Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #52

January 26th, 2008  |  Published in Kay Bourne Arts Report


by Kay Bourne
454 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #52Why does lifelong Boston resident JACQUI PARKER go all out to put on the AFRICAN AMERICAN THEATER FESTIVAL? Now in its eighth edition, year after year it merely squeaks by financially. One of the small group of marquee theater artists in Boston, her personal career is flourishing. She’s an Elliot Norton Award winning actor and a four time recipient of an Independent Reviewers of New England Award.

And, Parker has two other strengths in addition to acting: director and playwright. Upcoming gigs in those areas include directing Cy Coleman’s musical, “The Life” at The Boston Conservatory in March. And she is one of four Boston-area playwrights who are fellows in the 2008 slate of writers for the stage fostered by the Huntington Theatre Company (who staged eight of August Wilson’s 20th century cycle plays as they made their way to Broadway).

Why does she do it?

Our Place Theatre Projects, an urban acting workshop and drama producer of which she is artistic director, presents the 2008 African American Theater Festival at the Boston Center for the Arts, 529 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End, opening JANUARY 24.

Three plays are on the docket: Charles Fuller‘s story of a vicious teen-aged street thug and his impact on a neighborhood, “Zooman And The Sign,” the opening show; Celeste Bedford Walker‘s look at the riot that ensued after police mistreated Black soldiers stationed in a Texas training camp, “Camp Logan,” a story out of history; and Jacqui Parker‘s visit to the works of Zora Neale Hurston, a new play, “Feather on My Arms.” The three weekend festival concludes the second weekend of February, with each of the plays running on slightly different schedules. You can view a complete schedule here or phoning for tickets at 617-933-8600.

She’s motivated by a deeply felt list of reasons for why she carries on, and at the top, “the lack of plays staged locally that include people of color, and I don’t want to blame other companies for that if we ourselves don’t make the effort. Yet, I go to New York and see many quality plays about the lives of Black people that we aren’t seeing here. And not only Black, but Latino as well. So I’m determined no matter what the cost, we need to stage these plays rather than complain. Just do, don’t complain.”

“Even when the going gets rough, finding the money and all, or at the darkest hour, something in me says, I have to open doors for people. With this festival, actors and other theater artists are seen, which brings them to the attention of other theaters in the area and gives them good roles to do. Introducing actors of color and playwrights of color,” she said.

The effort is draining, however. “Last year was the worst financially. And when the festival was over, I was re-evaluating, thinking it’s time to focus on my career and have some peace,” she said. “I came home and there was a phone call from Nicole Parker, one of the three actresses in “From The Mississippi Delta,” saying, ‘thank you, Jacqui, for allowing me to be part of such an extraordinary work.’ And I think of the volunteers. We needed help in striking the set and Joseph Eveillard showed up. He’d been with Our Place Theater as a youngster but has now graduated from Boston Arts Academy and is going to college. There were hugs and he said, ‘You know I’ll always help if you need me.’”

Bolstered by devotion of actors who work with her at Our Place, the audience response to the plays, and people telling her how they look forward to the festival, Parker keeps on with the annual event. She makes a final point too, observing that Our Place does the festival in January (crossing into February.) rather than making the plays a Black History Month occasion because, “we exist 12 months of the year. I don’t want to be linked to a time or a month that ‘this is when you’re worthy!’, although I don’t want to ignore celebrating us.”

Ticket information

(pictured: A Crite self portrait)
453 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #52At age 14, ALLAN ROHAN CRITE (1910 – 2007) was doing watercolors that warranted the attention of an important Boston architect.

William Kilhan invited the Lower Roxbury teen to spend the summer months at Kilhan‘s New Hampshire home where Crite did watercolors of the nearby mountain. In 1937, Crite, now 24, was invited by Kilhan to show his art as part of the prestigious Boston Society of Independent Artists annual. This Newbury Street event was Crite‘s first professional exhibit. The poster for the show, created by Crite, hangs at the entrance of an amazing exhibit of the famed Boston resident’s work from age 14 (yes, the N.H. watercolor is there) onward to the final years of Crite‘s extraordinary career.

