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".
Patrick L. Riley


Entries in DDIANA ROSS (2)

in the name of love


UPDATE: The video I host on Motown: The Musical's Opening Night Celebration is edited and here. Please feel free to VIEW/FWD/SHARE...and - most of all - to come and see MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL on BROADWAY):


 After I did my “Blacks and Broadway” segment on COZI-TV (, the “Motown: The Musical” ad folks hired me as its host for the show's OPENING NIGHT CELEBRATION – including interviewing all the guests as they walked the red carpet! Stay tuned for that clip...  

You see me interviewing my life-time idol Diana Ross and Motown Founder Berry Gordy along with many other greats!!!

The client also serviced my interviews to REUTERS and others.

SEE MISS Diana Ross; Berry Gordy; and a little of me (along with reax from Jane Fonda) also here in this piece:

And in this BROADWAY CHANNEL clip, you'll see glimpses of my footage and me as I interview the great Debbie Allen, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Williams, Sting, his wife Trudie Styler, and more excerpts from my Ross and Gordy chat (not all of the soundbites are mine as Broadway Channel had someone on-site as well): WHAT A MAGICAL NIGHT! 45th Street shook like an earthquake when Miss Ross arrived in the same limo as Mr. Gordy for the highly

anticipated world premiere at The Lunt Fontanne Theatre, followed by party at Roseland Ballroom.

I reminded Miss Ross and Mr. Gordy that Motown nor Diana were strangers to Broadway (1. Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations' follow-up TV special to their debut TCB was GIT: Getting It Together on Broadway;

2. "Pippin'" with Tony-award-winning Ben Vereen was a Motown soundtrack and Diana and the Jackson 5 both covered the show's hit track "Corner of the Sky";

3. Miss Ross won a Tony for her Broadway-staged one-woman show which broke box office records: "An Evening with Diana Ross").

Diana said to Berry: "He has a great memory! Always!" (Miss Ross referencing my memory of steel on all things Ross & Motown from a three-day set of interviews I got to do with her in 2005 at the "Legends" ball + she's called me on the stage to dance on "Upside Down" a couple of times over the years, too).

Worth also noting that Miss Ross, her original supreme mate Mary Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and many of the other Motown LEGENDS joined the cast on stage at the end --- embracing and celebrating the performers who were playing them (I also interviewed them all on the red carpet).


These pictures and video were taken by my friend Brandon Bain – singer/personality/karaoke host – who got to sing with ‘Diana Ross’ [Valisia Lekae (formerly of “The Book of Mormon”)] on “Reach Out & Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” – preview night one. He too attended the opening night after party.

While I was on duty, he shot some of this behind-the-scenes footage of MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL’s after party

(including the great still shot of Diana, Berry, and Mary (and Jesse Jackson)! INDEED, Miss Ross and Mary Wilson BACK TOGETHER AGAIN:;

Afterwards, Miss Ross - as promised (with Berry Gordy still in tow) – came to talk to me again.

She exclaimed she LOVED Valisia in the leading role of Diana Ross ("I'm CUTE," Miss Ross shared before giggling, sharp contrast to the many tears of joy and nostalgia she'd expressed from her seat during the show).

She too said that Berry Gordy is a 'great storyteller'!!! MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL features music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Berry Gordy. It is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright stars - in addition to 'Diana Ross' - Tony Award® nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple) and and features Charl Brown (Jersey Boys) as Smokey Robinson, Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye and an ensemble cast of 40. I spoke to many of them. Others in the house - many of whom I too spoke: THE COMMODORES, BONO, GAYLE KING, STING, JANE FONDA, JULIE CHEN from "The Talk"; LES MOONVES;





MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever.

This exhilarating show charts Motown Founder Berry Gordy's incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross,

Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and many more.

Featuring all the classics you love, MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America.

The music that shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat finally comes to Broadway in the season's most anticipated show.

It's playing at The Lunt Fontanne Theatre - 205 West 46th Street (Btwn Broadway & 8th Ave - North sid Roseland Ballroom 239 West 52nd Street (Between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Special shout out to Marcia Pendelton, Marketing Outreach for the Motown: The Muiscal. She was THE key player in ensuring I was a part of this historic night!



