PATRICKRILEYHEADSHOT2.JPGWELCOME to "The Life of Riley" which will include periodic chronicles of pop culture and possibilities that flow out of Patrick L. Riley's day. That's me!!! Through blogging (and soon some other technological features on which I'll keep you posted as they launch), I will pull experiences from my busy life to entertain and inspire all of you. Through this site, I will share my observations and insights. 

Some features to look forward to:

1.) "PATRICK'S POP UP(DATES)" will feature stories from pop culture, music, theater, fashion, and the entertainment industry at large. 

2.) "The Life of Riley" will also introduce a "take-a-look-at-your-life" section (READ: sort of an advice column), where I will help readers come up with their own questions and answers around what "ways of being" are working (or not working) to have them acheive their respective goals and live their best lives. This section is called "WHO YOU BE?".

3.) Additonally, there will be a free-flowing, organic section called "TESTIFY" from which I will pull from my own life's journey to share and hopefully inspire. Some of the fare may be new musings and experiences. Other times, I may pull from my journals and past sharings to shed light on some uncomfortable truths that I've experienced and that may perhaps play a role in healing someone else's wounds as the real-life experience did for me. From my experience of covering 9/11 as a freelance journalist to courageously coming out (as gay) to my family, "TESTIFY" promises to move those who choose to read it.

4.) And a section titled "PR" (like my initials, but also like "public relations") will include press clips from any coverage I get. 

5.) And anytime pictures or video can support an entry (in the blog, and perhaps in the subsequent podcasts, my space, and website), those visuals will keep things aesthetically enrolling. That section will be called "MY TUBE".
PLAYING TO THE POP IN POSSIBILITIES!
Patrick L. Riley

 

empire fire

Empire

THIS JUST IN! Please SHARE! My debut contribution to new, recurring client NBC’s new African American vertical NBCBLK: an interview with Lee Daniels whose Empire on FOX TV - starring Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, and Gabourey Sidibe - is a BIG HIT - http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/precious-butler-director-lee-daniels-building-empire-n290416!  LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS! And as always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! XO #NBCBLK #Empire #Lee Daniels #FOXTV

Idol

Y’all know I love me some Toni Seawright! And her boyz Qaasim and Khalil are the bomb too! Qaasim is one to watch this season on American Idol! Happy that he (and the whole fam) brought their talents, love, and gifts to “Billie’s Black PRESENTS All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley” – the Spring 2014 Series! I am further honored that Toni invited me to host her 50TH BDAY PARTY – a tribute to Michael Jackson! We all shared the stage that BEAUTIFUL NIGHT as well! GO QAASIM! #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #motownmay #AmericanIdol

STEPS

I did a rare day of "acting" in an independent film STEPS - an Eddie Harris Script and Production. My part shot yesterday in Jersey City (and I'll shoot one more day next week). It's this project that my beloved Penwah Phynjuar was instrumental in casting me. I play RUDY who is a hoot with heart. Check out some great press STEPS got as it shoots around Jersey City and here in the Tri-State Area:

http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/26378011/article-Making-it-real--Local-filmmaker-creates-feel-good-movie-with-a-bit-of-grit-?instance=jersey_city_top_story #STEPS

Nightly Show

Glad to attend a Meet & Greet Breakfast for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore – scheduled to premiere MLK Monday on Comedy Central. He’s branded himself quite well as a comic personality who turns humor about race, class and social issues into big laughs — from his days of writing for In Living Color and Jamie Foxx Show; executive producing Bernie Mac Show; and Eddie Murphy's animated comedy The PJ's; creating specials for Showtime Networks and writing a book, I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts. GLAD TO HANG OUT WITH MY INDUSTRY BUDDIES Isoul Harris (Editor in Chief at Uptown Magazine); iconic editor and writer Angela Bronner Helm ("The Root", "Essence", "Uptown", "Honey", etc.); and NBCBLK’s Amber Payne (Editor whose dispatched me to do my debut contribution to NBC’s new African American vertical, the interview with Lee Daniels). #ComedyCentral #LarryWilmore #THENIGHTLYSHOW #UPTOWNmag


Mel’isa Unsung

My friends at SMEG have one of their diva clients Meli'sa Morgan on Unsung Wednesday, February 4th on TV ONE. The new season’s been great so far with Rick James and Peaches & Herb. I LOVE UNSUNG! And I adore MELI’SA and her SAVVY-MARKETING ENTERTAINMENT GROUP team! And I CELEBRATE SAVOY on his 50TH! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRIEND!

