Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #67

February 11th, 2009  |  Published in Kay Bourne Arts Report

Contents
SUESSICAL DELIVERS GREAT FUN AT WHEELOCK
INTIMATE APPAREL SEWS A TELLING TALE
JOAN RIVERS WRITES ABOUT MURDER
ACCOMPLISHED REVIVAL: THE CORN IS GREEN
BOSTON HONORS ROXBURY MUSIC PRODUCERS
LOVE IS IN THE AIR AT DINNER & A MOVIE
CHANGE & TRANSITION
UP-COMING EVENTS


SUESSICAL DELIVERS GREAT FUN AT WHEELOCK
by Kay Bourne
(Angela Williams as Mayzie)

593 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #67“SUESSICAL” away the winter blahs! A rollicking Wheelock Family Theater production of the musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (with an assist from composer of funny songs Eric Idle) vividly brings stories from the pages of Dr. Suess to the stage with his hallmark wry humor and a lesson or two lightly delivered. Two heroes, one jumbo sized, the other microscopic, save the day in adventures narrated by the dynamic Cat in the Hat.

No squirming in their seats for the little theater goers or blasé adults as the tales of eccentrics whose behavior bears a surprising resemblance to people we know or even, gasp! ourselves, unfolds in a show that is nearly two hours long but goes by in a flash. “Suessical” runs through March 1 at the Wheelock Family Theater, 200 The Riverway which runs parallel to Longwood Avenue. The show times are Friday nights at 7:30; Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3pm with performances school vacation week, Tuesday through Friday, FEBRUARY 17 – 20, at 2pm. For more info, phone the box office at 617-879-2300 or click here to go online.

Horton, the gentle elephant, is splashing happily in a jungle mud hole when he hears a tiny cry for help coming from a mote of dust that floats by. The Whos, tiny people, very tiny, who inhabit the dust particle, fear for their lives and homes as the breezes waft them here and there. Horton takes pity, promising to guard their miniscule universe until a more stable site presents itself. They land on a clover which Horton watches over faithfully. The other animals in the jungle believe Horton’s gone round the bend mentally since they can’t see the little people on the clover flower he’s taking custody of.

The most creative thinker in the tiny world of Whoville is the son of the mayor, elementary school aged JoJo, whose “thinks’ have gotten him in trouble with the teachers at his school. JoJo is sent off to military school by his worried parents in hopes of getting him to be more of a conformist.

In the meantime, Horton has been asked by a reluctant mother-to-be bird, the dizzy Maisey, to sit on her egg while she takes a break, a rest from responsibility that extends into months as the flighty bird relishes her carefree days in the resort of Palm Beach.

Kamau M. Hashim, whose bulky physique makes him the picture of a Horton, is sweetly appealing as the humanistic pachyderm who believes “a person’s a person no matter how small.” Sixth grader Sirena Abalian zooms effectively through scenes as the energetic Jojo whose creative imagination will be the saving grace of his family and fellow Whos.

Peter A. Carey as the martinet General Schmitz is forceful without being overly scary. Jennifer Beth Glick gives a bravado performance and sings well, too, in her role as Gertrude, the admiring bird determined to win Horton’s heart (he’s clueless that he’s the object of her affection). The vain, self centered Mayzie who runs off from her egg is aptly portrayed by Angela Williams, a wonderful singer too. (Williams was profiled in the documentary “Who Does She Think She Is” reviewed in the last issue of the KBAR).

The voice of conformity in the jungle belongs to the tut tuting Sour Kangaroo, delightfully portrayed by Gamalia Pharms as a know-it-all matronly sort who chastises Horton with gospel force in “The People Versus Horton The Elephant.” As the Cat in the Hat Andrew Barbato gives a virtuoso performance as wild as comic Robin Williams at his outrageous best. The supporting players are terrific too.

