Oct 28

Movie Review: Moonlight

moonlight-movie-300x169In this film Barry Jenkins creates a masterful picture of his perspective on the black community during the “War on Drugs” era through intellectual art. Jenkins tells the story of Chiron over a 16 year period of his life where he struggles to find his identity in the projects.

I will not give away any major details of this movie because it is a must see and I encourage you to watch it for yourselves. This is the type of movie that challenges stereotypes of the LGBT community; specifically within the black community. The way the picture is presented in this film trusts that the viewers have the ability to read in between the lines.  The main characters, Trevante Rhodes and Janelle Monáe, play exceptional roles in the movie as they force you to become emotionally invested.  Expect to see both in other features especially after their masterful performances in the film.

What makes this movie a can’t miss is that there are so many life lessons proposed by Barry Jenkins that you can take from the movie. He brings to life the effects bullying and drugs have on people, as well as the sometimes harsh criticism gay people face in the inner cities of black communities.

From just watching the movie and seeing all the important scenes and the brilliance of the film forces me to give this film 9.8/10.  Almost a perfect rating because this is nearly a flawless film that will likely win major film awards and it is definitely a must see.

Oct 17

Dreamgirls Star Sheryl Lee Ralph Returns to Broadway!

sheryl-lee-ralph(NEW YORK, NY) – October 17, 2016 – Sheryl Lee Ralph, who was Tony-nominated for her performance as Deena Jones in the original company of the award-winning musical Dreamgirls, will join the cast of the hit Broadway musical Wicked next month.
Beginning November 1, Ralph will step into the role of Madame Morrible. She succeeds Tony winner Judy Kaye, who will play her final performance October 30.
Ralph returned to Broadway in 2002, originating the role of Muzzy Van Hossmere in the Tony-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. On television, she starred as Dee on “Moesha,” Claudette on Ray Donovan and Maggie on “Instant Mom.” Her film credits include “To Sleep with Anger,” for which she won an Independent Spirit Award. Most recently, Ralph wrapped filming “Step Sisters” and “Villa Capri,” opposite Morgan Freeman.
The Broadway cast currently includes Jennifer DiNoia as Elphaba, Carrie St. Louis as Glinda, Michael Campayno as Fiyero, Peter Scolari as The Wizard, Dawn E. Cantwell as Nessarose, Michael Genet as Dr. Dillamond and Zachary Noah Piser as Boq.
“The surprising tale of an unlikely friendship between two women in the Land of Oz,” Wicked, according to press notes, “tells the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy drops in. Elphaba, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. Glinda is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. The remarkable odyssey of how these unexpected friends changed each other’s lives for good has made Wicked one of the world’s most popular musicals.”
The Stephen Schwartz-Winnie Holzman musical continues at the Gershwin Theatre.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com/wicked. For more information visit www.wickedthemusical.com.
Source: Playbill.com
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Oct 06

Watch Promo Ad – Urban Underground Interview

Sep 23

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE FINDS A NEW WAY TO TELL STORIES

(MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA) – September 2016 – Next week marks the grand opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). A museum 100 years in the making, the NMAAHC is much more than just a collection of artifacts. Within its walls, visitors will take part in an immersive journey into the important contributions of African Americans in the United States. It’s a mosaic of stories – stories from our history that are core to who we are as a nation. And we’re proud to help bring these stories to life with a first-of-its-kind 3D interactive exhibit and a $1 million grant from Google.org, part of our ongoing work on racial and social justice issues.

A new way to explore artifacts

A few years ago, Dr. Lonnie Bunch, the NMAAHC’s director, came to Google’s headquarters and shared his vision to make the museum the most technologically advanced in the world. I immediately knew I wanted to be involved, and pulled together people from across the company: designers who focus on user interaction, members of the Cultural Institute, engineers who work on everything from Google Maps to YouTube, and members of the Black Googler Network. For the past year, we’ve been working to deliver on Dr. Bunch’s vision.

Our team quickly learned that museums are often only able to showcase a fraction of their content and archives to visitors. So we asked ourselves: what technology do we have at Google that could help enrich the museum experience? We worked closely with the museum to build an interactive exhibit to house artifacts from decades of African American history and let visitors explore and learn about them. With 3D scanning, 360 video, multiple screens and other technologies, visitors can see artifacts like a powder horn or handmade dish from all angles by rotating them with a mobile device. The interactive exhibit will open in spring 2017.

Picture Caption: Travis McPhail in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on one of many site visits to the museum in Washington, DC.

Taking an Expedition through African American history

In addition to the interactive exhibit, we’re also launching two new Google Expeditions that take students on a digital journey through African American history. Earlier this year, we formed the African American Expeditions Council – a group of top minds in Black culture, academia and curation – to help develop Expeditions that tell the story of Africans in America. With participation from the National Park Service, the Expeditions team captured images of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, which commemorates the events, people and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March. A second Expedition, from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, takes you around Dr. King’s childhood home and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached.

Screenshot from the new Google Expedition highlighting the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, which commemorates the events, people and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March.

Discovering and sharing new stories

At the end of this week, we’re celebrating the opening of the NMAAHC during one of the most important weeks for African Americans in D.C., the week of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). On Friday night of ALC, we’ll salute NMAAHC Founding Director, Dr. Bunch, and the Congressional Black Caucus. The iconic Congressman John Lewis, an Honorary Member of our African American Expeditions Council, will be on hand to talk about the impact of Expeditions in telling the story that the NMAAHC will bring to life in so many important ways.

