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1,000 WORDS +

Pictures are worth a thousand words. So, with a thousand pictures, you get the picture, right?





Every Thursday, I am hosting ALL-STAR KARAOKE at NATIVE RESTAURANT in Harlem U.S.A. (118th Street at Lenox). And may I just say that we have been HAVING A BLAST! A couple of weeks ago, my favorite boutique N threw a launch party for our new weekly fun-time (www.nharlemnewyork.com/). This week, we’ll have some special giveaways from N and the Broadway and Off-Broadway shows I’ll be referencing later on in the blog. PR expert Alicia Evans popped by one Thursday and took the roof off of the place with her special rendition of “Home”. And “Black 2: Broadway”s own Kevin-Anthony popped back by for an encore presentation. Also, SHOUT OUT to Travis Greisler (www.travisgreisler.com) – host of NO PARKING’s MONDAY NIGHT KARAOKE, which I have gone out to support since it started. LOVE YOUR KARAOKE NIGHT, TRAVIS... and YOU BETTA SING!!! Another week, my girl Loren Lillian – actress and TV/film editor with the most – came out and showed that she can put a little something behind a song, too! And BET’s own Kai Brown popped by to let me join her on “Be A Lion” from “The Wiz”. One of our fierce guests, Miss Fern, invited me to join her on Mary Mary’s “Yesterday”. Caught me off guard, but as usual, I jumped in head first… and I think we took NATIVE to CHURCH!!! LOL! And of course, my Sidra; my Nichole; my Mario; and all of my other buddies have been rolling through to support. I LOVE MY FRIENDS!. My nephew even popped by and brought his Spelman sister Emaan and Morehouse brother Harrison for the ride. TOMORROW, we are expecting my NYC-area friends from the National Association of Black Journalists to come out – including NABJ Region 1 Director Katina Revels. PLEASE COME OUT and JOIN US! 

JAMES EARL JONES – “DRIVING MISS DAISY”     http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2010/9/22/james-earl-jones-on-broadway-in-driving-miss-daisy-tickets-o.html  

James Earl Jones can read the phone book and I’m there. I was front and center when he did “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” a couple of years ago.  Well, he is back on Broadway in “Driving Miss Daisy” and I plan to be there. Hopefully you will come out as well!







Promo codes are also good for box offices, and for ‘Driving’, you can order tix from Telecharge (212-239-5200).


"SAVE ON TICKETS: See Daniel Beaty's Powerful One Man Show: THROUGH THE NIGHT | SEPT 10-OCT 10" - http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2010/9/14/save-on-tickets-see-daniel-beatys-powerful-one-man-show-thro.html This is the slam poet's follow-up from his critically-acclaimed “Emergence-SEE!” show a couple of years ago. YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT! (PROMO CODE: DBLAST) For ‘Through’, you can go to www.Ticketmaster.com or call 1-800-982-2787.


I had a chance to do some promotion for the Urban World Film Festival this year: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2010/9/10/attend-the-annual-2010-urbanworld-film-festival-in-nyc-sept.html.  Aforementioned Loren Lillian was featured in two films at UWFF: “The Truth About Lies” and “Grace”.On Friday night of Urban World, Sidra, Ant, and I did a date night to see a gritty and tense crime drama titled “SUS” – starring Sid’s buddy Clint Dyer with whom we got to spend some quality time – before his film and afterwards as we rolled by one of UWFF’s after parties at The Empire Room. Then, with Clint; our friend Sidra; and new friend Sophia in tow, we stepped to One 7 for karaoke where Miss Sophia joined in on all of the “sangin’” fun! She truly is one to watch... and promises to pop by my ALL-STAR KARAOKE THURSDAYs at NATIVE RESTAURANT in Harlem! CONGRATS, CLINT!


Fashion Week in New York City is always a circus! This year was no exception. My friend Ron Smith insisted I come out and play. On the publicity tip, he represents Romas by Linda Rowe Thomas – a courageous burn victim whose sense of style is on fire. Her FABULOUS show at Skylight West featured her Spring 2011 line and it all underscored her resillience and amazing creative vision. Her models included  “America’s Next Top Model”s Veronda; and “Real Housewives of NY”s Alex.  In attendance, my buddy Mario; creative director Mykel; my dear friend Tracey Moore; “Bernie Mac”s own Kellita Smith (who is such a joy, I had to see her one more time. Plus, she wanted to join us for ALL-STAR KARAOKE, but scheduling didn't allow. NEXT TIME, KELLITA!!!! XO); fine artist Stanley Carr Jr.; and a host of others. Afterwards, Mykel; Toyce; my Mario; and I enjoyed a lite bite at T.S. Ma Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar. Then, Ant & I joined my platonic boo Carl and others. The event?Indashio’s 2011 Collection at the Metropolitan Pavillion – starring Amber Rose (of Kanye West-fame); and ANTM's Caridee; and Jasline. Diddy’s mom Janice was in the house! I met – for the first time – THE FABULOUS Tracey Ferguson (of “Jones Magazine” fame and CENTRIC’s “Keeping up with the Joneses”) – close friends with my favorite twins Sherry & Shelly Mcadoo. She was so sweet and invited us to her magazine’s event the following night! CONGRATS, INDASHIO!


