My friend Kevin-Anthony has been producing Black 2: Broadway
(www.b2productions.xbuild.com) for years now. I’ve even had the chance to script some of his special evenings that are designed to celebrate, lift up, and expose the many un-or-under-heralded Broadway performers of color. It’s always a good time! The eve of Election Day was no exception as 'Black 2: Broadway Lending a Helping Hand' served as a theme for a spirited, all-star tribute to Broadway veterans B.J. Crosby and Adrian Bailey- both of whom have had health challenges that require rehabilitation for which each could use financial support (Earlier this year,Tony Award nominee Crosby ['Smokey Joe's Café'] suffered a stroke. And, actor ( 'The Lion King' and 'Kiss of the Spider Woman') Bailey suffered a near-fatal accident at a prestiguious Broadway theatre.). Here I pose with Adrian who is always so kind and sweet. Next to him: Mr. T.C. Carson (of “Living Single” fame), I got to share with him that I recently met his former co-star Kim Coles who shared with me that he, his other co-star Erika Alexander, and I share a birthday (NOVEMBER 19TH). He was so gracious and kind... and what a VOICE!We had such a good time at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (www.nypl.org/research/sc). Firstly, good girlfriend/Spelman sister Bridget Bland was there with a forthcoming BET reality show cast (www.bet.net) of which she’s a part. She says Ant and I are her favorite 'gay' (she whispers) couple. SMILE! THANKS BRIDGET! We think you are, er..., 'fierce' too! LOL! Also, my Morehouse brother Aden Seraile, a Harlem native/event promoter, was present and a part of this BET show that is chronicling 20-something, Harlemites who are doing the thang and being the difference. And so many good friends were in the house - from legend George Faison... and Miss Sidra Smith - dear friend (actress, casting director, producer, acting coach) and twin sister of Miss Tasha Smith. Tasha and I had the chance to meet at a private, New York City screening for Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" Also in the house: my buddy Dwayne Grayman... Mr. Diaz and a pair of his fab friends... Ern and Miss Kimberly Jajuan who we haven't seen in a minute... my D'Ambrose Boyd - actor, singer, photog, designer, artist... with the MOST... I sat next to my friend Karu Daniels (http://www.blackvoicesblogs.com/category/entertainment-newswire). He forwarded these clips – some of which feature me humming from my seat. LOL:
The line-up was awesome – from Chestor Gregory... to Marva Hicks... to Alyson Wiliiams... to gospel music newcomer Ton3x (pronounced Tonex) who did a stunning rendition of "What Would I Do If I Could Feel?" - the Tin Man's song from "The Wiz". And MISS LEDISI (in her two-time GRAMMY-nominated splendor) turned it out followed by a jam-session-of-a-finale. For more information on Black 2: Broadway, log on at www.b2productions.xbuild.com.
Speaking of New York and all of its culture: While traveling to and fro, I made sure to bring books as my usual pastime of buying all the magazines on the shelves is not quite a budgetary option these days. With that, I made sure to take my friend Karen Chilton’s book (www.karen-chilton.com) on Hazel Scott. Once I wrapped, I sent her this note:
I just finished YOUR 'HAZEL' and I LOVED IT! As I've mentioned to you, celebrity bios are my favorite literary genre. Thanks to your awesomely descriptive way with words, I feel like I've been on a fantastic journey through infinite possibilities and the pitfalls that come with them (especially during that time). But what HIGHs and LOWs - all at once. Sounds like my own life sometimes and yet I know the core to Hazel's essence is RESILLIENCE... and you tangibly outlined the depths of her FIERCENESS to perfection.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Keep me posted on your on-going blitz around this project that deserves more than a promotions period. It should have a long-shelf-life to ensure that the millions who are into DIVAS know on whose shoulders they stand in large order.
Best and LOVE,
She did hip me to her upcoming event: COME JOIN HERat Barnes & Noble for the Monday Night Jazz Series.
MONDAY, JANUARY 19TH @ 7:00pm
BARNES & NOBLE - Lincoln Center
66th & Broadway, New York, NY
BOOK SIGNING & DISCUSSION along with a SCREENING of vintage film footageof Hazel Scott in performance.
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