Centric Celebrates Sisterhood

Not sure if you folks saw a little of my last BET project for CENTRIC - "Centric Celebrates Sisterhood": three TV/viral spots I worked with their creative services team to produce, shouting out on their FOUNDERS WEEK, the AKAs, DELTAs, and ZETAs: https://www.facebook.com/CentricTV/videos #CentricCelebratesSisterhood


FRESH

Shout out to my Orlando-based friend Tammie Dunlap whose Fresh Natural Spring Water is delicious! She sent me a box that greeted me upon my return from Georgia. And what a convenience to have water at the ready as I needed to hydrate from all of that eating and drinking down South. Imagine me reaching for more and more bottles of FRESH – light, refreshing, and crisp – instead of my “bubble” (usually a sip of Coca Cola! LOL!). Well, it’s happening. Check it out: www.Drinkfreshusa.com. CONGRATS, TAMMIE! Need another box! LOL!

Motown… See u around

I INTERVIEWED MR. BERRY GORDY and MISS DIANA ROSS and MARY WILSON on OPENING NIGHT of MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL on Broadway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK1yncqPlOQ. Got to see the show one more time with my Carl Nelson. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL rocks… and will continue to do so – in London and all over the United States before it returns to Broadway (another theater) in 2016. #ENDLESSLOVE #MOTOWNMAY #BILLIESBLACK #ALLSTARKARAOKE

HB DANI!

Great times at our girlfriend Danielle Andrea Simone Knight's 50th bday party! Eventi - A Kimpton Hotel in NYC hosted the night! Here come the "50 fetes"! LOL! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OUR DANI! WE LOVE YOU!

fractured

Check out my friend Pierre Romain's upcoming project: "Fractured" - Staring Eric Roberts, Jake Busey and Athena Lebessis, Directed by Lance KR Kawas, Executive Produced by Pierre Romain, from Washington Street Production, Sterling Worldwide Entertainment and RU'YA International (coming April 2015). Get all the tea here: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=822129274526908.



mama love

Arise 2015

Just guest co-hosted on behalf of my friend Shannon Lanier today on Arise Entertainment 360 alongside Sharon Carpenter who was filling in for our beloved Lola Ogunnaike – the first time the show needed two fill-ins. IN ADDITION to two segments of HOT TOPICS, we also interviewed Elena Murzello - http://t.co/hoTSt0z1OZ @ElenaMurzello – http://t.co/MEGkhnK4JB - and we did “This Ain’t Your Mama’s Yoga” with wrestler Diamond Dallas - @dppyoga.YOU can watch them (and me from time to time) - now on Time Warner, Verizon Fios, and On Demand... www.YouTube.com/AriseENT360. As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! #arise360 #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #CENTRICTV

THINspired is OUT!

ABC News hosted FAB "lunchtime" book set for my "internet wifey" Mara Schiavocampo - Good Morning America correspondent! Mara Schiavocampo's book is "THINspired", baby! Selling like HOTcakes! Go get YOURS!
So proud of her! And excited to see Rakia Clark, Michael J. Feeney, Elaine Griffin, Dana Baxter, Patrik Bass from Essence magazine, Pat Sumpter-Davis (as in Pat Sumpter-Davis from NENE LEAKES glam-squad), and too many to mention in the house to celebrate MY MARA! GET IN ON IT NOW:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1476784051/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=54956104243&hvpos=1t1&hvexid&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11236531940248394239&hvpone&hvptwo&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_40vt97yw48_b!