“The Jones Awards” took place at Ant’s and my hip-hop-dance-class digs, Alvin Ailey.

This signature event is for Jones Magazine a la my buddy L. Londell McMillan (Publisher of The North Star Group) and Editor-in-Chief, my new friend Tracey Ferguson.

The WHO'S WHO were in the house - including honorees Sam Fine and Byron Lars;

presenters/performers Miss Sheryl Lee Ralph who is getting ready to host her 20th Anniversary of “DIVAS: Simply Singing” – the longest-running AIDS benefit in town;

my Spelman sister Tai Beauchamp; and a host of my peeps - including my Spelman sister Bridget Bland (and friends);

glo-TVs Maurice Jamal, Richard, and George;

filmmaker Marlene Rhein (who directed Tupac's last video "All About You" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXtYNH0CQJo);

my girls Laura and Linda who I love so much.

We've been friends for a long time - having attended a number of weddings; funerals; book club meetings; parties; dinners; showers; and special events - between us - over the years.

 SHOUT OUT to Linda Gadsby, Esq. named one of Diversity MBA Magazine's Top 100 Executives Under 50;

She received it in Chicago and I happened to be in town, but leaving to come back while she was just getting there. CONGRATS, LINDA!); former Zhane singer Renee who promises some new music that she hopes we will love; BET's Kai Brown and Michaela angela Davis; buddies BJ Coleman; Oscar James; and Nathan Hale Williams; Harriette Cole; and make-up artist Travis Culberson. AND SO MANY MORE -                                                            -including Tatyana Ali and blogger Renae Bluitt who covered the evening on her "In Her Shoes" blog (http://www.inhershoesblog.com).


Speaking of my glo-TV buddies Maurice, Richard, and George… they just spent some time at The White House last week (during the Congressional Black Caucus) in promotion of the first Urban LGBT Network of which I’ve been a recurring part since its Labor Day launch. I am a “talking head” (on-camera pop culture analysis) for its show “The Gayest [Stuff] Ever”: http://glotvnetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=109&Itemid=271 For $5 (beyond this preview), you can subscribe to this landmark TV and on-line experience. There are many shows already circulating. This particular one in which I participate is RACY and IRREVERANT, but FUN!!! (I behave though. LOL!).


My boy Gil Robertson invited me to Capital Grille to meet his client Lecrae, Christian hip-hop artist. Other journalists in attendance included ESSENCE's Cori Murray; Marcia Cole; and BET's Tracey Cooper who saw another repeat of me on "Million Dollar Password" a la The Game Show Channel. Lecrae is a good guy with a solid head on his shoulders and lots of creativity to boot. He is truly one to watch. On that same day, my phone was ringing off the hook with folks who saw Ant and me in the audience of “The Nate Berkus Show” with our beloved Kim Coles.


Kim Coles is a girlfriend. And she’s been spending a little time in New York City of late on special assignment for “The Nate Berkus Show”. In a twist of small world moments, my girl Sidra invited us out to New Rochelle for a signature event she hosts. The immaculate home of our New Ro buddy Chenoa Maxwell and her husband Carlyle Peake was the backdrop. Alma tequila comprised the special cocktail du jour. We nibbled on Indian haute cuisine from Rangoli. And Kim Coles was in the house as this “revolution” was televised by “The Nate Berkus Show”. More details once this airs. WE HAD A BLAST!


With my new (with a bullet) "Amazing Grace" Mara Schiavocampo back in town and my schedule – of late – keeping me close to home, we are spending as much time together as possible (with our beaus Tommie and Ant in tow) because we ALWAYS have so much fun (Her BIRTHDAY is coming up!).  Our favorite couple called us to join them at MOJO HARLEM – owned by the ever-gracious Mounir Jabrane. This, a few days after we enjoyed a block party they hosted along with our girlfriend/their neighbor Sidra. TV personality/Interior Designer Elaine Griffin was in the house. She and I - strangers one to the other - once shared a flight to Paris, France en route to respective assignments. Ern and I have Georgia in common with her as well (Elaine: from Brunswick; Ern & me: from Savannah).Buddy Diaz and BFF Ern joined us for another wonderful outdoor event. This, as the leaves are changing and the climate getting a little crispier with each advancing Fall day.  LOVE YOU GUYS!


