All Articles Tagged "theater"
From a former slave fighting for his freedom to a boy shipwrecked in the middle of Pacific Ocean with only a tiger as company, this season’s upcoming movies are a range of comedy, action and fantasy with something for any and everyone. Many of these upcoming movies are book and musical adaptations or original features, bringing out some of the biggest stars in film, from Hugh Jackson to Marlon Wayans.
With a slew of movies opening and coming in the next six to eight weeks, Hollywood is expecting a record-breaking $11 billion year in ticket sales. Waiting for the next big movie in theaters this Fall and Winter? Here are a few good movies MN is looking forward to this season:
If you were wondering where Jamie Foxx has been since his 2011 co-starring role in Horrible Bosses and his 2010 album “Best Night Of My Life,” the entertainer has been working on his starring role as Django in the anticipated movie, Django Unchained.
The latest Quentin Tarantino film seems to be a promising hit in theaters December 25th, with cast members Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and more. Set in the U.S. South right before the Civil War, formerly freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) travels across America with bounty hunter Dr. Schultz (Chrisoph Waltz) after he is freed by Schultz from his vicious former owners. In return, Django must hunt down and kill a band of killers, the Brittle Brothers, and Schultz will free him from slavery and help rescue Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from her slave owner, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Tags:A Haunted House, Allegiance, Amanda Seyfried, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Blair Bedford, Box Office, cedric the entertainer, Chrisoph Waltz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Deadfall, Django Unchained, Eric Bana, Essence Atkins, forest whitaker, Hugh Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, kristen stewart, Leonardio DiCaprio, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Malik Yoba, Marlon Wayans, movies, Olivia Wilde, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Pattinson, Russell Crowe, Seth Gabel, Shad "Bow Wow" Moss, steven spielberg, Taylor Lautner, The Last Stand, theater, Twilight Saga
Mike Tyson just keeps on doing it.
The former heavyweight boxing champion, reality TV star (Taking on Tyson) and movie actor (The Hangover franchise) can now add author to his resume. Tyson’s memoir, Undisputed Truth, will be published next summer by Blue Rider Press. Of course, the book will also chronicle Tyson’s tougher times, including the loss of his $400 million fortune and his trip to prison for rape. He’s collaborating with another writer, Larry “Ratso” Sloman, who worked with Howard Stern on his book Private Parts.
It’s also worth mentioning that Tyson has just launched a nonprofit organization, Mike Tyson Cares, which helps at-risk kids.
This is really an epic comeback. Will you be reading this book?
I did not learn to enjoy my own company until I relocated to start my career. Moving from my home state to one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the world with little to no friends or acquaintances or family, loneliness began to set in. After almost a year stuck in the same bubble of insecurity and isolation, I begin to search for ways to adapt to my new lifestyle. Learning to accept the fact that I have more time to myself than I was used to back in my hometown, I began to enjoy everyday things solo, like going out to try a new restaurant or coming home to an empty apartment. Just because I was alone, didn’t necessarily mean I had to feel lonely.
There’s a certain type of self-assurance when it comes to doing (and enjoying) things alone. It comes along with time, self-confidence and being aware of what you need as a person, and primarily, as a woman. Some of us need alone time to escape the stresses of the day. Others might need their alone time to do something selfish every once in a while. Whatever the case may be, being alone should not automatically mean feeling lonely; it is the perfect time to put your guard down and enjoy the most important person in your life: yourself.
