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:


Hi Karen,

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.


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.



BARNES & NOBLE - Lincoln Center

66th & Broadway, New York, NY


BOOK SIGNING & DISCUSSION along with a SCREENING of vintage film footageof Hazel Scott in performance.


SPECIAL FEATURE: To set the tone for the evening, there will be a live concert performance by the brilliant, youngjazz pianist, Courtney Bryan. Her CD "Quest for Freedom" will also be available for purchase.

Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 01:30PM by Registered CommenterTHE LIFE OF RILEY in | CommentsPost a Comment | References4 References

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