Motown and Diana Ross' collective and respective LEGACIES LIVE alongside their LIVING FABULOUSNESS (a la Broadways’s ‘Motown: The Musical’ and Miss Ross' still-busy-and-impressive itinerary (She hosted 'Christmas in Washington' for The Obamas this past December: - cast in tow from injury sustained at a reported $1,000,000 one-nighter to serenade supermodel Naomi Campbell's billionaire boyfriend's birthday party in India): My friend, TONY AWARD WINNING STAR OF 'THE COLOR PURPLE' AND "RAGTIME' LACHANZE's three-date, one-woman-show LOVE HANGOVER, which runs again Thursday, April 18 & Monday, April 22: LaChanze presented "Love Hangover" - her mostly re-conceived arrangements of Miss Ross' repertoire (or as she put it "...the soundtrack of my life..."). In attendance, a room full of LaChanze's friends and fans - many our own: our friend, Director Ken Roberson (GREAT JOB!), jazz singer Greg Generet (who performs three sets every Thursday in NYC at SMOKE);   one of my favorite actresses on TV, film, stage, daytime, nighttime, Broadway, off-Broadway, cabaret: Tamara Tunie; Broadway's best Norm Lewis (also in 'Scandal'); all my other favorites: siblings Sapp (and Bree); Rita Wilson (singer, actress, film/TV producer; and wife of Tom Hanks) who was performing a later set at the same venue [I got the chance to shoot a pic with her outside the preview press event 54 Below hosted with LaChanze, Wilson, and some of the other stars performing there in the next month.]; film/TV producer Angelique Francis; my homeboy, Richmond Hill's own Algernon Campbell: dancer (and dance instructor) EXTRAORDINNAIRE: and many more!!!

 Set list: starting from back of the house onto the stage:

Love Hangover

 Them There Eyes (from "Lady Sings the Blues")

 Touch Me in the Morning

 Last Time I Saw Him

 Good Morning Heartache (from "Lady...Blues")

 You Can't Hurry Love

 I Hear A Symphony

 Baby Love

 Reach Out & Touch prelude (featuring LaChanze's first leading man Jerry Dixon - "Once on this Island")

 You're All I Need To Get By (w/Jerry)

 Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing (w/Jerry)

 You Keep Me Hangin' On w/hints of Sting's "If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free" w/two gentlemen background singers

Be A Lion (from 'The Wiz')

 I'm Coming Out (w/two gentlemen background singers)

 Ain't No Mountain High Enough

 The Boss (encore)



Then, my friend Jamar Dunn asked Ant and me to pop by his place for an. 'American Idol' screening party with a fun group including the legendary Pepa of 'Salt & Pepa' fame; her hairdresser Troy Turner (Also Lil' Kim's hair stylist); another celebrity hairstylist Octavio (Mary, Mary; Serena Williams; and more); and a host of others. A-I-wise, we're all Team Candice!!!! But we are also Team Pepa! She engaged us so about the history of hip hop and her place in the landscape. And though I've enjoyed several moments in which I was an audience with Pepa, none quite this intimate and open - Pep and I even uncovering we share an astrological sign in common: Scorpio! What a pop cultural blessing! #moreloot


What a week! "Motown: The Musical" on Broadway was a blast on Sunday. But Monday had me dotting Is and crossing Ts to ready the video for BET's Up Front, a project on which I have been working with recurring client BET Creative Services for the last few months. Always nice to see my labor of love on an EPIC screen in the front of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall where BET pulled out... all the stops in addition to the video programming sizzles I had a hand in producing: performances by Chaka Khan ("Tell Me Something Good" for CENTRIC section); Kierra Sheard and brother John Drew Sheard II (who performed a Gospel tribute to Boston); also, appearances by Boris Kodjoe; Kevin Hart; Nelly; Selita Ebanks; and others from "Real Husbands of Hollywood"; Chris Tucker (just-announced host of the BET Awards which go down during the unprecedented BET Experience at LA LIVE, a three-day music-and-more festival at the end of June); Comedians Sommore and Tony Rock; star of BET's 1st Original Movie & 1st weekly, one-hour drama "Being Mary Jane", Gabrielle Union; Boris' beautiful wife, actress Nicole Ari Parker; legendary Gladys Knight; and a performance by Miguel. Several mingled and posed for pix with the many advertising folks in the audience - there to determine if they will buy into BET. From the feedback and various ovations, it looks good. Great to work with such an AWESOME TEAM at BET. Happy my nephew Herman L. Riley III was in attendance and I got to hang out with him a little - a rare treat.


