Filed under Theater

The Tempest storms through Harlem

The Tempest storms through Harlem

This summer’s uptown iteration of Shakespeare in the Park brought The Tempest to the island of Hispaniola. I have attended the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s summer Shakespeare productions for the past three years and I hope to see next summer’s production. I have absolutely loved everything I have seen with the company thus far and … Continue reading

Who’s Culture is it Anyway?

Who’s Culture is it Anyway?

A Review of the Potomac Theatre Project’s production of David Edgar’s Pentecost, Directed by Cheryl Farina David Edgar’s play, Pentecost is rarely produced because of its large and ethnically diverse casting requirements, the political and complicated nature of the subject matter, and because the play poses a question that most people find difficult to answer: what … Continue reading

Shakespeare… the Harlem Way

Shakespeare… the Harlem Way

The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Justin Emeka, opened last night at Marcus Garvey Park. This is the company’s second season in the park, following an uproarious run of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” last summer. After attending a performance last year, I had been waiting for this summer’s play … Continue reading

Romeo N Juliet by The Classical Theater of Harlem

Romeo N Juliet by The Classical Theater of Harlem

The Classical Theater of Harlem, (CTH), has their own version of Shakespeare in the Park.  This summer everyone’s favorite star crossed lovers take the stage at the Richard Rodger’s Amphitheater, in Marcus Garvey Park.  Romeo N Juliet, directed by Justin Emeka who edited and adapted the timeless tragedy to bring colorful characters of Harlem to … Continue reading

Holler if you Hear Me on Broadway

Holler if you Hear Me on Broadway

Last weekend two of the things that are near and dear to my heart melded together: Broadway and the music of Tupac Shakur. You see, I entered my adulthood during the time that Tupac took his place in the world of rap. So when I heard that there was a Broadway play based on his … Continue reading

Chester Gregory Discusses Being Brown on the Great White Way

Chester Gregory Discusses Being Brown on the Great White Way

The Great White Way was given a dose of black magic this past week during the Apollo Music Café’s “Black Magic: A Broadway Cabaret.” The evening featured the stellar talents of Tony-award winner Lillias White (“Fela” and “Chicago”) and Chester Gregory (“Dreamgirls” and “Sister Act”) performing songs that were made famous by black entertainers on … Continue reading

Review: Children of a Future Age-Young Theater Artists Shine

The spirit of William Blake could very well be called the fourth character in this three-hander production of Knud Adams’ sophisticated Children of a Future Age. Doses of thick symbolic poetry are ladled into the story and blend seamlessly with the characters millennial speech patters, with poems emerging briefly like a whale peeking through ocean … Continue reading

On the A with Souleo: Did hip hop kill the funk

On the A with Souleo: Did hip hop kill the funk

There are few things more powerful than strong, fierce, and bold women of color that challenge the status quo. This past weekend, independent artist and entrepreneur, Nucomme, paid homage to one such iconic figure in “Betty’s Story: A Tribute to Betty Davis.” The event, which was held at the Apollo Music Café, attempted to conjure … Continue reading

My Image Studios under construction

My Image Studios under construction

The journey Back in 2007, I met with the developers of the Kalahari. Carlton Brown and Walter Edwards, of Full Spectrum, were extremely excited about the opening of their first green residential development in Harlem.  The development was to include space for a custom-designed, state-of-the-art movie theater, dedicated to showing independent black and Latino films. … Continue reading

Under a Microscope: Stick Fly on Broadway

Under a Microscope: Stick Fly on Broadway

Kenny Leon is on fire. Just ask him. Two plays he directed are currently playing on Broadway to packed houses, featuring star performers, and are being considered in the context of his past work which include a slew of August Wilson’s plays, and Lorraine Hansbury’s classic, A Raisin in the Sun. When it comes to … Continue reading

Renaissance has a Name: Harlem

Renaissance has a Name: Harlem

Every show has an audience. The question is does the environment make the artist, or vice versa? It is critical that my neighbors in Harlem make an effort to join this conversation, and this play is a firecracker to ignite the process. When I attended Renaissance in the Belly of a Killer Whale last Sunday, … Continue reading

Tape Revival: At What Point is it Rape?

Tape Revival: At What Point is it Rape?

The first question that came into my head after watching Knife Edge Production’s remount of Stephen Belber’s Tape, was “Why this play? Why now?” Even as the query formed in my mind, I had already arrived upon the answer. Here is a play produced by actors, to give themselves meaty roles that would showcase them … Continue reading

50 Bats. $10 Tix. 5 Plays.  3 Survivors. 1 Free Beer.

50 Bats. $10 Tix. 5 Plays. 3 Survivors. 1 Free Beer.

How do you get a bunch of twenty-somethings to go to the theater? With beer of course. The Bats, The Flea Theatre’s resident company of emerging artists, keeps their audiences coming back for more in their ongoing summer showcase #the SERIALS @ The Flea. For only $10 you get a ticket and a beer. And … Continue reading