The show continues through MAY 18 at the Museum of the National Center of Afro American Artists, 300 Walnut Avenue, in Roxbury.

Two other exhibits in the comprehensive display of “THE LIFE AND ART OF ALLAN ROHAN CRITE”, however, will close shortly: Boston Athenaeum at 10 ½ Beacon Street, on FEBRUARY 1, and the Boston Public Library at Copley Square., on FEBRUARY 3. All three are free and open to the public.

CRITE’s official website

by Beverly Creasey
(pictured: l. to r. Jason Bowen (Acaste) and Karl Baker Olson (Clitandre) in “The Misanthrope” at New Rep. Photo credit: Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures.
455 590x395 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #52

THE NEW REPERTORY THEATRE‘s stylish new production of THE MISANTHROPE (through FEBRUARY 10) updates the comedy to France’s Belle Epoch, when mores and culture (not to mention the paintings in Audra Avery‘s chic set) were turned on their heads. Moliere‘s timeless masterpiece could fit any age, with its hilarious indictment of hypocrisy and colorful cast of gossips, fashionistas and sycophants.

Constance Congdon‘s hip, new version (from a literal translation by Virginia Scott) keeps the traditional rhymes (“How can we live another hour/ When pretense has such power!”) but adds sparkling bons mots, rhyming ‘self-indulgent’ with a cheeky choice like ‘fulgent.’ The wordplay is such fun, that you may find yourself anticipating the marvelous rhymes—which is just one of the many guilty pleasures of the New Rep production.

Director Adam Zahler‘s charming surprises punctuate every scene. (I’m still giggling, remembering an array of elegantly executed sight gags.) I won’t spoil them for you—as Moliere says, “It’s delicate, this business of critique”—but I will guarantee you’ll find them admirably clever and oh, so droll.

James Lloyd Reynolds is such a thoroughly dejected misanthrope that he literally drapes himself across the furniture and floor, so heavy is his disenchantment with the world. Clutching his side when the gall rises from its bladder at every insult to “honesty and truth,” the poor man can barely cope with his Weltschmertz.

Adding insult to injury, Amy Russ, as the effervescent object of his affection, seems to thrive on society. She lacerates what’s left of his dignity with an almost feminist zeal. She can give anyone as good as she gets and her power to shred is so exhilarating that I didn’t want her to capitulate, even when comeuppance was clearly due.

Zillah Glory, as the exact opposite, and cousin, of the frivolous heart breaker, gives a performance so luminous that you can see the light radiate from her face. Steven Barkhimer gives the ‘best friend’ role a little ironic wink and Dorchester native Jason Bowen (“Six Rounds/Six Lessons”) struts away with the laughs as the sharp suited, self-confidant suitor. Over-the-top territory is inhabited by comedians Billy Meleady with a show stopping windup and delivery of a poem, Ellen Colton as the vengeful, aging coquette, Karl Baker Olson as the smarmy, finger pointing courtier and Nathanael L. Shea as everyone else.

In the spirit of the meter, I ask you: “Who could be vicious/ To a play this delicious?” Certainly not I.

New Reperatory Theatre website

by Lisa Simmons
456 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #52Leisurely, methodical, lyrical – these are some of the adjectives that describe JOHN SAYLES‘ new movie “HONEYDRIPPER”. A true independent filmmaker, Sayles wants to make movies that make a difference, that give his audiences information about a period of time, a social ill, or that even just merely spin a good story. From “Brother From Another Planet” to “Matewan” to “City of God” to “Lonestar”, his sociological dissection of American life always takes you on what feels like a personal journey. Don’t expect big Hollywood moments or action sequences, however.