You’ll have to forgive me. As a young lady in her early 20s who has spent a lot of time focused on school and work over the years, I haven’t done a whole lot of dating. Sure, I’ve had a few boyfriends, a serious one or two, but most of those men were friends first. Therefore, there was no “Let’s exchange numbers, go on a few dates, play coy about who was going to call who when, and finally either get booed up or the boot.” The rules and etiquette of the dating game have gone over my head for a good minute, but now that I’m in NYC, it’s something I see that I need to learn thoroughly. So maybe that’s why I wanted your opinion on a certain scenario that happened to me not too long ago…
So, I met this very interesting and pretty good looking guy whose air of confidence and good vibrations was pretty infectious. His mother was Jamaican and his father was Nigerian (Nice mix, right?), and he was tall, dark and handsome. On top of that, he was into writing too, but actually spent a majority of his time as a theater actor in smaller productions. As a transplant to NYC, he reminded me of a starving (though he wasn’t) artist from the movies and TV who could bring dope conversation. And he did. After exchanging numbers, we could talk for hours on end about a little bit of everything. He was one of those “Hey Beautiful, how are you?” type of guys, instead of one of those “Hey” or “Whats gud” types (yes, the error was on purpose..I’ve seen it). I was excited about the prospect of getting to know him better, but I laid out from our very first conversation (let’s say it was a Monday) that my schedule was no joke. I work pretty hard and pretty long on this site, so when the day is through, I’m ready to be through too. Because of that, I asked if we could meet up on Saturday until I could decide whether or not he was worth making some exceptions for during the week (I didn’t tell him that last part of course). He said he understood and agreed, but the reality was, he really didn’t.
In fact, every day for a week this guy called me or text me at work and asked if we could meet up on that specific day: “Hey, I cooked some food, you want to stop by?” “I have a show tonight, do you want to come through and watch?” I don’t mind being spontaneous, but during that specific week, I was working late most of the days of the week. With earlier notice, I possibly could have budged, but because I didn’t know him well enough (and wasn’t comfortable being in his place yet) and because we’d already agreed on Saturday, I politely said thanks, “but I’m still at work.” That excuse was used on on top of the fact that borough hopping after work and being far away from my own home late in the evening also didn’t excite me. Long subway rides when you’re tired suck. But he didn’t get the memo. He kept texting me each day about how he really wanted to see me, and at one point, I felt that I was being pressured rather than being politely asked. I would just say, “Remember, we’re hanging out on Saturday, right? Do you mind if we just wait until then?” He would pretend like he was okay with that. That was of course until Saturday came.
After the last thanks-but-no-thanks, I got the feeling he was perturbed with me. Therefore, when Saturday came around and the hours started passing, I wasn’t surprised that I hadn’t heard anything from him. When I called him, there were no more “Hey Beautifuls” for me, just straight up irritation: “What’s up?”
Oh, okay, I see how it’s going to be I thought to myself…
When I asked him if we were still kicking it or if he had other plans, SURPRISE, he all of a sudden had something come up. A friend that he does theater with needed his help with a screenplay, and for some reason, it became a last minute emergency. I giggled when he told me about his new plan, you know, because it was bulls***, and in a way that I knew we both would understand, I said, “Okay then, bye.” Bye as in, it was fun while it lasted. Kind of.
Now when I talked to my mother about the situation after-the-fact, she broke down that I probably came off too rigid for him. Because I wasn’t willing to eat pancakes at his house when he asked or stay out late when I had to get up at the crack of dawn for work, I was too stuck in my ways and wasn’t going to be much fun. For a minute there, I could understand what she meant. So for the next few suitors, I tried to make myself more available (although I would show up to dates exhausted…so tired that I would yawn nonstop). But then again, I thought to myself, “I asked him if Saturday was okay, and he agreed that it was!” Keyword: AGREED. As in, Saturday, was what we agreed upon together. However, when it wasn’t anymore (and he didn’t bother to just say that), he decided to try and pressure me every day to do what he wanted to do at the drop of a hat. When he couldn’t understand my reservations about doing so, or my schedule for that matter, he copped an attitude and was too through with my rigid a**. So now I’m trying to figure out if he was doing too much, or if I was doing too little? And oh yeah, us meeting, talking, and falling out, happened in the span of one week…
Should I have tried to be more flexible, or should he have stuck with our original plan?
Pop quiz. Name me five widely-released movies that starred a black woman in the past year. I’m not talking about as the sassy friend or some small featured part. I’m talking about the lead in the movie. Could you do it? If you could, it probably took you a good minute, right? The current television landscape also has few Black female characters and most of these talented black actresses must shine in smaller, secondary roles especially on the big four networks ABC, CW, CBS, and NBC. There are notable exceptions like ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, and the upcoming ABC show Scandal (I love Shonda Rhimes) that show black female characters we love. I also love Maya Rudolph as Ava on Up All Night. And smaller recent movies like Pariah by Dee Rees (premiering in December) and 2008′s Medicine for Melancholy by Barry Jenkins still offer black actresses headlining roles. Say what you want to say about Tyler Perry, but the man offers black actresses top billing as well. However, I find it disturbing that there are not a greater number of juicy, complex roles available for black women anymore.