The cast is marvelously supported by the production itself. A seven-piece orchestra led by keyboardist Jonathan Goldberg as music director keeps the some 28 songs coming with flair. James H. Williston has given us a set that charmingly suggests the illustrative style of Dr. Suess, as do the costumes by the clever Melissa Miller from the glittery plumage of Maysie to the military cloak splendor of the bombastic war mongering General Genghis Khan Schmitz. Laurel Stachowicz‘s choreography is lively and apt from the large company numbers to the diva turns of Mayzie and the hopeful pirouettes of Gertrude.

Grace Napier has directed a large and long show so that the humanism comes through beautifully while the humor and adventure entertain.

SUESSICAL ticket information


INTIMATE APPAREL SEWS A TELLING TALE
by Kay Bourne
(left to right: Nicole Prefontaine as Mrs. Van Buren and F. Zander Bennett as Esther)

594 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #67Some women are constrained by social conventions, others feel bound tight to their situations through low self esteem, but an unprepossessing seamstress will not have her life strangled that way.

The plain of face, 35-year-old Esther Mills, an African American up from the South some 18 years now, who toils at her sewing machine in 1905 Manhattan, determinedly strives for a life beyond drudgery and spinsterhood in “INTIMATE APPAREL.” Esther is intrigued by a letter from a far away stranger, George Armstrong, a laborer on the Panama Canal, which begins an epistolary romance despite Esther’s being illiterate thanks to the help of two of her clients.

Gorgeous, sensual, satin corsets trimmed with lace sewn by Esther symbolize the cage some women are laced up in, in Lynn Nottage‘s drama about longing versus becoming your own person. The stories of a yearning for love, delicately balanced with tales of the fear of social disapproval or daring to try, come alive in a beautifully realized production, insightfully directed by Heather Frye for The Footlight Club. “Intimate Apparel,” the opening show for America’s oldest community theater celebrating its 132nd season, continues for one more weekend at Eliot Hall, 7A Eliot Street in Jamaica Plain, at 8 pm FEBRUARY 13 & 14. For more info you can click the image above to visit the Footlight website or phone 617-524-6506.

Esther has turned a gift for sewing into a successful small business creating garments at her sewing machine at Mrs. Dickson’s boarding house for single women. Her trade takes her to the boudoir of uptown socialite Mrs. Van Buren, as well as the downtown rooms of hooker/singer Mayme, both of whom enjoy Esther’s company as well as the attractive clothes she creates for them. She becomes the confidant of each of the women.

Rounding out the figures in this subtle skein of relationships is Mr. Marks, a Jewish clothier whose love for beautiful fabrics kindles a friendship with Esther that is deeper than either of them feels able to acknowledge. A bolt of hand-designed Japanese silk Esther takes home from his store becomes the central dramatic devise in the subtly expressed “Intimate Apparel.” First crafted into a luxurious wedding present, then turned into a gift of betrayal, and finally, arriving full circle, the jacket Esther lovingly sewed is the transformative instrument in the story’s progression.

The show is far more competently delivered than is expected of non professional theater generally with its fine company of actors, delicious period costumes from Kimmerie H. O. Jones, practical and atmospheric multi-leveled set from Ronald L. Dion, and gaslight era lighting from Jonathan Bonner. The club’s recent production of “Raisin In the Sun,” for another example, also directed by Heather Frye, won a bevy of awards from the prestigious Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters Festival.

F. Zandra Bennett gives an admirably truthful performance as the stoic Esther whose self knowledge that she is a worthy person delivers her from destruction. She wins our admiration and our hearts. Carmen Dillon is expressive as the widow with a profound understanding of the benefits she’s accrued and the emotional sacrifices she has had to make to get them. Nicole Prefontaine is persuasive as the unhappily married Mrs. Van Buren who senses she cannot follow or even fully recognize her sexual inclinations without losing the posh style of living as a Fifth Ave. matron she treasures.

Tom Giordano is excellent as the timid, sweet Mr. Marks for whom, sadly, culture takes precedence over personal feelings. Lyndsay Allyn Cox is marvelous as the brassy, party girl Mayme whose high jinx mask a defeated spirit. As the swaggering ambitious laborer George, Franklin Onuoha gives his character enough personal depth that so that he makes a potentially villainous role so human we can sympathize even in our rage at his perfidy.