For Honeydipper, Sayles takes us back to Harmony, Alabama in 1950 where Tyrone “Pine Top” Purvis (Danny Glover) runs the Honeydripper Lounge. It’s a run down, barely visited, so called night club in competition with a hot new club just around the bend from his place. The bottom line is he’s in financial trouble and the folks he owes money to, want their money or his bar but Purvis is not giving in so easily. His wife played by (Lisa Gay Hamilton) has decided to find the Lord in an attempt to figure out when and if she should get up and leave Purvis and the Honeydripper. With the help of Maceo (Charles Dutton), Glover’s best friend and running buddy, Purvis devises a plan to get the best known guitar player in the country to come and play live at the Honeydripper.

This is a story of the African American experience in the deep south in the 1950′s without the lynchings and burning crosses, a good story, if one that at times gets bogged down in details. “Honeydripper” tells a refreshing part of the African American experience we seldom get from Hollywood.

Honeydripper website

by Kay Bourne
(pictured: Danny Glover and John Sayles)
457 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #52The story of a Black man striving to keep his music club a going business, “HONEYDRIPPER,” is one of many intriguing narratives about the lives of people of color from indie filmmaker JOHN SAYLES.

He’s been telling these stories from his earliest years – and he’s been expert in casting the roles he writes.

The story set in the Jim Crow 50′s when the electric guitar took center stage, and the blues got all shook up, “Honeydipper” stars Danny Glover as piano man Tyrone Purvis who’ll go to almost any extent to keep the doors of his Harmony, Alabama countryside night spot open. (The forlorn beauty of the film with the cotton fields stretching for acres, the crisscross of railway tracks at a juncture, and the juke joint cabin itself has partly to do with the production design from Toby Corbett, who studied painting with renowned African American artist Jacob Lawrence.)

Nearly all of the leading parts are taken by stellar African American actors, many whose work you know first hand such as Lisa Gay Hamilton and Charles S. Dutton seen at the Huntington Theater in August Wilson plays and on the TV show “The Practice” set in Boston; Vondie Curtis Hall, husband of Kasi Lemmons, both of whom have been a part of the Roxbury Film Festival; and Boston’s own Brent Jennings, a New African Company and Emerson College alum. Glover was in Boston earlier in the month to read from Howard Zinn‘s “A People’s History of the United States,” parts of which were filmed at Emerson College’s Cutler Majestic Theater.

“Good actors are underemployed,” says Sayles in a recent phone conversation, explaining how he is able to put together such blue ribbon casts. “Even if they are working, they are underemployed for their skill level. So I can get Lisa Gay Hamilton to work for (union) scale. Angela Bassett has been in three of my films.”

Sayles first outing with a story that reflects momentous themes in the Black Experience is the 1984 “Brother From Another Planet,” a sci-fi adventure about slavery in the 20th century starring Joe Morton as a mute, three-toed alien chased through the streets of Harlem by cat-like men in black, outer-space bounty hunters. Morton made his Broadway debut in “Hair” and was nominated for a Tony for playing Walter Lee Younger in the musical “Raisin” based on Lorraine Hansberry‘s play “Raisin In The Sun.” Sayles’ “Brother From Another Planet” was his first film, and he has acted in two more from Sayles, “City of Hope” (1991) and “Lone Star” (1996).

Rosanna Carter (nominated for an Emmy for guest appearance in TV’s “I’ll Fly Away”) is in the “Brother From Another Planet,” as is Bill Cobbs (Susan’s father on TV’s Sesame Street and one of the felonious night watchmen in “Night At The Museum”); Also in the cast is Rosetta LaNoire (all-Black version of Shakespeare‘s “Macbeth” directed by Orson Welles for the WPA Federal Theatre project. Her Broadway debut was in “Hot Mikado” with her godfather Bill “Bojangles” Robinson); and, among a wealth of others, Minnie Gentry (grandmother of actor Terrance Howard who says she is his inspiration).

“The scene was a Welfare office and the extras were mixed in with the real recipients,” recalls Sayles. “Minnie Gentry was cast as one of these Welfare moms exhausted by the beaucracy. So we had shot some of it and I said, ‘O.K. can we get Minnie on the set.’

“‘She is on the set’, I was told. She was in costume and so in character I didn’t recognize her.”