Harlem School of the Arts Raises the Bar

Harlem School of the Arts Raises the Bar

Last month, from April 9-16, the Harlem School of the Arts Theater Department presented “Flyin’ West” written by Pearl Cleage and directed by HAS faculty member, Willie Teacher. Set in Nicodemus, Kansas in 1898, the play follows the lives of African-American homesteaders in the American West. Immersed in the rapidly changing and cataclysmic landscape of … Continue reading

El Gato Teatro Makes Her Home in Harlem

El Gato Teatro Makes Her Home in Harlem

El Gato Teatro, a dance theater collective led by Harlem resident, Gabriella Barnstone premiered its latest work Nuevo Laredo at Dixon Place last week. El Gato Teatro fuses dance, theater, text, music, and sheer entertainment to create powerful works of art and magic. The production features stunning mask work, sharp design, and a sound track … Continue reading

Review of The Killing Room by Daniel Keene

Review of The Killing Room by Daniel Keene

Darkly comical and creepy, Australian playwright, Daniel Keene pays a visit to the end of the world and finds that the ancient themes of blood feud, brotherly competition, and greed still dominate. In the opening scene, a scraggly man in a dingy brown nightgown sits up on his hospital gurney and asks, “How can you … Continue reading

Haiti’s Children of God

Haiti’s Children of God

Infused with music, art and magic, Haiti’s Children of God is an inspiring, uplifting portrait of hope that follows two young lovers struggling to navigate the forces of their society and their love of country and humanity. Directed by Fulton C. Hodges Lighting Ken Harper Sets by Tony Davidson Stage Manager Judy Codrington Technical Director … Continue reading

Driving Miss Daisy Actors Fund Special Performance

Driving Miss Daisy Actors Fund Special Performance

By: J.J. El-Far The Broadway company of “Driving Miss Daisy” has announced that their Special Benefit Performance for The Actors Fund will be dedicated to the memory of Vanessa Redgrave’s siblings, Lynn and Corin Redgrave. The benefit performance is scheduled for Monday, February 7 at 8pm. All proceeds will go to The Actors Fund. “With … Continue reading

National Black Theater in Harlem in danger of foreclosure

National Black Theater in Harlem in danger of foreclosure

Today’s New York Times featured the troubled story about the National Black Theater and its financial woes. The building, with a fully functional theater with space to spare and retail space galore, takes up an entire block along 5th Avenue between 125th and 126th Street. As a cruel twist of irony, the area is finally … Continue reading

Theatre Special: Passing Strange

Theatre Special: Passing Strange

The City College of New York is revitalizing theater in the heights of Harlem. See the musical production of Passing Strange recently on Broadway at Aaron Davis Hall. Book and lyrics by Stew; Music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald; created in collaboration with Annie Dorsen and directed by Alfred Preisser. It’s a heartfelt and hilarious … Continue reading

Little Rock at The Dwyer

The true story of The Little Rock Nine – – their sacrifices, struggles and triumphs told on stage for the first time. Written and directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, catch Little Rock in Harlem during the culmination of Harlem Week 2010 along its journey to Broadway. All seats are complimentary. Due to limited seating, RSVP’s … Continue reading

Homage 3:Illmatic

HOMAGE 3: ILLMATIC is an original play written by Harlem based playwright Shaun Neblett. Paying homage to the spirit of rapper NaS’ classic album, Neblett’s play tells the story of a man who must focus on doing something with his life or fall victim to the covert evils around him. A selection in this year’s … Continue reading

3 Mo’ Divas at The Apollo

3 Mo’ Divas Created by Marion J. Caffey Sunday, December 27, 2009 @ 600 pm Apollo Theater Marion J. Caffey’s celebrated production returns to the Apollo by popular demand. Starring Nova Payton, Laurice Lanier and Jamet Pitman, 3 Mo’ Divas is a musical extravaganza that captivates audiences with thrilling performances that include soul, opera, jazz, … Continue reading

MacBeth at the National Black Theatre

MACBETH Written By William Shakespeare Directed by Timothy D. Stickney Monday, December 14, 2009 @ 7:00 pm The National Black Theatre Take Wing And Soar Productions closes its 6th Annual Classical Lab Reading Series with Shakespeare’s tragic tale MACBETH. Associate Artistic Director Timothy D. Stickney leads special guest stars John D. Thompson and Stephanie Berry … Continue reading

Pioneer dancer Marion Coles, 94, dies

Marion Coles, who danced in the Apollo Theater chorus line in the 1930s and was still dancing seven decades later in the tap ensemble the Silver Belles, died Friday. She was 94. Read more… [NYDN]

FELA!

October will welcome a number of highly anticipated musical theatre transfers to Broadway.  Following an acclaimed Off-Broadway engagement at 37 Arts, Fela! arrives at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Oct. 19. The work explores the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and … Continue reading

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The critically acclaimed PULSE ENSEMBLE THEATRE, now celebrating its 20th season, will present its 5th season of HARLEM SUMMER SHAKESPEARE with free performances of Shakespeare’s “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM“ beginning on August 6th, 2009. The company will perform in various venues all over Harlem during the month of August. On August 6th at 6 PM … Continue reading