Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #15

May 4th, 2006  |  Published in Kay Bourne Arts Report

Contents
JACK’S WORLD – A SPRING TRADITION RETURNS
SHAKESPEARE IN COLOR AS GUEVARA TAKES A LEAD
DONAL FOX PAYS TRIBUTE TO TENOR WILLIAM BROWN
STORIES TO WAKE UP THE EARTH
IT’S A WRAP – BOSTON’S URBAN MUSIC AWARDS
COME REVISIT HARLEM IN ITS GOLDEN AGE
SISTERS IN LAW – A MUST SEE
QUALITY INDEPENDENT FILMS THRU TCOF
THE FIRST WEEKEND CLUB – NOW IN BOSTON
UPCOMING EVENTS
PLAYWRITING CONTEST


JACK’S WORLD – A SPRING TRADITION RETURNS
by Kay Bourne
(Monet A. Ledbetter-Glaude)

8 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15 106 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15The oldest of four children, “Jack” concludes that his parents don’t appreciate him. MONET A.LEDBETTER-GLAUDE says her original, children’s musical “JACK’sWORLD” is a story of busy, hard-working parents so caught up inproviding for their family, they fail to see their elementary-school aged son feels neglected. Now in its eighth year as anannual production, “Jack’s World” has a cast of 24.

Performances are May 11-13 at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester. There are threematinees: Thursday and Friday at 10 am and Saturday at 2 pm; with 7 pm shows on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children. For more information, phone Inet Entertainment at 617-296-3282.

“His mom’s a nurse; his dad runs his own retailbusiness; and they have four kids,” describesLedbetter-Glaude. “Jack, the oldest, feels they’realways fussing at him. When he’s blasted at dinnerfor a little food fight, Jack figures it’s time togo. When the frantic family search high and low forthe runaway, and he sees their relief at findinghim. Jack finds out that his family does care abouthim.”

Ledbetter-Glaude, a graduate of Berklee Conservatoryof Music and herself a mother of two, says herstory’s lesson is that “for adults, it’s importantthat kids know that working parents do care, and,for kids, it’s important that they don’t keep theirfears inside but talk to their parents about howthey’re feeling.” Ledbetter-Glaude’s son ChristoffJamal Glaude plays the Jack in rotation with KevinWeeks. “My son’s been in the show since he was tenmonths old,” said Ledbetter-Glaude, “but I thinkthis will be his last year as Jack because he’sgrown so tall.” Both the young actors are nine yearsold.

A number of the scenes take place in church.Ledbetter-Glaude, who was named Best Female Producerat the recent New England Urban Music Awards, showsoff her skills with gospel music here. WANDA PERRYJOSEPHS, formerly a singer with Margo Thunder, leadsa gospel choir in this production. (Josephs has a CD of gospel musicdue out this June; Ledbetter-Glaude produced five ofthe cuts.)

Ledbetter-Glaude’s “Jack’s World” is an importantstory to tell and one she tells lovingly. She saysshe takes the lesson to adults to heart herself, “weneed to take time to spend with our kids. It hauntsme to make sure I’m balancing my time.”

visit JACK’S WORLD website to purchase tickets


SHAKESPEARE IN COLOR AS GUEVARA TAKES A LEAD
by Kay Bourne
108 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15ZABRYNA GUEVARA finds that because she is anactress of color there’s even more of a story shetells in “LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST.” Featured in theHuntington Theatre’s upcoming production ofShakespeare’s comedy, Guevara describes her role asone of the romantic leads as “not just a maid fromFrance, but a brown maid from France.”

The story, set by director Nicholas Martin in 1910pre-World War I Europe, focuses on the King ofNavarre who, along with his three young lords, takesa three-year oath of chastity. They vow not to see orvisit women in order to concentrate on theiracademic studies. These oaths are tested almostimmediately by the unexpected visit of the Princessof France and her beautiful ladies-in-waiting.

Guevara plays the quick witted Rosaline, the heartthrob for Berowne, played by Noah Bean (who’s justcompleted a starring role in David Mamet’s new play”Romance.”) Rosaline and Berowne can be thought ofas the key couple in the comedic romp. When KennethBranaugh directed a movie version of “Love’sLabour’s Lost” (2000), he chose to play Berowne, themost intelligent and skeptical of the young men. TheHuntington production runs May 12 to June 11 at itsBU theater, 264 Huntington Avenue. For more information, phone617-266-0800.

“She’s very, very been around the block a few timesbut she has a lot of soul,” characterizes Guevara.”She cares about the people around her and this is acomedy, so things happen to people.”

Guevara describes Rosaline’s story as “a person whois ready to be surprised and ready to take onwhatever occurs.”