Official website of John Sayles

by Lisa Simmons
458 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #52A teen dance movie, “HOW SHE MOVE” balances out a tragic story with the power of grit – and dance – to transform youth out of their misery into a happier existence. Raya’s sister dies of a drug overdose and then Raya has to come home from her elite boarding prep school to enroll in the inner city public school system because her parents can no longer afford the tab. She gets pushed back in to the crowd her sister hung out with and desperately wants a way to get out. Having just taken a scholarship exam for another prep school and believing that she has failed, she seeks ways to finance her education and turns to what she already knows, Step.

Directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid, this Caribbean-Canadian film was wonderfully shot in Canada with a gritty 16mm look. The texture gives character to the harsh streets and a sense of immediacy to the characters. The dancing is powerful and strong and requires an incredible amount of physical strength from Raya (Rutina Wesley) who has to prove she works well as part of an all male team. She feels they have a better shot at a $50,000 cash prize than the female team who wanted her.

The film is as much about making choices as it is about searching for who you are and where you want to go. Raya knows that if she stays in the street environment , she’ll get dragged under just like her sister. Her biggest supporter (Tre Williams) gives her the chance she needs to get up and get out.

The story unfolds in a superficial way, but even so How She Move successfully tells a story of determination and desire to rise above your circumstances.

Official Website of How She Move

459 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #52You are invited to an advance screening of the Universal Pictures release “WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS”.

Monday FEBRUARY 6, 7pm at AMC Boston Common Theater, 175 Tremont Street, Boston.

Release date: February 8, 2008
Rating: PG-13
Running time: 113 minutes
Cast: Martin Lawrence, Margaret Avery, Joy Bryant, Louis C.K., Michael Clarke Duncan, Mike Epps, Mo’Nique, Nicole Ari Parker with Cedric the Entertainer and James Earl Jones
Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee

If you can answer the following question: What is the tag line of the Kay Bourne Arts Report? Email info@coloroffilm.com with your answer, name and a mailing address to the mail passes to.
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins website

by Robin Saunders
460 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #52Last year, at this time, Berklee College of Music introduced its BLACK MUSIC PROGRAMMING / AFRICANA STUDIES to the public with a concert and lecture I’ll never, ever forget. Roger Brown, Berklee president, first emphasized Berklee’s revised philosophy and mission statement which now includes the fact that Berklee’s curriculum is “founded on jazz and popular music rooted in the African cultural diaspora”. (Berklee changed its mission – in writing – to reflect this truth – DEEP!) Then he introduced the guests, and the night was forever etched into my best-moments-in-music-memory bank with the unearthly, soul-stirring a capella traditionals of SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK and the engrossing eloquence of DR. CORNEL WEST‘s perspectives on Black Music.

For this academic year, Berklee’s Africana Studies/Black Music Programming Initiative under the direction of Bill Banfield is movin’ and groovin’ with the theme “A YEAR IN SOUL MUSIC TRADITIONS” and has planned incredible programs for Berklee students, with a number of them open to the public, such as the concert on Thursday, JANUARY 31, featuring pianist/keyboard/synthesizer pioneer GEORGE DUKE.

What I love about George Duke is how time has allowed him to demonstrate his full musical range in more genres than most. His adaptability between the genres while maintaining complete ownership of his stuff in each. ‘Cause, if you had an ear for jazz in the late 60′s, you must know him for his jazz, like his Jean-Luc Ponty and Cannonball Adderly stuff. But then, if you were a funkateer, the end of the 70′s, like many Bostonians back in a day, you’d know, without a doubt, that The Duke would “drop you off into some funk,” like no one else, except of course, the other funky George (Clinton - for you non-funky folks). Then there was his jazz-fused R&B including ballads like “Say That You Will” or you may remember The Clarke-Duke Project, his stuff with Stanley Clarke (who I saw at Berklee’s 2006 Black History Month concert series). Oh, but then, again, if you were west coast and about 10 years older than me, you’d know him for his early 70′s stuff, touring with Frank Zappa and more with Zappa’s Muthas (Mothers of Invention-regrouped). Or it may have been his influence as a producer that you felt through many artists like Dee Dee Bridgewater, Smokey Robinson, Jeffrey Osborne Taste of Honey, or more recently Rachelle Ferrell and Dianne Reeves.