CONGRATS, MARA! #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #motownmay #THINspiredbook #THINspired

hny

hny

Ringing in 2015 with Ernest Maynor, Cris Che-Che Miller, Kevin Freeman, Wardell Malloy, CJ, and more at the beautiful New Jersey home of Erika Liles and Kevin Liles proved to be nothing short of a BLAST (with Ern showing up as a SUPER-doppelganger to our hostess with the most Erika! LOL!). GREAT WAY TO COME INTO 2015! ONESIES and UGGS were the order of the day; many GAMES; and awesome spread of "potluck". THANKS to Moochie and our AWESOME HOSTS! PLUS, a special shout out to POCONOS fam, Cristal's mom Sheila and her posse, who fed us something "abundantly" on THE DAY! Happy New Year, EVERYBODY! #2015

ga

BFF since 7th grade, Ernest Maynor and I did our ANNUAL GA HOLIDAY again! This, while Ant caught up with his peeps in Denver (Hey Denver fam!). Ern and I enjoyed a "Welcome Back to ATL" brunch with our collective BFFs: Carla Jackson; Cristal Miller; Tina Johnson; Ern's and my Savannah homegirl/my Spelman sister Tandi Reddick; our world-traveling vegan diva and sister girlfriend for life Onlyone Camille; and several fun drive-bys, including Chandra's little brother/my mentee Calvin Jones. Great brunch at The Shed at Glenwood! Thx to my nephew Noot - Herman Lee Riley III - for the recommendation! We then hosted NYC BFF and LIFE OF RILEY producer/consultant Derrick Hemphill - in ATL for the holidays - and other friends at our fav couple Patrice and Keron's place. This, before heading to Carla Jackson's house to watch my special interview with Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie - my Ern's and my doppelgangers - on the Season Finale of Oprah: Where Are They Now? on recurring client OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network - http://youtu.be/jUgvR9Bkxr4. AND OF COURSE, I found time for my actual family. LOL! Queen and Mickey's kids - CHILDREN OF CHARLIE & DAISY RILEY - first got together again for Christmas 2014 at my fav cafeteria Piccadilly. My siblings Janice Riley Priester, Herman, and me caught up and got suitably nourished for the rest of the holiday! We got a pre-Savannah moment in Atlanta via childhood friend and Spelman sister Tandi Reddick. Her eve-of-eve party ensured we could all have fun - friends old and new, including my L.A.-based friend Wayne Gonzalez, Celebrity Astrologer whose analysis will “read” and explain many things about you - for the good. LOL!When last I was in L.A., Wayne joined some of me - and some of my friends from "The Queen Latifah Show", which was still in production at the time. He gave them an ear full. Look for more from this talent in 2015 (I predict! LOL!). Tandi's set - for sure - got the holiday celebrating off to a great start! While in Savannah, it was lots of catching up; visiting; children to gift and see; cocktails and juice; lots of food; and lots of laughter and love! Always so good to be home in Savannah where much of it all began. I LOVE MY FAMILY and ALL of my EXTENDED SAVANNAH FAMILY. And I was too excited to get some special “favorite cousin” time with Buddah. Was also nice to catch up with the E-WING CREW – from Natalie and her beautiful family to Ern and his clan. And a special treat it was to get some time with our beloved Bernadette. We got a kick out of catching up with old Windsor Forest High School classmates on one of the evenings. Had my close out in Savannah with fam. Well, a night-cap with the MAYNOR siblings at JEN'S&FRIENDS. AND THEN, a return to ATL for one more night to a "Welcome Back and BYE" party back in Atlanta - hosted by our dear friends and hosts Patrice and Keron (and the boys Zach and Hunter). One of my good-bye guests, dear friend Kevin Freeman taking me out on the ATL town for a night cap at Mixx Atlanta's Upscale Lounge & Nightclub and Chaperelle Nightclub where we bumped into several buddies - including Isoul Harris - ATLANTA's own who is now Editor in Chief of UPTOWN Magazine whose always been good to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1sAADNg3Ls and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD54heTwCpY. HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYBODY!#siblingsbond #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #WHEREARETHEYNOW #ARISE360