So happy to attend the New York City PREMIERE of SEEIt Film THE DIVORCE COUNSELOR – written, produced, and directed by my friend and often-fellow-collaborator (at recurring client BET): THEMBISA S. MSHAKA. It took place recently at the New York Film Academy. And now you can get in on the session: THE DIVORCE COUNSELOR can be seen on-line --- EXCLUSIVELY on WWW.FREESWORLD.COM (FREE hosted the festivities!). Please feel free to REFER “The Divorce Counselor”. CONGRATS, THEMBISA! BEAUTIFUL NIGHT! Shout out to Chasity, Loren, Kris, Deangelo, Rachel, et al. #TheDivorceCounselor


You know I love the Dance Theatre of Harlem! You may recall I recently attended DTH's Vision Gala as a guest of friends Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil who weren't able to attend (Vanessa Williams - now in Broadway's "The Trip To Bountiful" - was honored):  You may also recall I hosted DTH's Annual Street Fair in Harlem a few years ago: Recently, many of us gathered to see the DTH Company at Jazz at Lincoln Center - a beautiful series of performance in the Rose Theater.In the house: SO MANY FRIENDS - including my 'Amazing Grace' Nichole; friend (and producer of "Drums Along The Hudson") Carl Nelson; BFF Sidra Smith (Producer, "Free Angela" documentary); Stacie J ('Apprentice' star - Season 2); Ed Roebuck (clients including Diana Ross, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Nancy Wilson); Miss Dawn Riley (performer as well as TV production credits that include "Third Watch" and "Lipstick Jungle" among many others); and my SURPRISE BLAST FROM THE PAST (who happened to be seated next to me): CNBC Business News talent Sharon Epperson, my former co-worker (I worked at CNBC with Geraldo Rivera in the mid-'90s) and forever NABJ sister!! It was her birthday but the treat was all mine to chat she and her sister up during scene pauses and intermissions. And to those I'm not listing due to space, GREAT TO SEE YOU AS WELL and as ALWAYS! Center Charge: 212.721.6500 Afterwards, we grabbed a bite in the area (Rosa Mexicana) before turning in. FUN FRIDAY!!!


Date DAY & NIGHT: Ant & I got a quality-time Saturday in, compliments of friend, publicist Gwendolyn Quinn. We saw one of my TOTAL FAVs, GRAMMY® nominated recording artist Deborah Cox (as Lucy) in JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL alongside another American Idol FAV, Constantine Maroulis (Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde). Deborah's return to Broadway is a 13-week limited engagement at Broadway's Marquis Theatre in New York City. It's a great show-Deborah is AMAZING!!! The review I text some close friends: "Deborah Cox (AND Constantine) are singing for the gODZ in "Jekyll & Hyde" on Broadway! Sexy! Sultry! Beautiful, BELTING & nuanced vocals!!!" JEKYLL & HYDE is based on the acclaimed novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, about a London doctor who accidentally unleashes an evil alternate personality in his quest to cure his father's mental illness.