Picture this. September 11, 2001. New York City. http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/a-letter-from-ground-zero-91101.html  Where were you? I'm FOREVER CHANGED for it! And on 9/11/10, I found myself saying a PRAYER for those who were snatched away, for those who lost loved ones (including me), and for all of us who are left behind to tell the story and testify to the RESILLIENCE of AMERICA!


1) SHOUT OUT to my model buddies Cole & Paul for being featured (skateboards and all - 2:27) in Paris-based photographer Justin Wu’s “We Are Family” video (featuring the boys and girls of NYC Fashion Week 2010): http://vimeo.com/15040521. I hung with them a bit recently when a storm hit.

2) Ant and I wanted to be in Dallas this past weekend. Our girlfriend DeDe McGuire invited us to her nuptials. CONGRATS, DEDE (pictured on the left)! Scheduling didn’t allow us to attend, but I understand she was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! THANKS for the invite, DeDe! MUCH LOVE TO YOU… and we hope to see you (and your hubby) soon!

3) Lloyd Boston (pictured right) and I attended Morehouse together. In fact, we lived right across the hallway from each other one semester. Since then, of course, he’s gone to have blockbuster success in Fashion & Style. Please be sure to check out his latest tome “The Style Checklist : The Ultimate Wardrobe Essentials for You”. He’s been on quite the media blitz, including “The Wendy Williams Show” which featured a fashion show segment that Ant was a big part of producing. LOVE THE SYNERGY! LOVE LLOYD!!!!

4) My Momentum Education buddy Liz Murray is now a New York Times best-selling author a la her memoir: “Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard”. CONGRATS, LIZ! And to my readers, PLEASE PICK THIS ONE UP! YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

5) Don't forget to tune in this Sunday, September 26th to watch the return of "Conversation with Ed Gordon", at 10PM and the debut of Weekly with my buddy Ed Gordon on October 3rd.  

CONGRATS, ED!!!! And my CJ (and my many other friends) who will be working on this welcome programming to BET!


Everyone is ALL buzz about Janet in "Tyler Perry's FOR COLORED GIRLS..." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLnJt_KVsJY) and her BLACKGLAMA-rousness in Times Square. But Miss Jackson reportedly pulled out all the stops for some 'corporate types' at Radio City Music Hall! You heard right! A FULL CONCERT. And though Ant nor I were there, my Morehouse BFF and Ant's Janet soul-mate Michael K. Watts was there... LIVE! FROM FRONT ROW! (http://www.facebook.com/LIVEfromFrontRow). Though I've interviewed her; posed in pix with her; shot her with Ant by her side; and on and on for magical Janet moments, she touched Michael's hand while starting her show - DIANA-style (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3ZLbtWEQ54) - from the back of the house that is Radio City!!! WOW!!!!! It's all BELOW! GO MICHAEL! GO MICHAEL! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Fan Review:  

Janet Jackson Gives Investors More Bang for the Buck


By LIVE! Mic


I WAS NOT READY for Janet Jackson to enter the hall from the rear of the orchestra via the aisle--MY AISLE!!!  I will never wash my hand again!!!  As you can see from the video, I was barely able to focus on videotaping with JANET FUCKING JACKSON walking down the aisle toward me.  She entered with "The Pleasure Principle,' and shook hands as she sauntered down the aisle.  I think if I had paused to think about what was happening, I would have needed an IV drip.  She didn't look at me, but she SHOOK MY HAND.  <fainting>


To read the rest of the Janet Jackson review, click here.   


Click on the links below to watch video clips from the show: 


Janet Jackson's GRAND ENTRANCE: "The Pleasure Principle"


Janet Jackson: "Come Back to Me," "Let's Wait Awhile," "Again"


Janet Jackson: "Black Cat"


Janet Jackson: "Nasty"


Janet Jackson: "Make Me"


Janet Jackson's GRAND FINALE: "Together Again"


To read past reviews and get the latest concert tour news, check out our Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/LIVEfromFrontRow.  


Just sending special LOVE to my FRIENDS who are more like FAMILY during a time that could use PRAYER, COMFORT, and LOVE! To my readers, PLEASE JOIN ME IN HOLDING these folks and their families IN PRAYER at this time. MM; JD; DC… you know who you are!

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