Playwright Nottage was inspired to write Esther’s story by the little the writer knew of her grandmother who came to New York and became a sought-after seamstress who created elegant, finely detailed lingerie for a clientele that ranged from uptown society ladies to downtown ladies of the night. Nottage, however, was not trying to develop a memoir so much as to give voice and presence to the working class African Americans of the era whose lives can really only be guessed at. The Footlight Club honors those unsung people with its veracity of performance and presentation.

Intimate Apparel ticket information


JOAN RIVERS WRITES ABOUT MURDER
by Kay Bourne
595 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #67With “Murder At The Academy Awards” (Pocket Books/ Simon & Schuster) Red Carpet fashion laureate Joan Rivers provides a deliciously witty send-up of Hollywood at Oscar time.

Written with popular mystery writer Jerrilyn Farmer, Ms Rivers’s debut in the genre of mysteries is an unqualified success – and, “may I have a word with you Oscar night party-givers?”, the book would make a great give-away for the guest who got the winners right! Just a thought. As a side bar, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences thinks so highly of “Murder At the Academy Awards” that AMPAS permitted Ms. Rivers to use both the terms “Oscars” and “Academy Awards,” which are registered trademarks.

Comedienne, author, TV host, actress and more, the indomitable Rivers’s wry and well written adventure makes the reader an insider at the glittery events seen from afar for most of us. The story begins with the red carpet, Oscar night TV, fashionista commentator Maxine Taylor, dripping in borrowed estate diamonds and draped in a stunning gold Michael Kors gown, nervously watching as her celebrity wrangler loses “get” after “get” to other interviewers – that’s TV biz shorthand for a big celeb.

It’s not looking like a good night vis-a-vis the scorecard of the ratio of A-list to B-list interviews for Taylor and her co-host, daughter Drew. Taylor worries she’ll be dropped as a Glam-TV hostess unless she can out-do the competition and her “gets” of last year. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, Maxine is a thinly disguised fictional version of Joan, “someone very similar to me but a lot younger,” she said in a recent radio interview. (Ms. Rivers notes at the back of the book that Drew is her daughter Melissa but more removed as a character from the inspiration).

Then, luck comes Maxine’s way, sort of. Drew lets mom know that 19-year-old super star Halsey Hamilton, only days out of rehab and with a history of regrettable incidents, has text messaged her childhood buddy to say she’s on her way to the Kodak Theatre (where the Oscars have been awarded since 2002). The doors to the Kodak auditorium are about to close, and no one is allowed into the theater thereafter. Such an exclusive would insure Maxine’s ratings.

A white Hummer limo draws up to the red carpet but when Halsey emerges, she’s wobbling – and dressed only in a hot pink thong and a black strapless bra. Which, after a quick recovery from shock, Maxine mentally admits was simple yet elegant, and then thought, “note to self: call Dr. Bob for fashion-necessitated boob lift.” Halsey is slurring her words, when she grips Maxine, hanging onto her with all her weight.

“I’ve lifted grocery bags that weighed more but still, the unexpected burden made me list in an unattractive way to the left,” Maxine recounts.

Halsey slumps to the ground, and dies.

To Hollywood, the starlet’s demise was tragic but inevitable; to Maxine, it was cold, calculated murder, and Maxine is determined to track down the killer, whom-ever he or she turns out to be.

The high octane chase takes her to an exclusive Oscar after-party (with its goody bags of freebies that range from a pair of $1,000 Black Diamond Havianas flip-flops to a $5,800 certificate for free LASIK eye surgery), limo rides where the mini bar in the back is stocked with cut-crystal glasses, an expensive rehab (with a dinner entrée of barbequed boneless beef short ribs with creamy polenta, Bloomsdale spinach, corn salsa, and truffle essence), a popular restaurant with the requisite celebrity sightings, and a variety of other Hollywood haunts, all the while noting labels as well as character flaws.