On June 4, 2013, Brooklyn Community Services will host its annual BCS Human Spirit Awards at the Grand Hyatt-Manhattan Ballroom. I’ve been asked to join its host committee and to invite as many of you to get in on this wonderful cause as possible. This year BCS will honor two cultural leaders who call Brooklyn their home. My friend, National image activist, Michaela angela Davis, and award-winning artist, Danny Simmons, will join other honorees in a ceremony that celebrates individuals who through their vision, leadership, service and generosity have built a lasting impression on both culture and community. The Human Spirit Awards is the annual fundraising dinner for BCS that highlights individuals, groups and programs that have made lifting up the lives of Brooklynites their call to action.  Last year's gala raised $500,000 and provided vital resources to support BCS's mission to strengthen families, help children and youth reach their full potential, and support adults in leading productive, fulfilling lives.  Proceeds from this year's online and silent auction will support efforts to provide continued relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy in Coney Island. This year's gala is already shaping up as a Who's Who of local and national notables, including international DJ and Black Girls Rock Founder and Executive Director, Beverly Bond, who will present the award to Ms. Davis.  Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, who has long been a strong supporter of BCS, will present the award to Danny Simmons.  Other confirmed guests to date include:  filmmaker and hip hop journalist, dream hampton; writer, musician and producer, Greg Tate; R&B recording artist and model, Maiysha Kai and playwright, radio host and political commentator, Esther Armah. I just recently had a chance to work with Michaela angela Davis on one of my last freelance projects (the aforementioned BET Up Front 2013). She has already made an indelible mark on culture, style and image activism.  As the former fashion, beauty, and culture executive editor for Essence magazine and founding fashion director of Vibe, Ms. Davis helped expand the narrow narratives of what is considered beautiful for millions of readers.  As a leading image/style maven, she has worked with the likes of Oprah, Beyoncé, and Prince.  Currently she leads MAD Free, a multi-platform, multi-generational critical community conversation project focusing on image. Danny Simmons has been a leading figure in the New York art scene for over 30 years.  Danny is a noted abstract expressionist painter and the older brother of hip hop impresario Russell Simmons and rapper Joseph Simmons ("Reverend Run" of Run–D.M.C.).  He is the co-founder and Chairman of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (since 1995), which provides disadvantaged urban youth with arts access and education.   As a former social worker, Danny understands the impact early intervention can have on a child's life, believing that arts and creativity are a way out of a particular circumstance through the power of imagination. Through their courage, determination and creative drive, Ms. Davis and Mr. Simmons have inspired and uplifted the many young people, struggling families and adults with challenges, who are served by BCS. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN BUY TICKETS FOR THIS AWESOME GALA OR MAKE A DONATION: Click on


Though the night got a little long in the tooth, glad we got to support our friend Nathan Hale Williams’ Ocean Thursdays party at Splash recently! Special guest Kenya Moore performed “Gone With The Wind” fabulous! and was most gracious to show the kids how to pose – on stage and at the step & repeat. Was also EXTRA special to see some dear friends – including face-beater-par-excellence (makeup artist to the stars) Sam Fine; Editor-in-Chief at Uptown Magazine, Isoul Harris (my Morehouse brother whose book “NICKI MINAJ: HIP POP MOMENTS 4 LIFE” just came out this week) ------ ALL OF THIS after enjoying a nice family meal with my nephew and his mom (visiting from our hometown Savannah) at Billie’s Black. #GoneWithTheWindFabulous!!!!


Pop culture icon Nelson George and WATTSTAX at NJPAC I Friday April 5



POP CULTURE ICON (and – for sure – one of my personal pop culture IDOLs) NELSON GEORGE will be presenting a screening of WATTSTAX – including a panel discussion afterwards NEXT FRIDAY, April 5th! A MUST ATTEND! BUY TICKETS here! #NJPAC


Am GRATEFUL to the New York Association of Black Journalists for honoring me as one of its Trailblazers alongside Robert Anthony, Eric V. Tait, Lena Sherrod and Audrey Edwards: A BLESSING! And so good to enjoy a lovely meal and reflection time with my fellow honorees. Afterwards, we got to mix and mingle with our NYABJ family - old and new. The Carlton Hotel's Salon Millesime was the perfect back-drop! THANKS NYABJ! XO