ask

Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley" brought ALL OF OUR FAV FAM OUT for the eve-of-eve New Year's wrap of our uber-fun Fall 2014 Series! Look for us back up in the Spring of 2015 (and maybe some special ALL STAR KARAOKE moments here and there).! Meanwhile, feel the LOVE that I felt on our last night as Billie's Black Gourmet Soul's owner Adrian Ferguson provided a champagne toast for our ALL STAR KARAOKE faithfuls (and to RING IN THE NEW YEAR) - also to CELEBRATE EIGHT YEARS IN THE BUSINESS. AND SHE FINALLY SANG! She led "The Boss" choir for our weekly finale! Beautiful cap...and WORDS from her - thanking us for making "Tuesday" at Billie's Black Gourmet Soul like their BEST FRIDAY EVER! And come mid-January and for the winter months, MiKA DeHarlem will host KARAOKE UNSCRIPTED which I plan to support when I can. BIG THANKS to our sponsors Miss Jessie's, Joseph Riley Land, Vessie Goldsmith, Motown the Musical, and all the rest. AND MY TEAM is the best - including my producer and fill-in host Bernice Wooden! LOVE YOU! And BIG THANKS to my partner Ant whose vision for me to host something was All Star Karaoke (since 2010) and producer/BFF Derrick Hemphill for working with All Star Karaoke and Life of Riley as the brands grow. Much LOVE to ALL...and HAPPY NEW YEAR! #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #motownmay

curtain

curtain

HERE'S THE CLIP OF THE SEGMENT:

http://youtu.be/BKwfoTKRwJ8

HERE'S THE CLIP OF THE FULL SHOW (21 MINUTES IN):http://www.arise.tv/entertainment/arise-360-18-12-9893--- LOTS GOING IN THE LIFE OF RILEY! Looking forward to some downtime down South with my FAM -http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/! But just did a MUST-SEE HOLIDAY SHOWS segment on Arise Entertainment 360 today with my friends Shannon Lanier and - in for Lola Ogunnaike whose maternity leave has begun – Jina Johnson, stand-up comic and multi-media talent. We spoke ABT Nutcracker At Bam with Misty CopelandAin't Misbehavin’ at George Faison's Faison Firehouse TheaterRadio City Christmas SpectacularMotown the Musical; andStanley Bennett Clay’s "RITUAL". I’LL SEND LINK LATER (As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Watch Daily On Time Warner, Verizon Fios, Centric and On Demand... www.YouTube.com/AriseENT360 + you can watch it streaming live on www.arise.tv at 3p/eastern everyday – whether I’m there or not.). Was also great to see cast of DISGRACED as I highly recommended that Broadway show in my last segment:http://youtu.be/zDGZvIY6klY.

I’ve been GUEST CO-HOSTING and doing POP CULTURE/BROADWAY SEGMENTS on ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 for a couple of years now - including recent interviews with:
* "Annie" Executive Producer Devon Franklin, whose book "Produced by Faith" is one of my favorites:http://youtu.be/KANSZen0nac
* Chef Gabe Thompson presented "Downtown Italian" -http://youtu.be/yESAGSc3yDc
* DJ D NICE:http://youtu.be/veNhcCNA1Lg
* BRAVO’s Fashion Queens– including my friend Bevy Smith and Miss Lawrence and Derek J: http://youtu.be/hb6gUFK3vsc;
* “THE DUKES OF HAZZARD” themselves: John Schneider (now on Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots) and Tom Wopat (who I mostrecently saw in “The Trip to Bountiful” on Broadway): http://youtu.be/22GqEbrF1OU;
* mega-producer Sean Garrett brought Avery Wilson (former The Voice contestant) to hip us to his upcoming album and to sing Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas”:http://youtu.be/TUfq35qKJV4
* interview with actor Tony Denison (http://youtu.be/iIkAm7XmEgc);
* interview with actor Christian Kale (http://youtu.be/NFY4gpMivxw); 
Plus, my highlight: Alan Light whose “Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain” made for blissful chat and inspired Prince’s publicist to send the reclusive singer the link to this interview (http://youtu.be/TKDXudN2yC0); 
* Ben Vereen! (http://youtu.be/a12El8-zU_k); 
* ALSO: Faith Evans (http://youtu.be/LfpHpiQd2pg); etc. #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #motownmay

counting down

After pushing a deadline on a project for BET and doing another ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 segment on the MUST-SEE HOLIDAY SHOWS (21 MINUTES IN): http://www.arise.tv/entertainment/arise-360-18-12-9893, I had to high-tail it to the Dempsey Auditorium in Harlem for a SAGE Harlem holiday talent show for which my friend, Program Manager Christopher Jones, invited me to perform to the awesome group. I sang “Reasons” - 

 https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152666057313737&set=vb.662073736&type=3&theater, “This Woman’s Work”, and “Endless Love”. GREAT NIGHT!