Even “Murder At The Academy Awards” co-author Jerrilyn Farmer gets a bit of “product placement,” when Maxine notes that among the items she has confiscated from her Louis Vitton luggage upon entering the Wonders rehab center are all the Madeline Bean mysteries she’d wanted to read – that’s the heroine of Farmer’s successful series of murder mysteries.

“Murder at the Academy Awards” is written as if the author were talking to a friend (that list, of course, excludes Tommy Lee Jones and others she’s savaged along the way) but isn’t that brash tongue what endears her to the rest of us?


ACCOMPLISHED REVIVAL: THE CORN IS GREEN
by Josiah Crowley © 2009
596 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #67The Huntington Theater‘s recent presentation of Emlyn Williams’ “THE CORN IS GREEN” was a beautifully detailed production, one that would be ready for a Broadway run without any changes – it was that impressive.

Beautifully acted by a top notch cast headed by Kate Burton (daughter of the legendary Richard Burton) and superbly directed by the Huntington’s former artistic director, Nicholas Martin, THE CORN IS GREEN was that rare gem: a play that is by no measure a classic, but is quite a wonderful play on its own terms. It’s old-fashioned without being creaky or dated; a play of its era that still resonates in today’s world as it promotes both the joys and benefits of education without preaching.

Miss Moffat (Burton), is an independent woman who arrives in town after she inherits a house in a small coal-mining town. Miss Moffat doesn’t feel maternal, but makes it her mission to help the young locals better their lives. Surrounding her are young boys who leave school to work in the coal mines at 12 years of age – only to be “old men by the age of 20″. Her special student is the orphaned Morgan (Morgan Ritchie – Burton’s real life son), seeing intelligence and potential in the illiterate boy.

The acting of the entire cast is superb – standouts being the exquisite Burton; Ritchie (currently, a full time student at Brown University); Kristine Nielsen, hilarious as Miss Moffat’s “reformed sinner” housekeeper; Mary Faber, impressive as the housekeeper’s vain, self-seeking daughter; and Will Lebow very funny as the local Squire – pompous, self-promoting and dumb as a post.

The beautifully detailed period costumes and haunting lighting add much to the mood of the evening, a production superbly directed by Martin: he rings the most out of a wonderful play, displaying Burton’s magnetic acting gifts and drawing in theatergoers to a magical evening in the theater.

The Huntingon Theatre website


BOSTON HONORS ROXBURY MUSIC PRODUCERS
by Kay Bourne

Three Roxbury based music producers from the 70′s and 80′s were honored recently by the Boston City Council for building a music scene in the community that catapulted numbers of local musicians into the national and international market.

Maurice Starr, Tony Rose, and Prince Charles Alexander were paid tribute in a ceremony at City Hall that lauded their personal achievements and influence in America’s music business.

Maurice Starr created two chart busting groups, New Edition in 1981 and New Kids on the Block in 1986, among other groups. He is considered the inventor of the boy band phenomenon of the 1980s (currently he is producing a new boy group, the Heartbeat Boys).

Tony Rose got the ball rolling for this explosion of artists to achieve national attention and sustain their gains with production deals with Virgin Records, Atlantic Records, and Pavilion/CBS/Sony Records through his Roxbury based Solid Platinum Records and Productions.

Prince Charles Alexander, currently associate professor of Music Production & Engineering, won fame as a lead singer and multi-instrumentalist and later as engineer for recordings from Aretha Franklin, Brandy, and both of Notorious B.I.G.’s cds, among many other artists.


LOVE IS IN THE AIR AT DINNER & A MOVIE

592 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #67November seems like a long time ago when we last sat down and broke bread together. Well, all is not lost, FEBRUARY 13, at 6 – 8 pm is your chance again to be wined and dined on the loveliest weekend of the year! Great Movie, Great Food, Great Company, what more could you want?

