- Created on 30 April 2013
The Affordable Old School Concert Series is a four-show concert series designed to expose and entertain a diverse audience with a variety of old-school hip-hop and R&B music.
Guardians of the soul and funk tradition, Tony! Toni! Toné!, will take command of the stage at the Wolf Creek Amphitheater on Saturday, May 4, in the first of four concerts in an Old School Series. The multi-gold record and double platinum album-holding group will perform their hit R&B singles along with Whodini, Silk, and Chubb Rock. Comedian J.J. Williamson will round out the list of music talent.
Tony! Toni! Toné! released their fourth album, House of Music, in the fall of 1996. They continued to produce hit singles such as the memorable "Feels Good," "Anniversary," "It Never Rains in Southern California" and "Whatever You Want" all topping the R&B charts.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. with The Planet Jazz All-Stars featuring Phillipia opening the show. The doors will open two hours prior to show time in order to allow concert-goers time to bring in their own food, beverages and coolers. Wolf Creek Amphitheater will also have several food and beverage vendors on site for patrons who choose not to bring in their own food and beverages.
Tickets are on sale now at www.TicketAlternative.com (877-725-8879). Visit the Wolf Creek Amphitheater website at www.WolfCreekAmphitheater.com for any additional updates.
- Created on 30 April 2013
The Web series Mommy Uncensored is packing up its Sippy cups and diaper bags to get ready for a new season.
According to Justin Jordan, co-creator and director, Season Two is raucous and real on a "whole new level." Complex story lines deal with strained friendship, cheating, insecurities, the objectification of women in media, domestic life, among others. "We've added great actors and directors to the team, who come from the Big Screen and Broadway," he said.
The show follows the trials and tribulations of Karen Wright as she tries to juggle motherhood, marriage and the manic moments intrinsic to both. Based on the real-life experiences of Justin and his wife, Charity Jordan, the show became an instant hit with mothers everywhere during season one.
Co-creator and star, Charity, shares in the secrets for what's coming up. "Season Two is juicy! In season one, Karen was trying to keep her head above water and adapt to the new responsibilities that came along with motherhood. In season two, Karen's home life has begun to stabilize as she settles into her new role as Mommy. Now, motherhood is affecting her relationships – how she relates to others and how others relate to her."
Justin adds, "Mommy Uncensored is the first show I've seen that keeps it real on parenthood, and the daily struggles a mom (and dad) face to maintain one's identity, social life, and marriage in the world of diapers and minivans. These are our lived-in stories for everyone who's had an awkward moment, like mis-congratulating a non-pregnant woman. The show is fun, real and therapeutic comedy for every mom and dad who's felt the pressure of cashing in their cool points for onesies."
Season Two can be seen on youtube.com/MommyUncensored.
- Created on 24 April 2013
Lil Scrappy of VH1′s hit reality show, “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta,” was hauled off to jail Tuesday morning after Atlanta police claim that he failed to submit to a court-ordered urine test, according to TMZ.
According to police reports, Lil Scrappy, whose real name is Darryl Kevin Richardson II, violated his probation last March after...
- Created on 26 April 2013
Editor's note: This article may contain spoilers.
(CNN) -- The timing couldn't be any better, or worse, for Mira Nair's film of Mohsin Hamid's novel, a sympathetic portrait of a gifted, intelligent young Pakistani whose love affair with the American dream ends in disenchantment, mistrust and violence.
This would have been a provocative movie to release at any time since 9/11, but especially so in the immediate aftermath of the Boston bombings. Still, if we're to come to any understanding of the terrorist mentality, movies are a relatively safe and responsible place to start looking.
In the opening scenes, the CIA responds to the kidnapping of a European academic in Lahore, Pakistan. A U.S. journalist who is also an undercover operative for the agency (Liev Schreiber) is sent to interview one of the professor's colleagues, a local whose classes are reported to be stirring up young Muslims and who is a known associate of jihadists. Changez (Riz Ahmed) agrees to talk, but only if the American promises to hear him out and get the full story.
Changez, it's not pronounced like the David Bowie song, but it could easily be read that way, starts out as if he means to become one of Tom Wolfe's "Masters of the Universe," a Princeton business grad whose ruthlessness puts him on the fast track at Underwood Sampson, a Wall Street valuations firm. He even dates the chairman's daughter (Kate Hudson, valiantly trying to find roots for an elusive character).
The business saga is entertaining in a snappy, sub-Oliver Stone finger-wagging vein -- Kiefer Sutherland is in strong form as his steely mentor -- but things sour for Changez when the World Trade Center comes down. Suddenly the up-and-coming executive is being strip-searched at airports and advised to shave his beard. He's treated like an alien and comes to feel like one. It forces him to rethink his own identity, his heritage and spiritual values and for the first time he questions the profit-motive that has driven his success.