I grew up in the 90s when black television and movies were at a high point in both quality and quantity. Shows like A Different World, The Cosby Show, Girlfriends, Living Single and Soul Food (well early 2000s too) all had meaty, funny, and touching roles for black women. Movies like Love Jones, Love and Basketball, Menace to Society, Girl 6, Higher Learning, Eve’s Bayou, What’s Love Got to Do With It and Boomerang gave Black actresses complex characters to show off their acting chops. As a little girl, these shows and films inspired me to want to act, then eventually to write and direct for TV and film. These were stories I could relate to and that reflected my life as a black woman in this country. These films and shows gave us talented and beautiful black actresses like Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Jurnee Smollett, Lynn Whitfield, Phylicia Rashad, and Tracee Ellis Ross; women I still look up to as a black artist. However, the landscape has changed. The black sitcom has all but disappeared and of those that exist how many are good? I know what my answer is, but I’ll leave you to ponder that one. Where does a little Black girl who dreams of a life in the arts look to inspire her these days? Where can she go to see quality television and film that feature faces that look like hers? If she flips on television she doesn’t see much that resembles her unless you count the shouting and fighting women of reality television. This makes me very sad.
Playing the “girlfriend or wife” of a black male star like Idris Elba and Will Smith in television and movies is not exactly a meaty role, but it used to be a role reserved for black women. Now, these roles are often cast with non-black women. Shadow and Act’s blog explores this trend in a great article that focuses on interracial coupling on television. While I am not one to hate on interracial anything, it troubles me that this trend is taking roles away from black actresses and that it’s so rare to see two black people coupled up on the small or big screens anymore.
What can you do to help the situation? Make an effort to find out about the smaller independent films that feature black women in substantial roles and support them with your presence and your dollars. For a great blog to keep you up on the indie scene, visit Shadow and Act. Also check out AFFRM, better known as the African American Film Releasing Movement. This organization provides distribution and promotion for quality black films. As for television, support quality online artists like the Awkward Black Girl. Hopefully once the networks see that there is an audience for shows like this, they will offer to put them on the airwaves, but only time will tell.
Do you miss the television and film of the 90s?
Grace Edwards is a writer living in New York city. Check out her blog or follow her on Twitter @gracyact.
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Katori Hall’s play, The Mountaintop, opens on Broadway this month to great acclaim having already won an Oliver Award in London; and the buzz surrounding Samuel J. Jackson and Angela Bassett’s performances hasn’t stopped. (Check out the video after the jump of Ms. Bassett performing a piece from the play on “The Gayle King Show.”)
What inspired a 30-year-old woman who didn’t live through the civil rights movement to retell the story of the night before Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination? Hall told Elle that her mother, who was a teenager at the time of MLK’s death, was forbidden to attend Dr. King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech for fear of violence. Now she’s able to bring that experience to her and many others 43 years later. Read on for more details of the interview from Elle:
NYC’s Riverside Theater to Pay Tribute to Renowned Actress Phylicia Rashad and Jazz Great Roy Haynes During “Legacy to Promise” Gala on September 26th, 2011
Since its inception in 1960, The Riverside Theatre of Morningside Heights in New York City has aimed to bring a vibrant array of culture, performance, and arts to the surrounding community. Hosting a variety of programs from dance performances to film festivals, Riverside Theatre has provided the public with a multitude of enriching illustrations of fine arts through their remarkable programs. In an effort to commemorate their social contributions and continue their powerful 50-year legacy, The Riverside Theatre will host their second annual “Legacy to Promise” Gala on Monday, September 26th, 2011, at 7:00pm at the prominent Riverside Church at 91 Claremont Ave. (btw. 120th &122nd St.) in New York City.
