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"... 'TWAS PASSING STRANGE..."

Image1a.jpgWell, it’s on the newsstands!!! April’s 2008 issue of “ESSENCE” Magazine (www.essence.com/). April-Cover-180x240.jpgOn page 142, you’ll see – count them – an 8 picture, one-page layout featuring my Anthony modeling next to Miss Erykah Badu. Image5a.jpgerykahandant.bmpThe pix look great! And I am so PROUD of him – showing up!!! Image4a.jpgCheck out the full layout and story here: http://www.okayplayer.com/erykahbadu/Essence2008/.Image2a.jpg

Meanwhile, it’s been a great journey for me as I navigate through this industry – aiming to stay afloat inside my independence as a personality, producer, and writer.

As the blessings go, the clients to which I have grown accustomed are still calling quite often and I’ve been working on some cool things. Stay tuned.

That game show I mentioned before called and taped recently. I am gagged to say anything more, but look out for that in May or June. After it airs, I plan to tell much about that experience. And I will let you know when it airs (once I know).

palomagraduation.jpgAnd in addition to my freelance contributions to those shows and companies for which you are familiar, I have signed on with independent filmmaker Sue May (www.bslsthedoc.com - in progress; www.myspace.com/bslsthedoc) as 'associate producer' to help her book a handful of high-profile women to be interviewed briefly (30-minutes-or-less) for her independent documentary 'Big Sister, Little Sister' (BSLS).

To tell you more about the film (the lion's share of which has been shot), BSLS highlights, documents, and profoundly reveals the rewarding and bittersweet experiences of three New York City high school girls (now college girls) as they anticipate, prepare, experience, and advance through three customary rites of passage: prom, graduation, and college - all of which represent the collective transition from adolescence into adulthood.serenaprom.jpg

The objective of the film is to investigate and reveal the struggles, accomplishments, disappointments, dreams, fears, relationships, and goals of three adolescent females of color, all in the top 5% of their high school's graduating class, from very different socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures, as we observe their strengths and weaknesses in balancing school, work, and peer/social issues. To learn more about BSLS Director Sue May, check out: www.triplegoddessgallery.com.

If you’d like more information on this special project of which I’m proud to be a part, please don’t hesitate to reach out as there are also tax-deductible, fundraising possibilities that I can tell you about as well.nadiagraduates.jpg I am reachable at priley@bslsthedoc.com.

It seems that all of our work is tying in to our social time as well. Ant and I thought we would have seen “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by now, for example (It opened last week). PATPHYLICIA.jpgThis, because I first wrote about this explosive new production of TENNESSE WILLIAMS' Pulitzer Prize-winning classic a few months ago - http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2008/1/9/pat-on-a-hot-tin-roof.html. You’ll recall, it features a dynamite cast led by Academy Award nominee TERRENCE HOWARD, Tony Award winners PHYLICIA RASHAD and ANIKA NONI ROSE, and Academy Award nominee and two-time Tony winner JAMES EARL JONES. Renowned director and choreographer DEBBIE ALLEN directs. TERRENCEPAT.jpgIn addition to knowing one of the key group sales agents, MY Marcia Pendelton (www.blacktheateronline.com), I had the opportunity to introduce one of the opening night liquor sponsors/recent client Remy Martin (www.remy.com/) to the producers at “Cat”. (Remember the David LaChappelle project?). Well, it didn’t quite produce a red-carpet rollout for Ant and me. Still, we’ve not seen “Cat” but trust that we’ll have the opportunity to check this well-received production out before all is said and done. MARCIAPATSTEPHEN.jpg

Meanwhile, theater has not evaded us this past week. I got the chance to meet another of Ant’s high school BFFs “Brina” who now lives in Atlanta , but hails from Denver. 20080313_14.JPGLike Marcia, she has done audience development for “7 Stages” Theater in Atlanta (www.7stages.org), but is now moving into her own WHAT’S NEXT that was punctuated by her trip to New York City . Not only did she bring her sunny disposition (I JUST LOVE THIS WOMAN!!!), but she introduced to me and re-introduced to Ant some more Colorado folks – including Drea and Sahar. 20080313_4.JPGSABRINAANT.jpgThis, on the heels of Ant's two best girlfriends Sabrina and Manivone coming to town. We didn't get any new pix with Sabrina, but see her here on the night I first met Ant (and her) at "The Color Purple" after party. We got new shots with Manivone who joined us for eating and karaoke. See them duet on Madonna's "Borderline". 20080313_5.JPGMost excitedly, Brina invited us to see a show she was in town to support at Here Arts Center ’s (www.here.org) off-site venue 3LD Art & Technology Center (www.3ldnyc.org).20080315_3.JPG “(RUS)H” is the name of the show, described as “…an intimate, psychosexual mystery of one man, his wife, and another – each yearning to feel something they can’t feel anymore – drawn together towards a final fall. Piece together a fragmented memory trail that reveals an underworld of extreme pleasure ,set to throbbing Latin beats…” It was a visual, electronic “orgasm”, said Brina as we watched text and video (designed by James Scruggs) play itself out on big screens and smalls screens – all as part of the process.20080315_1.JPG It runs through March 22. Use code RUSHOUT and save $3 by calling 212/352-3101 or www.here.org. rus08.jpg

