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strike a pose


frank ishman

World-renowned photographer - Frank Ishman – also my Morehouse College brother! He married his GENIUS to the COLLABORATIVE BRANDING GENIUS of Myrdith Leon-Mccormack... to the STYLING GENIUS of Janine Linton... and – VOILA! – you have MAN-HOGANY! LOL! Was FUN to get my MAHOGANY on with FRANK! Frank Ishman is THE BEST! www.frankishman.com #frankishman


How is it that I tell a slew of people on social media to go see MAHOGANY at the IFC and – by the time – I got around to securing my own ticket, it was SOLD OUT! Then, when I do an outreach, I get an emailed reply from Rhonda Ross! Yes, my friend! But also: daughter of Miss Diana Ross and Mr. Berry Gordy… and MAHOGANY was their 1975 Blockbuster project for which Miss Ross designed (and/or styled) ALL OF THE COSTUMES! Oh, and wait for it! Rhonda was seeing it ON THE BIG SCREEN for the FIRST TIME! Her escort? Bob Silberstein, the man who raised Rhonda - also father of her sisters Tracee Ellis Ross and Chudney Ross. The occasion: "Black Summer Nights", a celebration of queer African American artists and their unique role in shaping American culture and history. Tonight's selection was curated by another industry buddy, Tony-nominated actor for "Passing Strange" Colman Domingo via SKYPE (who - last we hung out - I was helping navigate the red carpet at the World Premiere of Lee Daniel's "The Butler"). As I'd just asked our sponsor at "Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley", Miko Branch of Miss Jessie's, her favorite film at a recent book signing, LOVE that it was "Mahogany" and she came out to enjoy it as well --- along with other buddies, filmmaker Andre Robert Lee; legendary performer Flotilla Debarge whose next show "FLO-REAL!! Here & Now" goes up Thursday, June 25th at 9p at Kraine Theatre -   www.horsetrade.info - and many others! FAB Monday Night! Next month on July 20th, pick up the series with "James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket". For more info on Queer/Art/Film at the IFC Center...and the awesome folks associated - including filmmaker Stephen Winter, poet Pamela Sneed, Ira Sachs, Adam Baran, please visit www.IFCCENTER.COM/SERIES/QUEERARTFILM.  #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke#mahogany #queerartfilm

invisible life

Week 7 of BILLIE’S BLACK presents ALL STAR KARAOKE was VISIBLY VIBRANT as EVERYBODY ENJOYED their “Miss Jessie’s” grab bags (and Miko Branch’s current book). Highlight of the night was the cast of “Invisible Life: The Musical” coming by to promote their week-long, almost-SOLD-OUT engagement at The Apollo June 25th – 30th. We gave away tickets; sang Miss Ross’ “The Boss” produced by Motown Legends Ashford & Simpson who wrote the music and lyrics for “Invisible Life” (with additional lyrics by my brother friend Stanley Bennett Clay): https://www.facebook.com/patrick.l.riley/videos/vb.662073736/10153063149713737/?type=3&theater.  Based on the novel “Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris, the musical’s book is written by Proteus Spann & Javon Johnson who joined us on stage for the fun! They co-direct “Invisible Life: The Musical”. And can we talk about the cast which is full of Broadway star power? Tony Award nominee Brenda Braxton (Smokey Joe’s Cafe) will portray Mama Tyler, the mother of Raymond Tyler Jr., who will be played by Gregory Williams. Raymond’s two closest friends Kyle and JJ, will be Terry Lavell (La Cage aux Folles) and Grammy- nominated Frenchie Davis (RENT). The iconic stage songstress Vivian Reed is also in the cast. Terry and Frenchie came to play – singing with me and solo! Ant’s sister Sabrina does Frenchie’s PR – so these moments were extra special. Purchase Tickets: http://gn-bp.com/invisible-life. ALSO IN THE MIX: One of our All Star Karaoke Journalism DIVAS, NBC4’s own anchor extraordinaire Shiba Russell and her crew were in the house as well as FIT grad Travis and his friends – led by ALL STAR KARAOKE FAITHFUL Antoinne who brought a fun group to CELEBRATE. And to all my peeps, THANKS! BILLIE’S BLACK presents ALL STAR KARAOKE is going through Tuesday, July 14th. PLEASE COME JOIN US! RESERVATIONS are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:212.280.2248. AND COME TUESDAY, JUNE 23RD, LET’S LOOK TO ALL STAR KARAOKE plus CELEBRATE BILLIE’S BLACK’S 9TH ANNIVERSARY – including a “special surprise guest”! #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #invisiblelife

sidra and tasha smith

I was too excited to see my girlfriend Sidra Smith who has been busy as ever of late, but not too busy to bring the cast of “Invisible Life” to see me at All Star Karaoke (with the coordination of my friend Richard Pelzer). Sidra - NAACP Image Award winning producer of “Free Angela” - is Executive Producing "BOXED IN" - a film project her identical twin sister, Hollywood star Tasha Smith wrote and directed in association with producer Kim Ogletree. ABFF – the American Black Film Festival – screened the awesome flick . Shout out to ABFF and Jeff Friday for curating this one! For more information visit: http://www.abff.com/).What a compelling story that anecdotes brilliantly the struggle and stigma of mental illness among our African American brothers and sisters. Beautiful film andawesome cast! Walter Fauntleroy plays a character who suffers with bipolar disorder. His mom is played by the amazing actress Tyra Ferrell who I've missed from the big screen a la the days of Poetic Justice and School Daze! We also loved her from HBO's The Corner (with Tasha Smith)...and - this just in - she told me we'll see her in Season 2 of Empire. BOXED IN also features the lady who cast me in upcoming film Steps- due out later this year: Penwah Phynjuar!! She's THE BEST! Director of STEPS, Eddie Harris
also in attendance tonight - saw an early screening of BOXED IN...and says he had to have Walter Fauntleroy for STEPS! And he and I have a few scenes together. Eddie also says I'm looking good in edit - as Rudy, the character I play, my acting debut in a feature film... Stay tuned..

tony awards

Another of my Broadway predictions on Arise Entertainment 360 has come TRUE! From my last visit, I figured Helen Mirren is so well-decorated in so many platforms for portraying THE QUEEN, the Great White Way would CROWN her accordingly. I was right! CLIP: http://bit.ly/bway_arise360_mirren! Tony Awards Leading Actress in a Play -- Helen Mirren in "The Audience". Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II in the Broadway play, written by Peter Morgan. Mirren also originated the part at the play's original 2013 run in London's West End. #TheAudienceBway #TonyAwards #Arise360 #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke



VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/UGOqHhjbZ3k - SHOUT OUT to Carl Nelson - BFF for 20+ YEARS and Producer of Drums Along The Hudson -Inwood Park joined me on stage recently at Billie's Black Gourmet Soul for Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke to promote #drumsalongthehudson which he produces every years. I host the afternoon stage this Sunday, June 14th – an event that honors Tichina Arnold and His Holiness the Dalai Lama! #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack

 Hosting 2015s Drums Along The Hudson -Inwood Park, 13th annual! Honorees: my friend Tichina Arnold andHis Holiness the Dalai Lama! And George Faison andLotus Music Dance put on quite the FABULOUS presentation! #weareONE #drumsalongthehudson#rhythmnation 

#wearetheworld #thewiz #tony#lotusmusicanddance

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