However you knew him, he’s sure to touch on that aspect of his career next week. He’s scheduled to delve into his 30+ album discography, and present a history of Soul Music, accompanied by Berklee faculty musicians and vocalists including Walter Beasley, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ricardo Monzon, George Russell, and others.

Showtime is 8:15pm at Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets are general admission, $30, and $22.50 for seniors, available at Berklee Box Office, 617-266-7455 or Ticketmaster 617-931-2000.

And here’s the fun(ky) part, as a KBAR reader, you have a chance to win a pair of tickets to see GEORGE DUKE. Tuesday JANUARY 29, only, email robin@coloroffilm.com with your name, and the answer to this question: Which GEORGE DUKE song is a funk favorite of millions of DUKE fans? It is the title track of one of his albums – and describe the album cover, as well.

George Duke concert info

by Robin Saunders
461 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #52The Color of Film & The Haley House Bakery & Cafe invite you and your Valentine (whether a significant other, a good friend, a colleague, a cousin, sister or a brother) to DINNER & A MOVIE on Friday, FEBRUARY 15.

Get on board the love train for an evening of great food, great films and great conversation revolving around the theme of love and relationships.

The night begins at 6pm with dinner prepared by Haley House’s new chef, David Andrews:

  • ‘Chef Romeo’s’ garden lasagne with portabello mushrooms, zucchini, baby spinach, red onion and asiago cheese – topped with bolognese sauce for meat lovers or mornay sauce for veggie enthusiasts
  • .

  • ‘Lonely hearts’ of palm salad with feta and beets, served ‘on a bed’ of arugula with a white balsamic vinaigrette
  • ‘chocolate passion’ brownies with softly whipped cream (and other delights).

The four film shorts are as follows:

OXTAILS - Xavier subtly avoids eating his girlfriend’s meals out of fear that she might be adding “roots” or black magic to her recipes. At the local bar, his commitment-phobic friends reinforce his anxieties while others provide rational alternatives. Is “roots” alive and well or is Xavier overreacting? “Oxtails” redefines the old adage: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

QUINCY AND ALTHEA – are two married, bickering, 60+ year old Hurrican Katrina evacuees, who have returned to their flood ravaged New Orleans home. Despite the seemingly overwhelming task of reconstruction that lies ahead, the last thing on either of their minds is rebuilding. All Quincy and Althea want is a divorce.

MAYBE – When you’re looking for love, be careful what you ask for. Self-proclaimed pathological heartbreaker Indira Allai has once again ended a failed relationship. Struggling to determine the reasons why this one ended, she begins to dream about two different versions of her ex. Indira finds comic relief by submerging herself in this bizarre fantasy and recognizing that no man and no relationship is perfect.

Plus one more, to be determined by Cupid!

Tickets are $25, available online, in advance at www.brownpapertickets.com starting January 28. As those who’ve attended our last two DINNER & A MOVIE events will attest, this is an event not to miss. Space is limited, so get tickets in advance.

The 2008 AFRICAN AMERICAN THEATRE FESTIVAL, takes place JANUARY 24 – FEBRUARY 9 at the BCA Plaza Theatre. The festival opens with “Zooman and the Sign” by Charles Fuller and directed by Jacqui Parker. Tickets are $38 for adults, $10 off for seniors, children and groups of 10+ Groups of ten or more – $10 off, call (617) 933-8600 or click here for festival information.

BASIL YARDE‘s “Crushed, But Sweetly Broken” album release celebration is planned for Saturday, JANUARY 26, at 6:30 pm at Victory Assembly of God, 67 High Plain Street, Sharon. Special guests are Grace Sisters and Silent Praise. It is free and all are invited. Basil Yarde sustained a broken neck, was left broken physically, emotionally and spiritually, and was told he would never sing again. Now he has steel and screws in his neck but he is still singing and has this cd with songs both familiar and new; an inspirational blend of Contemporary Christian, Gospel with a dash of reggae. For more information on the cd release celebration, call 617-282-8881.

