TEA CAKE’S LEGACY
Another spot ON-CAM gig I did recently is host the red carpet launch of UBC-TV NETWORKS – freshly launched channel out of Harlem.
So far, I've only hosted their launch event: https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=295251087249668. I may continue to do spot personality work for the promising start-up, but will not be hosting any of its first roll-out shows as originally reported. BIGGEST OF CONGRATULATIONS to Peggy Dodson and her team!
ROBBIE & TIM ARE BACK!
We’ve been singing the praises of OWN’s “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” since before it hit the airwaves – having met Miss Robbie and Tim when they came to NYC to promote it last year: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2011/11/10/put-me-to-the-test.html. Now, it’s an undeniable HIT! www.oprah.com/sweetiepies. A gathering recently at Newark’s Loft 47 Bistro (www.loft47bistro.com) brought Ant and me back in the company of our favorites, Miss Robbie and Tim – both of whom showed us LOTS OF LOVE when they saw us in the room. Tim even shouted us out to the rest of those in attendance. Also, I stumbled into a childhood role model, Cheryl Washington, whose works on “Showbiz TONIGHT” in the ‘80s/’90s is one of my inspirations for being in the biz. CONGRATS, Miss Robbie and Tim. See you soon! #SWEETIE PIES #NEWARK
TASHA SMITH, NATALIE COLE, VANESSA WILLIAMS, & MORE!
Back in February 2012 during Fashion Week, I'd mentioned that one of my BFFs Carl Nelson invited me to experience designer OMAR SALAM's Four Seasons Hotel presentation. Well, Omar was selected as the top designer to show his Spring Summer 2013 Collection in this year's Harlem Fashion Row (http://www.harlemsfashionrow.com/HFR2012Invite/), which is a true honor.
The show took place at the Jazz and Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall. Inside the packed house of 400 people or so, my many industry friends and fam - from too many walks of my life to mention, but all of whom I've chronicled in my blog.
Was also cool to see my BFF Sidra's identical twin Tasha Smith of Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" & & "For Better or For Worse" uber-fame; VH-1's hit "Hollywood Exes"-own Nicole Murphy (who was Omar's star model); the LEGENDARY Natalie Cole; and - OMG! - one of my AB FABs Vanessa Williams!!!
Worth also noting that my Amazing Grace BFF Mara Schiavocampo (who adds adjunct journalism grad school professor to her already-impressive credential as NBC News Correspondent) invited me to join her for a pre-Fashion-Show cocktail at Stone Rose Lounge AND our girlfriend from Norway Elisabeth Blix was in town to keep the party going - from the event to the Hudson Hotel's courtyard terrance to Club Therapy.
MY SIDRA & ANGELA DAVIS
CONGRATS to my BFF Sidra Smith - one of the producers on "Free Angela & All Political Prisoners", which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at Toy Thompson Hall in Toronto. Will Smith; Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jay Z are Executive Producers on the compelling project directed by Shola Lynch. <I smell OSCAR! LOL!> http://movies.yahoo.com/photos/2012-toronto-film-festival-premieres-slideshow/free-angela-political-prisoners-premiere-20120909-235628-706.html
TYRA BANKS, THE HAMPTONS, AND MORE
Sure, Tyra Banks was among the guests...but we all felt like Superstars as a chariot took 50 or so of us from NYC to The Hamptons one recent weekend to celebrate Red-Rooster's own Derek Fleming who has been a friend for over ten years now - from Brooklyn to Chicago and now-Harlem, we've shared some fun and thoughtful times. I'm honored to have been invited to participate in this fete alongside many Harlem friends, Red Rooster owner Marcus Samuelson, and a host of others. GREAT NIGHT - chockful of new and old friends!
DR. RONA ALLEN, HERVE AIMABLE, AND MORE!
Shout out to our friend Trevor Hartmon and MR. Kofi Bannerman for inviting us to a private jazz party with lots of great networking energy in the midst. The organic night was held at the beautiful Englewood, NJ home of Michael J. Torres and Dr. Rona Allen whose stage name includes the name of the ensemble she leads “Rona Allen’s In the Light Band” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S1xSOtpOLg). And other special musicians performed as well. What a special evening with a house full of FABULOUS people – including my friend Herve Aimable (http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2007/3/28/love-is-in-control-finger-on-the-trigger.html)! Thanks Trevor and Kofi… and our neighbors Michael and Dr. Rona!
ALICIA IN NYC
A friend and actual co-worker since 2000 until just –last year by way of my recurring client in ChicagO, I was so excited to dine alfresco with friend-for-life Alicia Bailey who is currently a diva-promo-producer at HGTV in Knoxville, TN. In town for business, she popped by my current, recurring client (this week) in NYC to say HI (to two more former Harpo pros with whom I’m currently enjoying some professional Summer/Fall 2012 days at our mutual client BET, Ramona & Blair). To punctuate our reunion: crab cakes and Caesar salad at The Bryant Park Grill where we ran into what some say is Mr. Obama’s doppelganger, but I know him as “brother”: my Morehouse brother Imar Hutchins who happens to also be a “Son of Oprah” who I had a hand (and many feet) in producing at one of her big SURPRISE FAREWELL shows: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150194744863737&set=a.10150194744438737.310643.662073736&type=3&theater.
As I readied for a project I am working on in the city, THE READING OF THE NAMES was - of course - on! My friend; editor; and fellow NYABJ/NABY member Celeste Victora was in the number in 2001. This cut-away of her BEAUTIFUL FACE this morning stilled me! Here are my thoughts from that week in 2001: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/a-letter-from-ground-zero-91101.html RIP to Celeste and ALL OF THOSE WE LOST!
LABOR DAY FUN!
Summer's done but KARAOKE FUN is still going down - in a new location TenthRail Lounge - hosted by my former-fellow-NO-PARKING host (while I was doing ALL-STAR KARAOKE THURSDAY at NATIVE): MARIO!!!! Every MONDAY, you should pop by from 7p-12am! Happy Hour! Food! Drink specials of the FROZEN kind! AND MORE! GO MARIO! GO!
CARLOS KING & JAMIE FOSTER BROWN
My FAB friend Jamie Foster Brown features our beloved Carlos King in this month's Sister 2 Sister Magazine! AWESOME PROFILE! Proud to call him friend and happy his lens has even captured me a time or two when he was producing on the team that chronicled the behind-the-scenes of my Chicago client's last season. CONGRATS CARLOS KING! XO
CHRIS TUCKER & THE APOLLO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AEG Live Presents:
Guess Who’s Back Tour
Live at the
Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14 Both Shows at 8pm
Tickets Go on Sale Friday, September 21st at 10AM
(New York NY, September 17, 2012) – Comedian and actor Chris Tucker will make a triumphant return to stand up comedy with his Guess Who’s Back Tour presented by AEG Live. As part of the tour, Tucker will take the Apollo Theater stage for two nights on Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14 at 8pm. Tickets will go on sale Friday, September 21st at 10am.
Hailed as one of the funniest comics in the industry, Tucker is no stranger to the Apollo stage. At the beginning of his career, Tucker performed at Apollo’s legendary Amateur Night and would come back o the Theater several times throughout his career including as host of the Apollo’s Annual Spring Gala in 2007. This performance will mark the comedian/actor’s first time headlining a show at the legendary Theater.
Tickets are $49.50 and $69.50 and are available at www.apollotheater.org; in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office, 125th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues; over the phone at 212/531-5305 or (800) 745-3000; and on www.ticketmaster.com.
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