The Color of Film Collaborative, Inc. and Haley House Bakery Cafe team up again to bring you a Pre-Valentine’s DINNER & A MOVIE on Friday, FEBRUARY 13, at Haley House Bakery Cafe, 12 Dade Street, Roxbury.

A humorous night, in celebration of Valentine’s Day or more specifically, breaking up! with the featured movie as Collin Souter’s “BREAK UP DATE” ….”a smart, insightful movie everyone can relate to, whether you want to or not”

The menu that night is created by the Haley House Bakery Cafe’s new Chef and Director of Culinary Services, Lesli Turock:
* Green salad with balsamic vinaigrette, toasted hazelnuts and gorgonzola
* Romantic Roasted Ratatoullie Lasagna with House made Ricotta, Fresh Herbs, Feta and Goat Cheese, Zucchini, Eggplant, Summer Squash Onions, Peppers, Basil, Tomatoes and an optional meat ragu
* Passion Panna Cotta Parfait with luscious layers of vanilla, espresso & hazelnut and a sugar cookie heart (vegan option available).

Questions? Call 617-543-0393 or click here for details and to purchase tickets.

DINNER & A MOVIE info


CHANGE & TRANSITION
597 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #67Black Theater in Boston has been in existence at least since the 1840′s and many of the Black companies performing in Boston today carry on their traditions. This month, in an effort to bring together some of Boston’s long standing Black theater companies, The William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black History and Culture at UMASS Boston, (the Trotter) and The Color of Film Collaborative, Inc., (TCOF) have come together to produce Change & Transition: A series of staged readings in honor of Black History Month.

The series is comprised of one-act staged readings to take place each Thursday in February at UMASS Boston and designed to stimulate community-wide conversation about shifts in the political, economic, and social circumstances as viewed through the lens of the African Diaspora.

The participating theater groups are The New African Company headed by Born Bikim, Up You Mighty Race headed by Akiba Abaka, Roxbury Crossroads Theatre headed by Ed Bullins and Tricord Theatre Company headed by Juanita Rodriguez.

The pieces to be presented were written by local writers, Ed Bullins and John Adekoje, as well as pieces from August Wilson and Lorraine Hansberry. The readings will take place February 12, 19 and 26 from 2-4pm, and are FREE and open to the public. For information and directions call 617-287-5880.


UP-COMING EVENTSIn celebration of Black History Month, Roxbury Community College presents a free community film screening series Tuesday and Thursdays featuring the movie classics:
  • FEB. 12 11:30am – GLORY
  • FEB. 17 11:30am – WATERMELON MAN
  • FEB. 17 7pm – SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION
  • FEB. 19 11:30am & 7pm – THE HUMAN STAIN
  • FEB. 24 11:30am – GLORY
  • FEB. 24 7pm – DREAM GIRLS
  • FEB. 26 11:30am – DREAM GIRLS
  • FEB. 26 7pm SEPARATE BUT EQUAL

For info call the Mainstage at Roxbury Community College, 1234 Columbus Avenue, at 617-541-5380:

