Given the Hart/ Rock combo, in addition to the talents of J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Romany Malco and rising starlet Haley Marie Norman, I anticipate lots of laughs. “Finally Famous” is Rock’s third direction, following his features “Head of State” and “I Think I Love My Wife.”
The City of Chicago honored ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan this past weekend by naming a street after her. A ceremony took place on Saturday, July 27th, christening “Chaka Khan Way”, and Sunday, July 28th, has now been declared “Chaka Khan Day” in Chicago, which is the FUNKY singer’s hometown. Born Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953, Chaka made her presence known during the 1970s.
Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jay-Z are the producers for the films “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” and “Annie.” This marks Jay-Z’s company’s first two efforts in film. In addition to starring in movies like “Independence Day”, “Enemy of the State”, “Wild Wild West”, “Ali”, “I Am Legend” and the franchise projects “Men in Black”; “Bad Boys”; “Hancock” and “I-Robot”…
Tom Hanks is making his Broadway debut this season in Nora Ephron’s final play “Lucky Guy.” Bette Midler is even returning to the “Great White Way” for a one-woman-show in “I’ll Eat You Last,” where she’ll depict the life of Hollywood agent Sue Mengers. Although shows with Tom and Bette are exciting, after a 30-year absence, acclaimed actress Cicely Tyson returns to the stage for “The Trip to Bountiful” – that’s entertainment!
Chrysler just released their new commercial featuring Berry Gordy riding in their new Motown 300C. This spot is supposed to air during the Super Bowl. It is nice to see Gordy and Motown get the accolades they deserve. Give them their flowers while they are here…
Sistas: The Musical had my head bouncing, my toes tapping and my off key voice singing (to myself, of course). This off Broadway production is a hidden jewel and a musical delight.
Berry Gordy and some of his most famous musical proteges hit the great white way Thursday night for a star studded preview of the new broadway production based on his life story. A crowd of 1200 people were treated to a 90 minute preview of the show that opens on April 14, 2013 at the Lunt Fontaine Theater. Previews begin March 11, 2013.
Now that summer is over, I’ve given some thought to my short list of fall adventures. I will be heading north to one of my favorite spots on the eastern seaboard, Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock in New London, Connecticut. I traveled the Connecticut coast line last summer. I must say that Connecticut has some of the best public and private beaches around. The water is beautiful and clean and the seafood is exceptional. Captain Scott’s is worth the 3 hour drive coming and going.
UPDATE: Motown: The Musical will hit Broadway on on April 14, 2013 at the Lunt Fontaine Theatre (205 West 46 Street). Preview performances will begin March 11, 2013. The cast has been set. Tickets will go on sale October 1st.
Albert Cornelius Freeman Jr. was born March 21, 1934, in San Antonio, where he lived with his mother after she and his father, a jazz pianist, divorced. He served in the Air Force and attended Los Angeles City College before heading to New York for theater roles.
Seeing A Streetcar Named Desire was on the top of my short list of things that I want to accomplish this summer. Finally got a chance to see It. LOVED IT. Highly recommend that if you haven’t seen it you get to the theatre before July 22nd when it leaves to go on tour. STELLLLLLLA!!!