The night before “(RUS)H”, the day Ant introduced me to Brina, we took her on our classic Harlem tour. From our favorite boutique “N” (www.nharlemnewyork.com/) to our neighborhood bistro “Native”, we – along with Brina’s friend Drea – enjoyed good shopping and food. 20080313_21.JPGFrom there, we all attended “ESPN” Magazine’s 10th anniversary party ( www.ESPNMagazine.com ). As you know, I know many at the mag. My good girlfriend Crystal Howard who is the Director of Public Relations there hooked us up. “Terminal 5” was the locale with the most (www.terminal5nyc.com/). “Third Eye Blind” provided the LIVE entertainment (www.3eb.com/). 20080313_11.JPGAnd they were good. But we were more entertained by what was happening within the party. 20080313_18.JPGWe ran into our “ America ’s Next Top Model” girls from Cycle 8 (www.cwtv.com/shows/americas-next-top-model). There was Whitney who I see from time to time on the social scene here in NYC.20080313_17.JPG And another of my fellow social butterflies Jaslene, too, was in the mix.20080313_24.JPG (We were last together at Kimora Lee Simmons’ post-fashion-show set - www.kimoraleesimmons.com/). 20080313_23.JPGAnd Brina - who noted that along with her mom "Boots" - LOVES "America's Next Top Model" and LIVES for Jaslene - was so glad to get her photo op with Jaslene. We were happy to oblige. 20080313_12.JPGI also got to see ESPN Magazine Publisher Keith Clinkscales who I've known over the years as far back as his days heading up VIBE Magazine and its many - at the time - properties. 20080313_16.JPG And most excitedly, I got to check in with my fellow NABJ (www.nabj.org) buddy - who too is a member of our LGBT Task Force - LZ Granderson who writes for ESPN Magazine. Sadly, he was a target of homophobia - a harsh reality that hate and ignorance are alive and well. He blogged about it: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=granderson/080218. On this night, he seemed in great spirits and it was good to give him a hug of encouragement.20080313_29.JPG  After that, we took the girls to our karaoke spot. 20080313_33.JPGAnd of course, we did what we do. What else is there to say? (www.karaoke17.com/). And may I say: "Brina can Blow!!!" Ant used to write songs for her in Denver back in the day. Perhaps they will find their way back to each other creatively. Such talent!20080313_38.JPG After “(RUS)H”, we joined James Scruggs, the director Kristin Marting, Brina, her friends Sahar and Drea, and many others at Trinity Place Bar & Restaurant (www.trinityplacenyc.com). We partook of some really great bar bites i.e. mini-lobster BLT sandwiches, KOBE pigs-in-a-blanket, and mini-KOBE burgers. Afterwards, we did a midnight cap at BBQ (www.bbqnyc.com).

passing%20strange.jpgNow, if we’re highly-recommending “(RUS)H” and we are, please know that we need you to RUSH and see “Passing Strange” (www.passingstrangeonbroadway.com). 20080315_11.JPGMiss Ross actually went to see it a week or so ago with her oldest daughter Rhonda.dianaandstew.jpg I’d already heard about the critically-acclaimed musical, but knew I was on to something if Miss Ross was in the house. It’s been open just a couple of weeks and is now my mission to ensure that you all take trips to see this brilliant piece that Ant and I now consider our 'new favorite'.20080315_10.JPG Eisa Davis, who plays the 'mother' in the piece, is daughter of revolutionary feminist Angela Davis. Her album "Something Else" is available online and in Japan (www.myspace.com/eisadavis). You know, given the Theater connoisseurs that we are, we have been looking for something that stimulates us as much as “The Color Purple” did (given it was the night we met) to “RENT” (Ant’s favorite) to “DREAMGIRLS” (my favorite). 20080315_7.JPGWell, we’ve got a new one that we are anxious to see again and again and again. And with this, our Marcia Pendelton is offering a 40%-OFF Regular Ticket Prices to FRIENDS OF PATRICK AND ANT. See the details with special CODE:


All performances except Fri & Sat eves & Wed Mat
Orch/$59.50; Mezz/$48; Balc/$21.50
Fri & Sat Eves
Orch/$68.50; Mezz/$58; Balc/$30
Wed Mat
Orch & Mezz/$48; Balc/$21.50

There Are Three Easy Ways To Purchase Tickets
Online:
www.broadwayoffers.com and type in code PSWALK7

Phone: 212.947.8844 and mention code PSWALK7
In Person: Present this email at the Belasco Theater Box Office,
111 West 44th Street, NYC

Then, you – like us - can experience a score that has some of the most soulful rock songs, and witty, thought-provoking lyrics in recent memory. It is truly moving and hilarious – all at once. Again, it traces the journey of a young, black man in all of his bohemian splendor (by way of South-Central LA) and traces his exploration from his middle-class confines in Los Angeles to his church-reared youth in South-Central LA to a journey abroad that is all about his search for “the real”.