Afterwards, Ant & I promised Miss Phynjuar that we'd come to Miss Chaka Khan's 60th Birthday party at EVR. Saw many friends - including entertainment writer Karu Daniels; singer/producer Kevin-Anthony; Sister 2 Sister's Jamie Foster Brown; Chaka Khan publicist Gwendolyn Quinn; singer Toni Seawright; NABJ brother Roland Martin; actress Taraji P. Henson; Oprah's and the First Lady's makeup artist Derrick Rutledge; UBER-stylist and TV personality Phillip Bloch; and a host of others. FUN NIGHT as Chaka's music played! And Chaka was so gracious as we quickly reflected on my first interview with her: "Good Day Atlanta" in 1993 and then in Santa Barbara in 2005, but there have been many times in between that I've been in Miss Chaka Khan's presence - from shows, live tapings, private CD listening studio sessions, etc. AND IT IS ALWAYS MY HONOR! Happy Birthday, Chaka!


In addition to it being also MISS ROSS’ birthday and MISS ARETHA FRANKLIN’s birthday (within days in ARIES MARCH), it was also the birthday of girlfriend Priya Scoggins. She hosted a low-key, but lots of FUN, evening at her Manhattan pad. We attended with friend Merrell Hollis ("Wendy Williams" make-up artist and influential style icon his own) and I was TOO excited to see my "little" Morehouse brothers (of whom I am SO PROUD): Isoul Harris (Editor-in-Chief for "Uptown Magazine" - and singer/songwriter Welborn Preston (credits including Jennifer Hudson's recent dance hit "Night of Your Life"). Also in the house: media master and friend Nathan Hale Williams as well as several other friends: Derrick Hemphill, Lisa Bonner, Ian Wells - an awesome round out to the night's roster. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PRIYA! AND MANY MORE! As always, THE BEST TIME!


My debut media impression on COZI-TV and NBC 4 this past Friday received raves: Thanks to all for tuning in! As a result, I was just invited to do a similar segment on WNBC’s “Positively Black”. Also, I have been invited to work the red carpet on MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL's opening night for the show’s AD-AGENCY's cameras! YAY! Stay tuned! And as always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


Though the MOTOWN legacy LIVES all over the world, the coming of MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL to Broadway – OPENING APRIL 14TH: ( is but one sign of THE MOTOWN SOUND and FAMILY here in New York City:

  • ·         RHONDA ROSS – daughter of MOTOWN Founder Berry Gordy and FIRST LADY OF MOTOWN Diana Ross - just did a show at The Sugar Bar, which happens to be the supper club owned by ICONIC MOTOWN songwriters and producers: the late, great NICK ASHFORD & VALERIE SIMPSON: THE SUGAR BAR (on 72nd Street on the West Side). And she's scheduled to do another show April 27th at the Cutting Room:!/events/468565766550196/?fref=ts.
  • ·         Friend and Broadway darling LACHANZE (who won the Tony award as lead actress in a musical for her portrayal of Celie in “Oprah Winfrey presents The Color Purple”) is doing “LOVE HANGOVER: Celebrating the music of the one and only Diana Ross” – an evening of song at 54 Below in the theater district on 54th Street. April 17, 18, and 22:
  • ·         Traveling production: "My Brother Marvin" – one interpretation of Marvin Gaye’s life and times - will be in NY April 11-14 @ the Beacon: It's considered controversial by some, but is indicative of influence and growing nostalgia as anything else that's out: It stars Emmy Award winning actress Lynn Whitfield; Image Award winning actor Clifton Powell; R&B sensation Keith Washington; vocal powerhouse Tony Grant and platinum selling R&B Group Az Yet.
  • ·         Friend Jeff Bowman (with whom I had the chance to consult on a cross-cultural marketing project in which my girlfriend Sidra Smith enrolled my participation) has recently joined the Classical Theatre of Harlem as a board member.  They are currently running a show in Harlem and welcoming your support for “DETROIT ‘67”. Please see the link: This is hopefully the first of many shows in Harlem.  This is special because of the relationship with the Public Theatre and Time Warner as the presenting sponsor.
  • I LOVE DETROIT’s own JO THOMPSON – legendary jazz pianist and vocalist. As her manager and son Greg Dunmore is a BFF, I’ve had the chance to see her in many esteemed rooms! This week, Jo Thompson in town for more than celebrating the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin's birthday (as they are seen here at the Ritz Carlton NYC), but she too is having her moment in the spotlight at the World Famous Cafe Carlyle this weekend March 28 and 30 in "Slender Tender and Tall: An Evening With the Fabulous Ms. Jo Thompson. Call: 212-744-1600 for tickets. And read here for more information: NEW YORK CITY loves when JO THOMPSON comes to town!