 SAGE Harlem provides a safe space for LGBT older adults in Harlem and The Bronx. SAGE Harlem is a program of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). Learn more at: http://www.sageusa.org/sageharlem. After, with a dozen roses in tow for my performance, I stopped by my Morehouse brother Mario’s holiday set at NABE – also the destination for his weekly Thursday party. He served wonderful bites and wine from a Charlayne Hunter-Gault-owned, South Africa wine label called Passages.

boom kack

We never know who will pop by “Billie’s Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley”.  And this past Tuesday was no exception. ALL STAR KARAOKE faithful Carla Bone – celebrity hairstylist for Kerry Washington, Jada Pinkett Smith, and many more – brought star choreographer (from Lady Gaga to Diddy to Nicki Minaj) and performance artist her own right: Laurie Ann Gibson. She brought such a welcomed zest to the night. We were also able to extend condolences to Miko Branch and the family and friends of Titi Branch of Miss Jessie's, who died last week at the age of 45.http://bit.ly/1yTYVNv In song and silence, we sent good vibrations for healing inside this difficult time. Plus, as our FALL 2014 series of Billie’s Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L Riley comes to a near-close, our amazing partners – including Miss Jessie’s; Riley Land Gourmet Pantry; and a return for the night: MOTOWN THE MUSICAL – a special gift from marketing consultant Marcia Pendelton who brought#MOTOWNMAY IN DECEMBER to #BILLIESBLACKand #ALLSTARKARAOKE. This is another full circle moment as Marcia made it possible for me to be the Opening Night HOST of MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL's video which allowed me TWO interviews with Miss Ross and Berry Gordy that night:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK1yncqPlOQ; and since our #MOTOWNMAY was such a SUCCESS; and since MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL is playing its final performance at Broadway's Lunt Fontanne Theatre on January 18, 2015 (though poised to return to the Nederlander theater July 2016). Use PROMO CODE ABC123 for Discount Tickets. BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE: In additon to its US THEATER TOUR, a UK production is planned for the summer of 2015. MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL has broken the weekly gross box office record at the Lunt Fontanne with million-dollar grossing weeks. Recoup? Check! This spring, the first National Tour of MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL opened to critical acclaim, grossing an impressive $20 Million dollars during a packet, sixteen-week run. UPDATES: My ALL STAR KARAOKE producer Bernice Wooden will keep the party going during the two holiday TUESDAYS left in 2014. And if I get back in time for Tuesday, December 30th… I may pop by to WATCH (and wait in line to sing)! LOL!#getready #motownthemusical #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #motownmay

 

 

ritual

ritual

Lots going on this season as LIFE OF RILEY looks to unplug a bit over the holidays. I have one big deadline for recurring client BET – a video project for which I had to shoot an impressive crew of millennials who may be hiring me soon! THANKS LADIES and GENTLEMEN! Meanwhile, a couple of other projects I wrapped a couple of months ago will see the light of day. First up is my HOME LENDING episode for recurring client WELLS FARGO PRESENTS THE NEW ADVOCATE MONEY MINUTE: http://www.advocate.com/business/advocate-money-minute/2014/12/12/home-lending (See all my other episodes here: http://www.advocate.com/business/advocate-money-minute) ... and on long-standing, recurring client OWN THIS UPCOMING SUNDAY? A very special interview THAT I ACTUALLY CONDUCTED with Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie:
http://www.oprah.com/own-where-are-they-now/Beth-Holloway-Tiffany-and-the-Original-Cast-of-The-Real-World-Video. That’s Sunday, December 21, at 9/8c. Read more:http://www.oprah.com/own-where-are-they-now/Beth-Holloway-Tiffany-and-the-Original-Cast-of-The-Real-World-Video#ixzz3LtLgBV2v #WhereAreTheyNow. And I’m saying yes to as many talent bookings I can before I leave town – including: the chance to host a marriage party for my NABJ BFF Brian Henderson and his beautiful wife Nikita Henderson – The New York Times own. Le Maison d’Art in Harlem was the back-drop… and we had a BLAST – celebrating the newlyweds. This Thursday, my friend Chris Jones booked me to join a fun line-up at “Freddie Wright’s Holiday Talent Show and Review”. And the holiday parties are booked at the craziest pace while Ant and I try to get to our loved ones – respectively! WHEW!

karaoke

I’m hoping to have some voice left-over Thursday after our PRE-HOLIDAY BLAST! That's right! We are about to wrap up our FALL 2014 series of Billie’s Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L Riley! AND YES! WE HOPE TO RETURN IN THE SPRING!