The autobiographical-meets-fantasy piece is led and narrated by Stew, singer/songwriter/founder/leaders of “The Negro Problem”, a pop-rock combo from Los Angeles (www.negroproblem.com/). He reflects on his life which comes alive via a brilliant cast of characters who are his friends and family from through the years. In his journey, he’s addressed racial issues, religious challenges, international travel, sudden death, depression, drugs, and a host of other relatable experiences that I related to – for my own reasons. While sitting hand-in-hand with Ant next to me, I knew he was touched by the piece for his own reasons. And to our right, our good friends Earl Nicholson and Valente Frazier – two of Tyra’s glam-squad guys www.tyrashow.warnerbros.com/), I knew they too were touched. 20080315_6.JPG Earl, by the way, is Chicago Carl's good friend Vince's partner. I got to see Vince on my last trip to Chicago. chicago_005.jpgAfterwards, Valente left before I thought to take a picture (but see him here next to me - Earl's in this pic too - at one of our recent outings in NYC. He's so cute.).ANTVALENTIPATEARL.jpg But we stumbled back into Earl to be able to fold him into some of our post-show pix with each other and the cast. They were all so humble and gracious. Remember when I kept talking about “DREAMGIRLS” – THE MOVIE? 20080315_8.JPGI have an inkling I will continue to sing the praises of “PASSING STRANGE” as Ant and I began to immediately think with whom we want to share this amazing production. 20080315_7.JPG

Afterwards Ant and I enjoyed a post-show meal at The Brooklyn Diner (www.brooklyndiner.com) – one example of many of the nice moments we’ve been able to share together this past week.

20080313_3.JPGThe other night, we enjoyed premium sake from New York City ’s first sake shop (www.sakanyanyc.com) at Milk Gallery (www.milkstudios.com) which featured a wonderful exhibit with Buddhist icons. From the penthouse of the facility, we enjoyed sake and the beautiful view of New York City . 20080313_2.JPG

We did get some more Valenti time last night as he joined Ant and me at "Chapel of Sacred Mirrors" (www.cosm.org). Image8a.jpgYou'll recall, Ant was there for the Erykah Badu listening party (http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2008/2/22/cup-runneth-over.html). Image9a.jpgWell, last night, it was "Entheocentric Salon" including a discussion with owners Alex and Allyson Grey's "Chaos Order and Secret Writing", a live musical performance by Club D'elf, DJs, VJs, and live painting by Alex and Allyson Grey. Image12a.jpgAmong other suite performers, Sitar player Dawoud also entertained the troops (www.renegadesufi.com or www.myspace.com/renegadesufi). Image13a.jpg

I also took a cool dinner meeting with my good girlfriend Najwa (celebrity/social/fashion blogger with the most). Find her here: www.myspace.com/styleaholics or here:

www.styleaholics.com/. She called the meeting and it was a funky good time of connecting and coming together. Our backdrop was Downtown’s The Cub Room (www.cubroom.com) – quaint and perfect for a lively, but contained-enough, meeting at which you can be spirited but hear. Always good to see you, Najwa! PATANDNAJWA.jpg

Two shout outs:

Please help me help my boy Dommie win this online video contest!
DOMINIC * SAN JUAN entered an online contest sponsored by Lincoln Automobiles. Grand Prize Winner gets to open for Common, as well as a shitload of exposure. I could REALLY use your help! Every single vote counts! It will only take no more than TWO minutes of your time and does NOT cost you anything.
I will make this as easy as possible for you...
CLICK ON THE BANNER AND SIGN UP. THEN GIVE DOM YOUR VOTE BY RATING HIS VIDEO 5 STARS (www.lincolnlounge.com). PATDONSJ.jpg

My boy Quincy, whose gallery I’ve written about before (www.galleryqb.com/) is featured in this week’s edition of New York Magazine (www.nymag.com/) or (http://nymag.com/bestofny/services/2008/justopened/) for its highly coveted “Best of New York” issue. Selected by the magazine as New York 's best new mid-century furniture shop, he is so excited to receive such an honor (and we for him!!!). Additionally, “galleryqb” is also gracing the pages of Time Out New York (www.timeout.com/newyork/) or (http://www.timeout.com/newyork/articles/shopping/27018/rummaging-with) this week - highlighting some of New York 's hot shops. And finally, “galleryqb” will be featured in the upcoming issue of the Japanese men's magazine “Pen”. What makes all of this publicity great is that none if it was solicited. Instead, the shop is gaining attention through its customers' love of the shop. And let’s not forget that “A Day in the Life of Riley” was here with you since the beginning! SMILE!. QB_PAT_AND_QUINCY_2.jpg

As this BLOG entry rolls out on the day of my namesake St. Patrick, I am excited to see winter move into Spring. Some might argue that I’m not a saint and – of course – I’ve sinned. But I feel something moving towards something new, adventurous, and joyful. That is my intention, at least.
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 02:06PM by Registered CommenterTHE LIFE OF RILEY in | Comments1 Comment | References11 References

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