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hold my head up high




survive Newark

http://youtu.be/huwEcfXuzRI MISS Diana Ross brought Newark, New Jersey a special treat this past Friday at her sold-out Diana Ross At Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark, NJ - Aug 16 show: the original singer of her mid-‘90s MOTOWN hit “I Will Survive”, Gloria Gaynor – NEWARK’s LEGENDARY OWN! WHAT A MOMENT IN NEWARK HISTORY; POP CULTURE; AND ALL-AROUND DIVA-DOM! AND HOW EXCITING to see R&B Diva's Monifah Carter in the house! Shout out to Monifah’s boo Terez Mychelle; Mark A Forrest; Savoy Walker; and a host of my FAVs were in the house to see MISS ROSS! ‪#‎dianaross ‪#‎gloriagaynor ‪#‎njpac ‪#‎iwillsurvive ‪#‎monifah Photos (of Miss Ross and Miss Gaynor) are courtesy of: Tony Bea. After the aforementioned MISS ROSS set, Ant and I were excited to see CRISTAL – our friend from Atlanta who happens to share a birthday with MISS ROSS! BBQ was our post-set backdrop! YUM! TRY TO SEE MISS ROSS IF SHE COMES TO A CITY NEAR YOU! SHE'S IN GREAT FORM!


Last I updated my blog, Ant and I got an invite from our friend Derrick Hemphill to attend a Yankees game - my first time in the new stadium. Great meal, food, and fun... and what a BLAST to run into Reginald Van Lee who invited us all to the Evidence Dance Company benefit in The Hamptons. You know we went? LOL! MORE ON THAT LATER as there was quite a week ahead before we could get there… THANKS DERRICK!


Last Sunday gave us the chance to catch up with BFFs the Porters (Mara, Tommie, and MISS Nina) in Harlem at Chez Lucienne. Always a good scene with our NYC fam!


 After brunch, my matinee date - buddy Karu Daniels – invited me to join him to see sometimes-client Wendy Williams on Broadway in "Chicago" - one of her last performances this summer before she returns for the new season of 'Wendy' in September! CONGRATS WENDY! Great JOB! And of course, we’ll be watching your show when you return in September. THANKS KARU! Karaoke was a BLAST too (at YUKI 55)!


Many are burying the "ratchet", but K.Michelle is growing on me and resuscitating her image towards proven artistry and a new chapter via - first Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta - soon Love and Hip Hop: NYC. Sweet woman! And again, a classically-trained ARTIST! Shout out to my friend Nathan Hale Williams who invited me to his Tuesday-night event at GO TUESDAYS at G Lounge - COME GET OFF‪ ‎#kmichelle‪ ‎#atlantic‪ ‎#thekmichelle


I’d mentioned while at The Yankees last week, we ran into Reggie Van Lee who personally invited Ant, Derrick, and me the 10th anniversary of our ‘On Our Toes in the Hamptons’ summer benefit – including cocktails, light dinner, auction, a dynamic performance by Evidence and the signature “Dancing with the Dancers” moment at the end of the event.

My socialite-BFF-with-the-most Carl Nelson joined Ant, Derrick, and me – a day that started with a pop by Sag Harbor’s B. SMITH where we ran into many friends – including co-owner Dan.


We all really had a great time!

And it's always nice to see our NYC regulars in an off-the-beaten-path destination.

Plus, the dancing is always wonderul!

These young dancers are uber-talented!

And they are so humble and kind as well!  

Later in the evening (after the benefit which gave us a chance to hang out with HONORARY CHAIRS Susan L. Taylor and her husband Khephra Burns and a host of others), we went to Jamaica’s fine foods and grocery, JAMAICA Specialties. It's in East Hampton and Carl knows the owners. We enjoyed some delicious food from the Caribbean (and – of course – some TING). GREAT WEEKEND in The Hamptons!

THE MISSION OF EVIDENCE is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora. Dance and storytelling take you on the ride. And they provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement, and spoken word, leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation. For more information on EVIDENCE and how you can support: www.evidencedance.com. GO EVIDENCE! THANKS REGGIE!



You folks know I’ve been booking a lot of hosting and moderating gigs on Broadway - like this clip from "STICK FLY" last year (starring Condola Rashad); I interviewed the cast after a show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrdnbMgJn9s. AND WNYC/WQXR - THE GREENE SPACE has become a client the like. They have been booking me to host mini-productions (performances and panels) in its studio which records its content for radio and its website. This past Fall, I hosted a performance and discussion on "Teacake's Legacy" (as in Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God"s Teacake). Here's a link to that awesome session: http://www.thegreenespace.org/events/thegreenespace/2012/sep/17/their-eyes-were-watching-god-teacakes-legacy/ The plan is I'll be doing more on-camera/moderating for WNYC/WQXR. I just hosted another BIG READ program for them in Newark and we're talking some recurring possibilities in which I'll do consulting/producing and hosting this year. Stay tuned. AND MY HIGHLIGHT OF THE SEASON: I was hired to do red carpet interviews on MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL's opening night for its cameras. and to host its highlight video! YAY! LOL! Here's the clip I host: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK1yncqPlOQ. AND THIS VIDEO IS LOOPING ON THE MONITORS OUTSIDE THE THEATER; on the big screen in Times Square sometimes; lots of YOU TUBE traffic; and in cabs; etc! WOW! LOL! Other outlets picked up the raw footage of my MOTOWN THE MUSICAL interviews - including REUTERS: http://www.reuters.com/video/2013/04/16/motown-memorialized-in-new-musical?videoId=242278913&videoChannel=3. BROADWAY BUZZ also used my MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=An_r_D2HM5Q. ALSO: I have been a contributor on ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 - most recently predicting TONY AWARDS nominations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTd5S1wKUs0. A few weeks prior, I was on ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 to talk BROADWAY... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDxfe-hG_aY. In the aforementioned ARISE 360 Broadway segment, I predicted the iconic Cicely Tyson would be nominated for her role in Broadway's "The Trip to Bountiful". And she was!! YAY!  So, they played that clip and referenced my prediction the following day:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuJEs6ruin0. I was again on ARISE recently to talk GATSBY: the book, the film(s), the blueprint on hip hop! HERE'S THE LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBT9mSmfmCo. ALL OF THAT TO SAY: The marketing folks on forthcoming Broadway production of ROMEO AND JULIET (www.RomeoAndJulietBroadway.com) reached out to THE LIFE OF RILEY re: this Shakespeare revival – featuring Orlando Bloom and two-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad (STICK FLY, THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL). ROMEO AND JULIET begins performances on August 24 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Press Event Teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvnU8CIpSVE&feature=youtu.be WITH THAT NEWS COMES ONE PAIR OF COMP TICKETS FOR THE “…LIFE OF RILEY…” READER WHO WANTS TO SEE “ROMEO AND JULIET” ON BROADWAY! ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SEND AN EMAIL TO: patarack@hotmail.com. I’ll choose – RANDOMLY – a name from that batch of emails and will – in turn – send the WINNER a ticket voucher for you to select a performance date that works for you. You will send that form to the box office which will confirm and hold tickets for you at will call. Our vouchers will be eligible for Tues-Thurs performances in September. EASY, RIGHT? Let me hear from you at patarack@hotmail.com. GOOD LUCK… and SEE YOU AT THE THEATER! Go Condola, Go!




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