Rosaline has a field day on that score but by theplay’s conclusion, Guevara notes, “now she is readyto put away childish things and ask a man to adopt amore serious behavior” if he wants to be with her.

Guevara has found another depth to her characterbecause Guevara is a person of color. Scholars havepondered whether the character Rosaline wasShakespeare’s stage version of the fabled Dark Ladyof the Sonnets to whom Shakespeare wrote some of hismost memorable poems.

Beyond literary historian’s considerations, however,Guevara notes that, “because I am in the play, mycolor is an issue to deal with.”

She has found, in particular, that she feels moresympathy for the actor of color (Robert JasonJackson) who plays Holofernes, when he is ridiculedoff the stage (as each of the men are joshed offstage in turn for their foolish pledges). “I somehowconnect my father with the embarrassing positionHolofernes is in. You can’t really forget that partof your being as a black woman.”

Guevara talked these emotions over with thedirector, who, in response, took a line away fromanother character, changing it slightly, and gavethe new line to Guevara. She now says, “Alas, PoorHolofernes. How hath he been baited.”

Purchase tickets here to LOVE’s LABOUR’s LOST


DONAL FOX PAYS TRIBUTE TO TENOR WILLIAM BROWN
by Kay Bourne
(left to right ) Adolphus Hailstork, T.J. Anderson, Donal Fox, Leroy Jenkins, Alvin Singleton, Dwight Andrews at Weill Recital Hall/Carnegie Hall, March 24, 2006

114 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15A very special tribute to concert tenor WILLIAMBROWN was sung at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hallrecently, which included an original piece writtenespecially for the occasion by Roxbury son, pianistDONAL FOX.

Bill Brown, who died of a heart attack at age 66,had sung with premiere orchestras and operacompanies; in tribute to this fine artist, seven ofAmerica’s outstanding composers wrote art songs forpiano and voice which were performed on theprestigious New York stage.

Over his career, Mr. Brown had premiered songs,opera, or oratorios by the composers invited towrite for the tribute. “I wanted to create a tributeto Bill Brown’s memory,” said soprano Louis Toppin,who sang the works and had commissioned them inconjunction with the non-profit organization,Videmus, founded in Boston. For “Aspects of Bill”she was accompanied on the piano by Ann Sears andJoseph Joubert. Sanford Allen played violin.

The compositions were “A Sonic Language” by T.J.Anderson (retired head of the Music Dept. at TuftsUniversity); “She Responded” by Leroy Jenkins;”Africa” by Julius Williams; “It’s All Good, MyBrother,” by William Banfield; “There Is A Need” byOlly Wilson; “Brown Gone” by Alvin Singleton; and”Peace Out” by Donal Fox. There was also a piecefrom Aldophus Cunningham Hailstork, “Who Is Sylvia?”Each of the compositions reflected upon an aspect ofWilliam Brown dear to the composer.


STORIES TO WAKE UP THE EARTH
by Kay Bourne
Photo credit: Jon Beal

111 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15Storytelling for all ages is a popular activity atWAKE UP THE EARTH, now in its 28th year. The familyday, produced by SPONTANEOUS CELEBRATIONS takes placethis Saturday, May 6 (rain date May 13). A paradethat starts at 11 am at the Civil War Monument inJ.P. leads the way to the southeast Corridor Park inJ.P. where the festivities take place from noon to5 pm.

Here you’ll find music, dance, theater, children’sactivities, art and crafts vendors, puppets, and MayDay murals.

Tamara Stafford, who organized the storytelling andis one of the story-tellers, says that many of theperformers belong to the League For the Advancementof New England Storytelling, an organization also inits 28th year that meets annually in March andnetworks year-round. Stafford says she’sparticularly pleased that two deaf story-tellers areon the program.

Tom Bourque and Misha Derissaint, on stage from 2:30to 3:30pm, are at the forefront of mainstreaming forthe deaf community. Stafford notes that theirstories are often humorous with some of the humorcoming from the miming they do.

Starting off the program at 1pm is Sally RaeRogers, a vocalist and story-teller whose homespunstories flow from her connection with Buddhism andcommitment to peace. Next, at 1:30pm is Guy Peartree,known for the flair he gives to a story. At 2pm isShifra Freewoman Rising, a member of the Gatewaycommunity which supports artists with disabilities;she does interpretive rap stories with ties toJewish traditions.

Stafford, who is both a visual artist and graduateof Mass. College of Art and a story-teller with aB.A. from Columbia University, assumes characters totell her stories. She also incorporates signlanguage into her stories. Completing the schedulefrom 4 to 4:30pm is Janice Allen. A music teacherwho conducts the Freedom Choir, a gospel group, sheis well known for telling and singing children’sstories that have a African American flavor. SPONTANEOUS CELEBRATIONS website


IT’S A WRAP – BOSTON’S URBAN MUSIC AWARDS
107 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15Jazz guitarist FRED WOODARD won the award for BestJazz Group last month at the 1st Annual New EnglandUrban Music Awards.