Was so EXCITED to get a personal call from Vy Higginsen who invited us to the 30th Anniversary Celebration of "Mama, I Want to Sing" which benefitted the Gospel for Teens program (from which the kids led a "This Little Light of Mine' finale that included an impromptu encore/bow featuring the Gospel-tinged vocals and ad-libs of Committee Co-Chairs - legends their own - Cissy Houston and Valerie Simpson, and legendary guests Dionne Warwick and Angie Stone). Event Chair Lesley Stahl (Emmy winner for a "60 Minutes" profile on Gospel for Teens) was honored and in the house at Harlem's Dempsey Theater along with recent media supporter Nate Berkus. Other event hosts (not present): Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, and Shirley Caesar. To find out more about how you can help support Gospel for Teens and/or to enjoy Mama Fouundation for the Arts' many offerings, click on: &  All of this on a day in which I saw "Mama, I Want To Sing", the movie, for the first time (starring Ciara, Lynn Whitfield, Patti Labelle, Ben Vereen, Billy Zane, Marvin Winans, and more) on Centric (after "The Wiz").


My friend at The LEGENDARY Apollo Theater, Nina Flowers, just hipped me to a special new production coming to the Apollo in the fall of 2013: The World Premiere of “James Brown: Get On the Good Foot - A Celebration in Dance”, which opens on October 22nd, 2013. Tickets for this show go on sale on April 30th.  Like Apollo Club Harlem before it, this is a conceptual work and will be developed by five fabulous choreographers from around the world. It will showcase the stylistic and cultural influences the “Godfather of Soul” continues to have on artists and creativity through dance. Under the artistic direction of acclaimed choreographer Otis Sallid, “Get on the Good Foot” will pay tribute to Brown through original dance numbers and a musical score comprised of classic music by the soul icon and new works by musicians influenced by Brown. Sounds like an exciting addition to one of The Apollo’s Legacy Projects, which really celebrates the history of the Theater through contemporary works and James Brown is one of our Apollo Legends. For more information, visit


Congrats to my friends, Director Stanley Bennett Clay and writer (of book and play), James Earl Hardy and the cast of B BOY BLUES: THE PLAY (comprised of a cast that includes several friends: Reginald Barnes (pictured right) and Demarco Majors; ALSO AS CASTING DIRECTOR, my dear friend Tracey Moore). Its recent run in New York City WON the “Downtown Urban Theater Festival AUDIENCE AWARD”! Its next stop: The DC Black Theater Festival in late June!  And worth noting that Stanley – who is always writing something fabulous – has a new novel "Aching For It." For those of you who met and loved his characters Jesse and Etienne in "House of John," you better fasten your seatbelts for a next-level ride of romance and erotica. CONGRATS, STANLEY AND ALL OF MY FRIENDS associated with B BOY BLUES!


CONGRATS to my Spelman sister and friend Tanika Ray on her new venture: She recently announced, the spiritchild of Tanika: TV personality, Pop Culture expert & Interior Enthusiast! She has brought this vision to digital life in collaboration with her friend/designer/sister Sass Nikki Martin. They have created a lifestyle webazine jam packed with fresh takes on trends, spicy blogs and original video content. CONGRATS, BOO!


I'm happy to announce the launch of my friend Caroline Ziv’s website and blog for her new video production company, Big Red Bike Media. To put it in the simplest terms, BRB creates custom videos for businesses, non-profits and individuals. To that end, if you or anyone you know is looking to make a marketing, promotion, fundraising or personal documentary video, you should consider Caroline (and tell her “…The Life of Riley…” sent you). We worked for years together with my recurring freelance client HARPO Productions out of Chicago. I am EXCITED for Caroline’s NEXT CHAPTER:  Her blog link is here: And her website is here: CONGRATS, ZIV! XO