All Articles Tagged "Sophie Okonedo"

Fantasia, Patti & Gladys Perform, Audra McDonald Makes History: Black Women Win Big At The Tony Awards

June 9th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

Fantasia says all the time how Patti LaBelle is her idol turned mama. So I’m sure it was an honor and privilege for her to perform with her and Gladys Knight this past weekend at the 2014 Tony Awards. The two legends and youngblood Fantasia opened the show singing “On the Sunny Side of the Street” in a choreographed number staged by Warren Carlyle. It showcased some of the highlights from the musical After Midnight. Fantasia finished her last show for the musical earlier that afternoon and Knight and LaBelle will succeed her this summer along with Natalie Cole. If you hadn’t heard, the show did exceptionally well and received seven Tony Nominations including one for Best Musical. It won last night for Best Choreography. You can watch the ladies’ performance below.

 

Last night was dusted with all types of Black Girl Magic as Sophie Okonedo took home the award for best featured actress in a play for her portrayal of Ruth in “A Raisin in the Sun.” And Audra McDonald made history,  becoming the Tony Awards’ most celebrated actress ever. Last night she took home her sixth Tony for her role as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” During her acceptance speech McDonald cried openly and thanked her late parents for disregarding the doctor’s advice and not medicating her for being hyperactive. Thankfully, they directed her to theater instead. And she acknowledged her husband and children, specifically her daughter who she said she is nothing without. And then she thanked women like Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee, Maya Angelous and Billie Holiday. You can watch her speech below.

 

We’re so proud of all these ladies’ accomplishments and happy to see diversity flourishing on Broadway.

African Queens Of The Big Screen: 13 Of Our Favorite African Actresses

November 11th, 2013 - By Iva Anthony
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While we’re just beginning to recognize African American actresses the way we should in Hollywood, African actresses, who were either born on the continent or in the U.S. to parents from the motherland, still don’t often get the recognition they deserve. We’re going to attempt to put a stop to that with this list acknowledging 13 of our favorite African Queens of the big screen.

"Lupita Nyong'o pf"

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Lupita Nyong’o

Although she was born in Mexico, Lupita Nyong’o was raised in Kenya once her family moved back to their native country. After attending college in the U.S., the 30-year-old actress and filmmaker worked behind the camera before making her debut in a short film in 2008. Nyong’o headed back to school and enrolled in the acting program at the Yale School of Drama. Immediately following graduation, she was cast in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Up next for Nyong’o is Non-Stop, costarring Liam Neeson.

Living Legends Unite! Are Denzel & Diahann Carroll Returning To Broadway?

July 31st, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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diahann and denzel

Rumors were swirling for some time that Denzel Washington was returning to his first love: Broadway. Now, Denzel himself has confirmed that he’s headed back to the stage for a revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. 

The play centers a family and their shared dream to use money to achieve a better life. Though all members of the family all want to become wealthy, they each have a different way to achieve this dream. The dream eventually crumbles due to conflicting ideas, betrayal and racism.

Denzel will play the role of Walter Younger. A struggling limousine driver who desperately wants to be rich.

In the original speculative post, published by Showbiz411, actresses Sophie Okonedo and Anika Noni Rose.

Now, the same publication’s author Roger Friedman, says while no one has confirmed this, he feels in his gut that Diahann Carroll will also join the cast as Denzel’s mother Lena Younger (or Mama).

Carroll was last seen on Broadway 30 years ago in 1983.

We’ll see if Friedman’s gut feeling is accurate and if we’ll be seeing these two living legends together on one stage.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind “The Secret Life of Bees”

November 5th, 2012 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: imdb.com

Riding on the success of a New York Times best-selling novel, it wasn’t a stretch to see that The Secret Life of Bees would be made into a feature film. Six years after the book was published, it hit the big screen with an all-star cast. The movie, which was highly anticipated was number 3 in the box office, raking in over $10 million during its first weekend and then over $47 million by the time it finished its run. The movie eventually received mixed reviews, with some calling it too syrupy sweet while others thought it was delightfully moving. Whether you loved it or just thought it was “aight,” check out these behind the scenes secrets.

Don’t Sleep On ‘Em: 10 Underrated Black Actors Who Deserve More Shine

June 15th, 2012 - By Kimberly Shorter
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Credit: allmoviephoto.com

They are some of Hollywood’s best kept secrets. These talented brothers and sisters can hold their own on the screen alongside the industry’s heavyweights and consistently give great performances. Yet when the awards seasons roll around, their names are barely, albeit, rarely mentioned. Here is our list of actors who we think are truly underrated, and not just the usual suspects. Do you agree?

Credit: toutlecine.com

Aunjanue Ellis has captivated audiences with her riveting performances in movies Ray, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and most recently in her role as Yule Mae in the box office hit The Help. She has also earned critical acclaim for her TV work on True Blood, Missing and The Mentalist. With her acting chops, it’s hard to believe she has yet to land a lead role on TV or on the silver screen. The Brown University graduate was recently invited to teach entertainment industry courses as an Artist-In-Residence at Hampton University.

All My Nigerians: 7 People of Naija Descent That Surprised Me (At One Time or Another)

October 17th, 2011 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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On my father’s side, my family is Nigerian. So many times, you can find me trying to claim a lot of other people as Nigerian, because in my mind, I like to pretend I’m an expert in these things (totally not). But it always trips me out when I find out that certain celebrities are Nigerian. Nowadays, it seems we’re everywhere! It’s usually obvious when you hear that someone’s name starts with a Ade-, Olu- or Temi-, but the following individuals, running around going by stage names and what not, have at some time or another, illuded my Nigerian senses. But now that I know, I thought I’d share. No worries, I’m probably going to come up with a list of Ghanaians, Jamaicans and a whole lot more soon enough. Enjoy!

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