Day to day, I work on Google Maps, where we help people around the world find and discover new places. Working on this exhibit has given me a chance to help people discover something else – the ways African American history is vitally intertwined with our history as a nation. I’m proud of the role Google has played a role in taking people on that journey.

Sep 19

Spelman College’s Renowned Glee Club Will Join DanceTheatre Of Harlem For Two Exclusive LIVE Performances

ATLANTA, GA (Sept. 2016) – The Fox Theatre and Cobb Energy Centre are excited to announce Atlanta’s much heralded Spelman College Glee Club will be joining Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) for two live performances on Oct. 22 and Oct. 23. Supporting DTH for the first time with a live backing vocal performance, the Glee Club’s seventy-five (75) acclaimed singers will accompany “Change” choreographed by Dianne McIntyre, a former Spelman College Distinguished Visiting Scholar. The group will be performing Two Negro Spirituals: “By and By” arranged by Roland Allison and “Don’t You Let Nobody Turn You Around” arranged by Dr. Kevin Johnson, director of Spelman College Glee Club both nights.
“We are thrilled to have the Spelman Glee Club join the Dance Theatre of Harlem for this rare collaborative performance,” said Jamie Vosmeier, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at the Fox Theatre. “The already unconventional company challenges ideals of classical ballet and brings it a breath of fresh air. Coupled with the traditional spiritual and sacred backing vocals from the Glee Club, the performances will be sure to mesmerize audiences.”

 

“The Spelman College Glee Club is honored to participate in this performance with the Dance Theater of Harlem,” said Dr. Johnson. “Our nearly 100-year history of singing the souls of black folks is in perfect unison with the high standard of excellence these dancers represent. We will come together in movement and voice to celebrate the awesome beauty of the human spirit. We thank the Dance Theater of Harlem for allowing us the share in such a special event for the city of Atlanta.”

 

DTH will grace the stage at the Cobb Energy Centre on Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 3 p.m.  Tickets will be priced from $79, $59, $49 and $29, plus applicable fees, and will be available online at www.Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-735-3000 or at the Cobb Energy Centre Box Office.  There is also a student field trip performance on Friday, October 21 at 11 a.m. Reservations for this performance can be made at ArtsBridgeGA.org.

For more information regarding Dance Theatre of Harlem, please visit www.dancetheatreofharlem.org.

For more information regarding Spelman College Glee Club, please visit www.spelman.edu/academics/majors-and-programs/music/ensembles/glee-club.

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About Spelman College 

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, Broadway producer Alia Jones, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard professor Evelynn Hammonds, author Pearl Cleage and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.
About Cobb Energy Centre

The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, a $145 million, state-of-the-art facility, is located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway in northwest Atlanta, inside the Perimeter. Cobb Energy Centre is metro Atlanta’s premier venue for opera, concerts, Broadway shows, ballet, educational performances, family shows and corporate meetings and events. The Centre hosts two resident companies, The Atlanta Opera & Atlanta Ballet and ArtsBridge Foundation.  The facility includes the 2,750-seat John A. Williams Theatre, 10,000-square-foot Kessel D. Stelling Ballroom and other meeting spaces, 1,000 on-site parking spaces, and full-service food and beverage capabilities. The Centre, part of the Cobb Galleria complex, is governed by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority. Additional information about the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is available at www.cobbenergycentre.com.

About the Fox Theatre

The Fox Theatre is one of Atlanta’s premiere venues for live entertainment and declared a Top Stop of the Decade by Venues Today Magazine and the #1 non-residency venue worldwide for the decade by Billboard Magazine. In April 2013, Rolling Stone Magazine announced that the Fox Theatre was one of “The Best Big Rooms in America” as part of their “Venues That Rock” series. In addition, The Fox Theatre was nominated for Theatre of the Year by Billboard and Pollstar Magazines, and awarded the Outstanding Historic Theatre of the Year award in 2011 by the League of Historic American Theatres. For the past decade, The Fox Theatre has been consistently ranked in the top three non-residency theatres in North America for gross ticket sales by industry trade magazines, Pollstar, Billboard and Venues Today. The Fox Theatre has the #1 social media presence for any theatre or performing arts center in North America, for any venue between 2,000 and 5,000 seats, and for any Georgia venue according to the Social Media Power 100 compiled by Venues Today Magazine. The Fox’s 4,665 seat theatre hosts 250 performances a year. An impressive range of events from rock concerts to Broadway, ballets, comedy and movies continue to attract more than 500,000 visitors per year. In addition, The Fox is host to wedding receptions, trade shows, corporate meetings and association functions in its fabulous ballrooms, lounge and outdoor terrace. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, the Fox Theatre stands today as a fiercely protected landmark and a nationally acclaimed theater and is celebrating its 86th year. The partners of the Fox Theatre are Delta, Coca-Cola, Lexus, Georgian Terrace Hotel/Livingston, Georgia Natural Gas, Regions, Atlanta Beverage, Grady Health System, and Whole Foods Market. Tickets for all events are available at The Fox Theatre Ticket Office, online at www.FoxTheatre.org, and at all Atlanta Ticket Alternative locations including Whole Foods Markets, or toll free at 855-285-8499. For group sales information contact The Fox Theatre at (404) 881-2000, or visit The Fox Theatre website at www.foxtheatre.org

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