His Trio will be performing this Thursday, MAY 4, from 8 to 10pm at the Lily Pad (theold Zeitgeist Gallery), 1353 CambridgeStreet in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The FredWoodard Trio features guitarist and vocalist FredWoodard, bassist/singer/composer Esperanza Spalding,and drummer Matthew Williams.

When he plays, the 44-year-old Kansas City – bornguitarist, who currently lives in Roxbury, enters atrance-like state, delivering music with feeling andintegrity. His crystal-clear notes, which rangefrom slow blues to quick flurries of bebop andstraight ahead jazz, stimulate listeners. Hiscommitment to jazz presents a taste of creativityand authenticity that’s often absent in today’smusic. His style is synonymous with authentic jazz. His approach provides jazz enthusiasts with musicthat’s void of the cheap gimmicks that oftenfrustrate would-be listeners.

For other award winners at this years 1st AnnualUrban Music Awards, visit the Urban Music Awardswebsite, linked below, and keep them in mind.URBAN MUSIC AWARDS


COME REVISIT HARLEM IN ITS GOLDEN AGE
(Haywood Fennell, Sr. – author and director)
112 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15The 2006 season welcomes KAPRYSE HALL, a talentedfreshman at Emerson College, as the visiting Director-in-Residence for the “8th Annual HARLEM RENAISSANCE REVISITED WITH A BOSTON FLAVOR,” an OscarMicheaux Repertory Theater program. This year’sproduction will inspire a whole new generation ofaudiences. This show combines new and long-standingtalents working to bring the story of triumph overadversity during one of the most culturallysignificant times in American history.The show will be performed on MAY 4, 5, and 6at Roxbury Community College’s Media and ArtsCenter starting each evening at 7pm.

Returning are Deborah Johnson Peters, Hon. Milton L.Wright, Jr., Irene O’Bannon, Dr. Joseph Warren,Loren Earl Roberts, Lisa Robinson and Ruby Hill.Newer cast members include Melvin Francisco, amember of the famed Silver Leaf Gospel Singers. Omni Kinard, a young singer with a lot of promiseand a woman with a big voice in the role of EthelWaters. Maria Lacy, a local poet, brings new life tothe role of Zora Neale Hurston. Alex Motley, a wellknown actress and singer takes a central role asMiss Evelyn and well known singer/actor GordonMichaels comes in as a special guest, performing asLangston Hughes.

This Tri-Ad Veterans League, Inc. presentation is the only grass roots, communitybased theater program that uses history as itssource material and provides the cast and theaudience the opportunity to learn about one of themost culturally sensitive Eras in American history,The Harlem Renaissance.

Ticket prices: Adults $25; Seniors over 62 and children under 12 are $15; A block of ten tickets is $125For information, call (617) 238-2460.


SISTERS IN LAW – A MUST SEE
by Lisa Simmons
110 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15Fascinating, touching and at times riveting, thisday-in-the-life-of documentary takes place inKumba, Cameroon where heros or should I sayheroines, Vera Ngassa (prosecutor) and JudgeBeatrice Ntubu fight for justice for women andchildren who have been victims of abuse, tyranny in asystem and culture where men are suppose to be thedominate sex.

Three stories unfold, a battered wife fearfully suesher husband for divorce, despite the disapproval ofher family; a pre-teen girl accuses a neighbor ofraping her; a young child is beaten and the accusedaunt is brought in for questioning. At times youwill hold your breath awaiting the verdict and atother times smile and laugh at what transpires bothbefore the prosecutor and the judge.

The wonderful thing about this documentary is that we arebrought right into their lives, where we can see,feel, even touch the characters who are taking us onthis journey. This is a truly absorbing film andone that should be on your indie view list.

After winning Special Mention Award at Cannes Film Festival, Official Selection Award at both Telluride Int’l Film Festival and the Toronto Int’l Film Festival, and screening in over 120 festivals, SISTERS IN LAW opens at the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge for one week only, MAY 5-11so don’t miss it. Click on the image above to go to the Kendall’s website or call 617-499-1996.