This Saturday, JANUARY 26, you are invited to an Oral History morning from 10am – Noon at the Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse. Share your stories and bring old photographs of times you spent in Frankllin Park as a child or younger adult. Did you watch the elephants bathing? Enjoy family reunions every summer? Spur each others’ memories and tell what you loved most about the park in earlier days. Local historian, Julie Arrison, is collecting stories and photos of park activities for a book. Let’s give her lots of great material! Newcomers to Franklin Park communities are most welcome to come listen and ask questions! Light breakfast refreshments. Co-sponsored by the Franklin Park Zoo.

RIBS (Rhode Island Black Storytellers) invite you to the conclusion of “FUNDA Fest 10″: A Celebration of Black Storytelling. FUNDA means ‘to teach and to learn’ in Zulu and KiSwahili. For one week, ending JANUARY 27, experience the best cultural arts programming in Rhode Island. For ticket information click here.

NEW TELEVISION SERIES TO MENTOR INNER CITY YOUTH on Sunday, JANUARY 27, at 2pm, on Boston’s CW Channel 56 will air the premier episode of Protégé, a half-hour program that presents the real-life stories of young Bostonians from diverse economic backgrounds who gain opportunities to sample career success firsthand. Conceived and developed by native New Englander Marques Benton, who also moderates the program, Protégé is designed to impress upon students and their parents the importance of early career planning, regardless of economic background.

Hostelling International, Boston Cares and WGBH present the ITVS Community Cinema Film Series in Boston with a FREE Special Sneak Preview of the documentary film “BANISHED” by Marco Williams. The Boston Branch of the NAACP has been invited to participate in the viewing and discussion of the film. Please join the Boston Branch of the NAACP and other guests at the Boston Public Library in the Rabb Lecture Hall, 700 Boylston Street, Copley Square on JANUARY 29, 2008 from 6pm – 8pm. From the 1860s to the 1920s, dozens of towns and counties across America violently expelled entire African American communities, forcing thousands of black families to flee their homes. A century later, these towns remain all white. BANISHED tells the story of three of these counties and their black descendants, who return to learn shocking histories. For info regarding the screening, call 617-718-7990 x17 or click here for information on the documentary.

The Sacramento Street Gallery presents “TROPICAL SEASCAPES” paintings by CAMILLE SAUNDERS MUSSER, on display until FEBRUARY 8, at The Sacremento Street Gallery, 20 Sacramento Street, Cambridge, MA. For information email facsaunders@aol.com.

SOVEREIGN BANK MUSIC SERIES AT BERKLEE presents GEORGE DUKE on Thursday, JANUARY 31, 8:15pm at Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets are general admission, $30, $22.50 seniors, and are available at Berklee Box Office, 617-266-7455 or Ticketmaster 617-931-2000.

This February, BLACK REP in PROVIDENCE is proud to present THE BLUEST EYE, Toni Morrison‘s acclaimed bestselling novel adapted for the stage by Boston-based playwright Lydia Diamond, and directed by Don Mays. Press and the public are invited to celebrate Opening Night on Friday, FEBRUARY 8 at 8pm. The show opens in previews February 2nd and runs through March 9th at The Providence Black Repertory Company, 276 Westminster Street. Prices and Showtimes: Tickets are $20, and half-price for students or seniors. Thursdays 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays 8pm, Sundays 3pm is The People’s Matinee (Pay-What-You-Can), followed by a talk-back. For ticket info call 401-351-0353 x2 or click here.