This special event will be hosted by WABC TV correspondent Kemberly Richardson with special guest the honorable Bill Cosby, and will honor legendary stage and screen performer Phylicia Rashad and jazz drummer extraordinaire Roy Haynes for their commendable contributions to the arts throughout the years. The affair will be a night of distinguished celebration for The Riverside Theatre, as they further assert their commitment to enrich their community with an assortment of affordable and inspiring performances, films, festivals and events.
In addition to a special awards presentation by renowned philanthropist, performer and avid Riverside Theatre supporter Bill Cosby, this memorable gala will also feature live performances by Jazz drummer and musical educator Lewis Nash. Bassist and composer Christian McBride will also headline this exciting show as it is presented by the event’s Mistress of Ceremonies and ABC Eyewitness News reporter, the lovely Kemberley Richardson.
(Wall Street Journal) — The Tony Awards belonged to a foul-mouthed-but-friendly show that couldn’t put most of its lyrics on national television. As theater watchers predicted, “The Book of Mormon” dominated the 65th annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre on Sunday night, racking up nine awards. Honors for the edgy musical about Mormon missionaries in Uganda—written by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with “Avenue Q” creator Robert Lopez—included best musical, best book, best original score and best direction. In his acceptance speech for best direction, Mr. Parker kept it clean, shimmering in a spangled black shirt under his tuxedo jacket. He thanked the show’s audiences—”you’re going to have to atone for it,” he told them. He finished with a nod to “our co-writer who passed away, Mr. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion. He couldn’t be here tonight but you did it, Joseph, you got the Tony.”
The story of black people and the 2011 Tony Awards can be summed up in one word: musicals. Patina Miller has been refining her lead in “Sister Act” for years, both here and abroad. The three men nominated this year, Joshua Henry, Colman Domingo, and Forrest McClendon, all hail from “The Scottsboro Boys”, a show that proves popular appeal isn’t everything. Finally, Nikki M. James is a member of “The Book of Mormon”, which apparently is a lot more fun than the title suggests.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Fresh from Carnegie Mellon’s theater program Patina Miller gathered her bartending money, boarded a Greyhound and set out for New York. The first part she read for was Deloris Van Cartier, the lead character in “Sister Act”. She made understudy, but later, when the show headed to London, she was the star. The run lasted two years and when Whoopi Goldberg decided to bring the show to Broadway, Patina was the only actress to make the transition. Film may be next. Aretha Franklin is working on a biopic and after being turned down by Halle Berry, recently announced that Miller is in the running.
by Mark Anthony Neal
At the peak of his career, actor, singer and dancer Ben Vereen was asked to perform at an inaugural celebration for Ronald Reagan in January of 1981. With a successful career on the stage, winning a Tony Award for Pippin in 1973, Vereen become a household name on the strength of his role as Chicken George, grandson of Kunte Kinte, in the ground-breaking mini-series Roots (1977). With access, perhaps, to his greatest stage, Vereen chose to pay tribute to America’s first Black cross-over artist, Bert Williams.
Williams, who was the first African-American to have a starring role for the famed Ziegfeld Follies in 1910 and who with partner George Walker once labeled their minstrel act as “two real coons,” is today, the most well-known Black-face minstrel.
Born in the Bahamas in 1874, Williams’ performance of so-called “authentic” Black American culture, made him a major star. With his mainstream success, Williams paved the way for generations of Black stage and movie performers, though the Blackface minstrelsy that was his vehicle is often looked back on with disdain and shame.
It was perhaps such shame that Vereen was hoping to address, when he began performing tributes to Williams in the early 1970s. As Vereen told the Los Angeles Times in 1975, “I’m dealing with cleaning up Black history—the uncle Tom/coon era. Bert was one of the highest paid vaudevillians, yet he couldn’t share a dressing room with a white man.” Given his history of portraying Williams, Vereen probably thought nothing about the performance as he stepped on stage that evening in January of 1981, even as Black leaders had already dubbed the Reagan presidency as a major set-back for Civil Rights.
As part of his performance, Vereen began with an introduction that explained the indignities that Williams faced, including the task of putting charcoal on his face on a nightly basis, in order to be transformed into the “darky” that White Americans—and quite a few Black Americans—found so alluring. Unfortunately, when Vereen’s performance was aired by CBS, the introduction was edited out.