UPDATES:

My ALL STAR KARAOKE producer Bernice Wooden will keep the party going during the two holiday TUESDAYS left in 2014. And if I get back in time for Tuesday, December 30th… I may pop by to WATCH (and wait in line to sing)! LOL!

Last Tuesday, our usual suspects included our beloved sponsors Miss Jessie’s and Riley Land Gourmet Pantry who ensure our ALL STAR KARAOKE FAITHFULs walk out the door with a smile and some SWAG! LOL! BFF Mara Schiavocampo got in on the phone – giving away two copies of her upcoming book “THINspired”, due December 30th… but you can pre-order on Amazon NOW: http://www.amazon.com/Thinspired-Pounds-Lasting-Weight-Self-Acceptance/dp/1476784051/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417643482&sr=8-1&keywords=thinspired. We sang, laughed, and were TRULY MERRY:https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10204127038514182&set=vb.1172177040&type=2&theater. AND OF COURSE, we talked about THINSPIRED: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10204126885790364&set=vb.1172177040&type=2&theater. Mara also secured copies of the latest edition of ESSENCE inside of which there’s an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from her book. Also, you'll find some FABULOUS PICTURES of Mara through the years AND a couple of the pages features our ALL STAR KARAOKE/CELEBRITY hair stylist SUPREME, Carla Bone! So much fun when Mara comes by: http://bit.ly/ask_mara.#THINspiredbook #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke  

motown

So, imagine my EXCITEMENT when my nephew made sure that his uncle got prime seats to see my icon MISS ROSS February 3rd as she opens the historic, now-newly-renovated theater in Brooklyn! She's still #THEBOSS - never more underscored when my friend - marketing consultant Marcia Pendelton - brought #MOTOWNMAY to #BILLIESBLACK and #ALLSTARKARAOKE. Well, as I have loved MISS ROSS since I came out the womb; and since Marcia made it possible for me to be the Opening Night HOST of MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL's video which allowed me TWO interviews with Miss Ross and Berry Gordy that night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK1yncqPlOQ; and since our #MOTOWNMAY was such a SUCCESS; and since MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL is playing its final performance at Broadway's Lunt Fontanne Theatre on January 18, 2015 (though poised to return to the Nederlander theater July 2016). BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE: In additon to its US THEATER TOUR, a UK production is planned for the summer of 2015. MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL has broken the weekly gross box office record at the Lunt Fontanne with million-dollar grossing weeks. Recoup? Check! This spring, the first National Tour of MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL opened to critical acclaim, grossing an impressive $20 Million dollars during a packet, sixteen-week run. SO GIVEN ALL OF THAT: Marcia is coming THIS WEEK to ALL STAR KARAOKE to - as she put it - "Can I come to karaoke, we do some Motown, and I give away some grand prizes?" The answer is: AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH! LOL! #getready #motownthemusical #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack #motownmay

 

Rip

“Billie’s Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley” extends condolences to Miko Branch and the family and friends of Titi Branch of Miss Jessie's, who died last week at the age of 45. http://bit.ly/1yTYVNv