Directed by Kim Longinotto(Divorce Iranian Style) and Florence Ayisi, SISTERS IN LAW is a “Women Make Movies” production. Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women

SISTERS IN LAW official website


QUALITY INDEPENDENT FILMS THRU TCOF
41 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15 Our second shipment of The Official ONE LOVE dvd’s and cd’s are in and available for sale!! Below are comments from audience members at The Color of Film’s Official ONE LOVE dvd & cd RELEASE PARTY in March at RCC, where we had the co-star of the movie, CHERINE ANDERSON as our special guest:

“Fantastic. I loved it.” “…Thank you for opening that movie tothe Boston community. It was REALLY good! Hopefully, more quality movies like that will come out of Jamaica and marketed abroad…”

“…a complete experience to come to a publicsetting and see a Black love story that ends on a positive note withsuch talented young people…” “…Better than The HarderThey Come…”

“It was really an immense pleasure to attend the ONELOVE event. I enjoyed watching a bunch of our young,Black people show-casing their talents. Also, I enjoyed the movie, including the young woman from Jamaica who played the lead role…She was wonderful…” “…Proud to be aJamaican tonight.”

The Official ONE LOVE dvd and cd are the first of many quality, independent films and products available to you, through TCOF. The ONE LOVE dvd is $20 and the soundtrack is $16 by emailing an order to robin@coloroffilm.com or visiting The Color of Film website.Order ONE LOVE dvd and cd here


THE FIRST WEEKEND CLUB – NOW IN BOSTON
16 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15THE COLOR OF FILM joins the First Weekend Club ©, sponsored by the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) to promote the idea to Boston moviegoers, the importance of going out to see a movie on the first weekend of its release, which is the crucial Hollywood moment. Club members pledge to support movies on thefirst weekend of release, and encourage other filmgoers todo the same. The Club is designed to financially advocateapproval of African American themed films, in addition tothose that portray people of color in a more diverse,three-dimensional way. The importance of BHERC is seen in its nationalappeal. Since its inception, club membership has increasedto more than 37,000 filmgoers, with chapters in Chicago,Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, NorthCarolina, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Sacramento,Tennessee, Texas, Washington, D.C. and now, Boston, with theefforts of The Color of Film.

To join the TCOF/First Weekend Club, email your name and phone number to robin@coloroffilm.com with First Weekend Club in the subject line.


UPCOMING EVENTS
113 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15The Hovey Players presentShakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s DreamMay 19-27 at Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley Street, Roxbury.For ticket info click here.

Boston author K.M. THOMPSON, is on a book signing tour for his newly released, controversial novel, ME & MRS. JONES, inspired by teacher-student scandals:
Sat. MAY 6 Frugal McDoogle’s, MLK Blvd. 2pm;
Sat. MAY 13 The Hair Kingdom, 51 Humboldt Ave. 8:30am;
Mon. MAY 15 on Speaking About, BNNtv program, 2:30pm;
Tue. MAY 16 Emerson College, Alumni Panel, The Emerson Room 7pm;
MAY 19-21 Book Expo America, Washington DC Convention Center;
For more info click here.

FRANK SHEFTON stages his lastest one act play “HURRY TOMORROW”. It is being presented as part of ACT Roxbury/ Our Place Theatre Annual Dramatic Shoutout series. Perhaps his most serious play to date, HURRY TOMORROW deals with the issue of men dealing with prostate cancer. The performance takes place Tuesday, MAY 9, 7pm at Roxbury Center for Art, Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley Street. Info: 617-541-3900 x2324.

INSIDE::OUT – WEAVING ARTS INTO THE URBAN FABRIC is a design competition for the public spaces at the BOSTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS. Seeking exciting ideas from the entire design community to help transform the urban campus of the Boston Center for the Arts. ::Ideas::Phase 1 is open to all, registration deadlilne is May 9.Professionals, students, artists and community members are invited to share their ideas and apply. Click here for more info.


PLAYWRITING CONTEST
63 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #15A $1000 cash prize and a staged reading of your play await the winner. AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATRE (A.R.T.) in Cambridge announced a new playwriting contest “DISCOVERING JUSTICE THROUGH A.R.T.,” which the Harvard Square based theater says it intends to make an annual event. The contest is co-sponsored by DISCOVERING JUSTICE, a group interested in civic education.

Here are the rules: The winning entry will be an historical, educational theater piece suitable for students in grades 8 – 12, with interest for adult audiences as well. The one-act play will be at least 45 minutes in length, but no longer than one hour, and will be able to be performed by no more than 5 actors.

You must chose between two topics for your script: 1) The 1781 case of slave Elizabeth Freeman, known as Mum Bett (pictured above) and the 1783 case of Quock Walker and their significance in eventually abolishing slavery in Massachusetts; or 2) Shay’s Rebellion which was against unsettled economic conditions and against politicians and laws which were grossly unfair to farmers and working people in general.

Should the winning play win lots of applause, then a fully staged version will be produced at the Zero Arrow Theatre and then go into residence in the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse or the John Adams Courthouse (home of the Massachusetts Supreme Court), both in Boston. The play will become a part of a program to connect students with their nation’s legal history. Deadline for submission is Sept. 1, 2006.DISCOVERING JUSTICE website for details

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