The film's twin-track structure doesn't really work: the lengthy reminiscences of the disenchanted capitalist completely overwhelm the present tense against-the-clock hostage drama. Is Changez playing for time, to aid his al-Qaeda buddies? Nair doesn't seem interested in fleshing out that suggestion, and melodramatic scenes with Martin Donovan as the CIA field chief eavesdropping on the conversation fall well below the authenticity of "Zero Dark Thirty."
Still, the exchanges between Schreiber and Ahmed -- an intense, edgy British actor some may recognize from the black comedy "Four Lions" and Michael Winterbottom's "Trishna" -- do shed some light on the 21st century's most volatile culture clash.
In the starkest of these, Changez confesses that his first reaction to the planes hitting the towers was... pleasure.
It's a brave acknowledgment of an unspeakable emotion, a moment that will repel many in the audience just as clearly as it disgusts Schreiber, but which is worth hearing not because it's provocative, but because it rings true.
There are hard shards of brutal honesty dispersed elsewhere too. When Changez and his American girlfriend first make love, she stops; she's still mourning the love of her life. "Pretend I'm him," he urges, an impulse that doesn't just speak to the male's desire, but also to the immigrant's need to fit in. And then, later, the other side of the equation, when, teaching in Lahore, he challenges his students to articulate what a "Pakistan Dream" might look like...?
Too prescriptive and too novelistic to fully come to life, at least "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" doesn't demean its characters or its audience. It's a dogged, thoughtful and well-acted movie that might have been more effective if it kept a narrower focus.
- Created on 23 April 2013
The musical theater version of the 1990s cult film "Sister Act" will bring singing nuns and gangsters to the Fox Theatre stage April 23-28.
The musical features original music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken, who also wrote music for "Beauty and the Beast," "The Little Mermaid," and "Little Shop of Horrors."
Based on the movie that starred Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg, the stage production of "Sister Act" follows Deloris Van Cartier, a lounge singer who witnesses a crime committed by her gangster boyfriend. Her life is turned topsy-turvy when the cops insist that Deloris the diva must go into a witness protection program at a convent, where she will pose as just another nun.
This forces her to give up a life of glitz and glamour for one of piousness and prayer. As a suspicious and often disapproving Mother Superior looks on, Deloris helps her fellow nuns find their voices and a sense of rhythm, while at the same time, she finds her sense of self.
The theater version of the show is a little different from the movie. While the movie was set in the 1990s in Reno, Nevada, the stage production is set in Philadelphia in the 1970s, giving it more sparkle and a disco feel.
The lead role of Deloris is played by Ta'rea Campbell, whose previous Broadway credits include "Leap of Faith," "The Book of Mormon," "The Lion King" (Nala), "Aida" and "Little Shop of Horrors." She also has performed regionally in "Caroline or Change" and internationally as the lead singer at the 2010 Calgary Stampede in Canada.
A native of Philadelphia and graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, Campbell was awarded the Gold Medal for Excellence in Acting after receiving her degree in theater.
The role of Curtis Jackson, Deloris' bad-boy boyfriend, is played by Kingsley Leggs, who has appeared on Broadway in "Miss Saigon" and "The Color Purple"as the original Mister. He has been in the touring shows of "Miss Saigon," "Ragtime," "It Ain't Nothing but the Blues" and "Forbidden Hollywood."
One of Curtis Jackson's "goons," who is helping him find Deloris, is his nephew TJ, played by Charles Barksdale, who has performed in musicals including "Dreamgirls," "Footloose," " Cinderella," "Damn Yankees," "Smokey Joe's Café," "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Big River," "Zombie Prom" and "Bye, Bye Birdie," among others.
Barksdale said the highlight of the musical is when Deloris stands alone on stage and belts out a song of self-revelation called "Sister Act," demonstrating the "power-house" talent of Ta'rea Campbell. "The song addresses the things she learned in the convent and shows her figuring out the next step," Barksdale said. "She's amazing."
While the TJ character is a villain, he offers a bundle of laughs for the audience, Barksdale said. "He's like a giant kid. He's really silly," Barksdale said. "He's all about comic timing and comic relief."
Unlike some of the darker and more brooding Broadway shows, like "Les Miserable" and "Phantom of the Opera," Barksdale said "Sister Act" will have the audience laughing out loud and will have them walking away with a sense of joy.
"The audience leaves this show feeling happy and feeling good," said Barksdale. "They'll still be dancing and still singing. It's a good feeling."