 theater

I am scheduled to do one more MUST-SEE HOLIDAY SHOW segment for ARISE 360 a little later this week – including, if time, word on my friend Stanley Bennett Clay who invited Anthony, Derrick, Dawn Murphy Riley, and me to see his award-winning play “Ritual” – now inside an extended run at the 777 Theatre, 777 8th Avenue, NY 10036 (between 47th and 48th Sts.), with 2 pm Sunday shows. Tickets are currently on sale for performances thru December 28, 2014. BACK-STORY: Set in the 1980’s, this powerful drama explores the dysfunctional dynamics at work beneath an affluent African-American family’s appearance of perfection. The husband & father is in denial about his family crisis, and is equally detached from his ethnic soul. The wife & mother is on the verge of alcoholism and is threatened by her cunning daughter in the home and perhaps the bedroom. The young gay son, at odds with his father, leaves his Ivy League college to come home and save his family…by any devastating means necessary. “Ritual” features Reginald James Albert, Latresa Baker, David M. Raine, and Q as the volatile Becker family. Clay wrote and produced “Armstrong’s Kid” Off-Broadway 3 years ago. Two years ago he wrote and directed the feature-length documentary “You Are Not Alone,” an examination of depression among black gay men, and directed last year’s award-winning production of the stage adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s classic novel “B-Boy Blues.” He received 3 NAACP Theatre Awards and 3 Drama-logue Awards for writing, directing and co-producing the original Los Angeles production of “Ritual.” That production was also an L.A. Times Critics’ Choice and an L.A. Weekly Pick of the Week. Tickets to “Ritual” are available by calling (866) 811-4111 or visiting www.theatermania.com/off-broadway/shows/ritual_305392/. Tickets are also available at the box office one hour before curtain. Tickets are $31.45-$51.45 (which includes a $1.95 service fee). TDF members get discount tickets on the TDF site. All seats reserved. Tickets are on sale now. Group rates/tickets are available. Contact: Stanley Bennett Clay phone: 323-200-4861 email:stanleybennettclay@gmail.com #HIGHLYRECOMMENDED #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack

model

After enjoying a night with my Morehouse brother Mario's Harlem Thursday Night at NABE, had a great night with industry buddy Ron Smith AKA The Wiz.  He brought Anthony Harper and several of our colleagues and friends – new and old – together at Chez Josephine for the opportunity to meet and greet and get to know menswear label Polo Ralph Lauren’s latest pluck: model Darius Williams - one of the faces of the brand’s Fall/Winter 2014 men’s campaign. In attendance: David Miller (DMillerPR); Brian Jamie (Photographer); Sonya Magett (Style/Fashion expert); Ken like Barbie (VROGGPR); Terry Donovan (Summer Sizzle BVI); Christopher Kadima (model); Jamie Tonge (Distinct Homene Magazine); Claire Summers (Fashion Bomb Daily); Indashio; Ebony ( model – “MLZ”). We all WELCOMED Darius into what we see as an obvious destiny of SUCCESS: the TRIPLE-THREAT KIND! PER DARIUS’ BIO, Louisiana native Williams caught the eye of one the fashion industry’s leading clothing brands this year. The 6’1.5” fitness model was photographed to appear in the print and online ads for the prestigious company by world-renowned lensman Bruce Weber, one of the industry’s most celebrated photographers. Weber captured the professional model’s good looks both solo and posed with other models for the brand’s print and billboard ads featured in department stores nationwide as well as on the company’s website Polo.com. The photos spark the viewer’s imagination enough to cause a double-take. Williams was raised in a small town in Louisiana with a population of only 18,000 residents. Before he moved to New York, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Northwestern State University of Louisiana where he also honed his skills as a graphic designer. It was during his last semester in college is when he took up an offer by a model scout to attend castings for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. Williams jumped at the chance he felt could be a once in a lifetime opportunity, despite having never visited the Big Apple before. As Williams’ flight landed in a New York airport, he received a phone call stating he had one hour to attend his first meeting at a modeling agency in Manhattan. As fate would have it, he landed a modeling contract with Soul Artist Management. Since that fateful meeting, Williams has worked with many other talented photographers. He has appeared in ad campaigns for Nike, SperryTopsider, and Verizon. The fine art lover has also been snapped by male supermodel David Agbodji (Calvin Klein) for Flaunt magazine. Williams has also walked on the runway for men’s underwear brand 2xist as well as various designers for the fashion week seasons. Williams recently wrapped a shoot to appear in an upcoming ad for Hanes; another one of the nation’s leading the underwear brands for their spring 2015 campaign. His career path, however, lies not only in modeling—he is currently studying acting to prepare his next steps into Hollywood. His model profile and portfolio may be viewed at SoulArtistManagement.com.

 

 

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