In recognition of our roots, The Women of Calabash present A FASHION EXTRAVAGANZA, on Sunday, FEBRUARY 3, from 3-6pm. This gathering will feature Designer couture from Senegal, traditional and modern attire from Nigeria, America, and various countries from the African Diaspora. Enjoy African music and dance, and meet the designers at our reception, prior to the show. Clothing and jewelry will be on sale. with special guest performance by The Frederick Hayes Dance Company and vocalist Fatou N’Diaye with fashions by “Amadou” (Senegal) and “Emoro Efetie” (Nigeria), at The Museum of The National Center of Afro-American Artists, Inc., 300 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury. Tickets $20 advance, $25 at door, $10 seniors. For info call Jacqueline at 617-359-1552.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) presents the world premiere of “Today the Hawk Takes One Chick” by Boston-based filmmaker Jane Gillooly on Saturday, FEBRUARY 9, at 7 pm. Gillooly and crew will be available for Q & A after the screening. Tickets are $10 general admission; $8 members, students, and seniors, Purchaset tickets in advance. For more information click here or phone (617) 478-3103. Synopsis: In Swaziland, nearly 40% of the people are HIV positive. Through verité footage and recordings of intimate conversations, the gentle beauty of the rural Swaziland landscape and way of life are in stark contrast with the urgency of many grandmothers’ everyday lives: families living off World Food Program rations, a missing generation of productive young adults, children surviving without parents. As more and more insight into the women’s lives is revealed, we are forced to ponder the question asked by granny Albertina: “What will happen when all the grannies are dead?” Tracey Kaplan, a South African native and friend of Gillooly, was considering adopting a baby from South Africa. This spurred conversations between the two about where the millions of South African orphans are going. Gillooly was interested in finding out about the grandmothers raising their children because of the absence of their parents that died of HIV.

The Celebrity Series of Boston presents ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER on FEBRUARY 7 -10 at the Boston Wang Theater. For ticket information call Telecharge at 1-800-447-7400.

DIVERSITY CAREER FAIR for Minority Teachers, Administrators and Coaches on Saturday, FEBRUARY 9 from 12 noon – 2pm at Wheelock College, 43 Hawes Street, Ladd Room, Brookline. Over 40 schools, public & private, k-12 from 9 states seeking teachers, coaches, admissions reps, counselors, Dean of Students, Diversity & Technology Coordinators, and more. Free to the public. BA Degree Minimum, Certification is helpful but not required, on-site interviews. To register, email your resume to jobs@nemnet.com. For more information call 1-800-964-0534.

The MFA Film Program is proud to present The 8th ANNUAL BOSTON AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL February 1-29. Showcasing highlights from the New York African Film Festival and new releases from the California Newsreel, this festival combines dramatic features, compelling documentaries, and smart, short films. Thirteen new films, making their Boston premieres, are from nations throughout Africa including Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Tickets: Members, seniors and students $8; general admission $9. Discount matinee prices (weekday until 5 pm; weekends until 12:30 pm) are $6, $7. To purchase, call the box office at 617-369-3687 or click here for more information.

SAVE THE DATES: Selections from the 9th Roxbury Film Festival will screen at the ICA FEBRUARY 7: Youth-produced films 11am and 12:30pm; and FEBRUARY 10: RFF Shorts 3pm and 5pm. For ticket info click here. Also, mark you calendars for the10th Annual Roxbury Film Festival, JULY 29 – AUGUST 3, 2008! FEBRUARY 15, for THE COLOR OF FILM & HALEY HOUSE BAKERY & CAFE‘s next “DINNER & A MOVIE” event starting at 6:30pm.

The MFA Film Program presents a 5-show engagement of Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s modern Mongolian epic KHADAK, FEBRUARY 15-21. Khadak introduces international film audiences not only to the beauty of the Mongolian landscape, but the monumental struggles between indigenous culture and modern economic and social pressures. Their cast includes non-professionals as well as stars of Mongolian cinema.

FOR THE CHILDREN, KEEP DR. KING’S DREAM ALIVE. “WE ARE THE DREAM” a musical cd designed for children aged 2 – 8. “Parents love it. They say the songs are hummable, singable and stick like Velcro.” The songs honor and celebrate motherhood, encourage self-worth and self-esteem, encourage achievement, discourage bullying, and encourage children to be dreamers! Written & performed by international recording star Brenda Lee Eager, presented by The Chumbies Get Smart Club, produced by Cornelia and Topper Carew. For more information click here.

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