The Museum of African American History presents THE CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS Sunday, FEBRUARY 15, 2 pm at the Abiel Smith School, 46 Joy Street, Boston. The Carolina Chocolate Drops are a group of young African-American string band musicians who play the rich tradition of fiddle and banjo music. The dynamic Black entrepreneur, John Putnam (c. 1817-1895) was also a skilled fiddler, band leader, and barber shop owner originating from Massachusetts. Putnam and his band were in great demand for contra dance events where couples performed dance steps called by a prompter. As the Museum of African American History prepares to launch its upcoming exhibition, Black Entrepreneurs of the 18th and 19th Centuries, we invite you to come and experience The Carolina Chocolate Drops in honor of the musical tradition of John Putnam. Admission is $10. Seating is limited. Please RSVP by emailing Scott McDuffie at smcduffie@maah.org or calling (617) 725-0022.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops bring their chocolate- dipped brand of fiddle and banjo music originating from the Carolina Piedmont area to the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass Ave., Tuesday, FEBRUARY 17, at 8:15 p.m. These three young, talented, African-American stringband musicians are recognized as leading the revival of this venerable music tradition. They will present a public clinic that day at 1pm in the BPC. Tickets are $10 at the BPC box office. Call 617-747-2261 or visit www.berkleebpc.com for more information. Dom Flemons’ guitar and jug anchor the band in an infectious rhythm, and he plays harmonica for additional melody. Banjo and fiddle player Rhiannon Giddens became inspired by old-time music when she fell into contra dancing after graduating from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Justin Robinson, the band’s primary fiddler, is a classically trained violinist who he became interested in bluegrass and old-time fiddle music, as well as, the fife and drum tradition of African-Americans in the Deep South. They have honed their skills under the tutelage of octogenarian fiddler Joe Thompson, a North Carolinian said to be the last black traditional string band player grew up playing at barn dances, “frolics” and corn shuckings and has gone on to play even Carnegie Hall. Now the trio will bring their washboards, jugs, bones, and kazoos to the Berklee campus for a night of down home music of a chocolate variety.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, ORGANIX SOUL Boston invites you to its monthly, live music showcase of up & coming soul, R&B, jazz and spoken word artists from across the country, held at The Holiday Inn, 1374 North Main Street, Randolph, MA. (next to Lombardo’s). This month’s 2 hours showcase of PURE SOUL starts promptly at 9pm featuring poet and songwriter, KYRA CLIMBINGBEAR from New Jersey; ABDI from Amherst, MA; and KIANA INDIA. Tickets are $25 advance or $30 at the door, Tables are available at $50 per person. Doors open 8pm. Networking & prize giveaways 8:30 – 9 pm. LIVE Music Showcase 9 – 11pm, followed by DJ Nelski spinning the best in classic and current hits. For details click HERE. KBAR READERS EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT: to receive $5 off the $25 ticket price, enter “KBAR” in the discount code when ordering tickets in advance here.

AUDITIONS –for an unusual production of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” (as adapted by Christopher Sergel) are set for the end of February. Director JulieAnn Govang refocuses the play’s assumed central theme (the life and memories of Scout Finch) to what she considers the primary topic: the situation and trial of Tom Robinson. She plans to cast a large number of African American actors to keep her focus in the forefront, including incorporating a gospel choir for pre-show, scene change, and closing music. The show is produced by The Concord Players which has produced three plays a year for the past 50 years. For more info about the auditions email the director at jacneed@yahoo.com or phone her at 978-772-2545.

The Providence Black Repertory Company has reinstated its 2008-2009 season after financial difficulties closed its doors. Opening this week is a U.S. premiere directed by Donald W. King, “A Time of Fire” by Ugandan playwright Charles Mulekwa, running through MARCH 8. The season concludes with August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean.”For more info phone 401-351-0353.

Berklee’s Africana Studies/Music and Society Initiative presents the Jazz as Culture, Language, Being, and Music series. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at the David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street, Boston, and are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. February 12-Saying Sounds: The Bob Blumenthal Show with Greg Osby Acclaimed jazz critic Bob Blumenthal interviews Greg Osby, jazz saxophonist, composer, and producer who has played with Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, and many others. The evening will include live music by Osby’s band, 8:15 p.m. in the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. For ticket information, call 617 747-2261.
February 17-Esperanza Spalding The bassist, vocalist, and composer Esperanza Spalding performs with her band at 7:30p.m. at the David Friend Recital Hall.
February 19-Soul of the Caribbean Three student ensembles showcase the music of the Caribbean. The Bob Marley Ensemble, directed by Matt Jenson, the Steel Pan Ensemble, directed by Ron Reid, and the Afro-Cuban Ensemble, directed by Ricardo Monzon, bring some welcome warm weather to midwinter Boston. Grammy-nominated trombonist and Berklee alumnus William Cepeda, who has worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, and more, will be a special guest performer for the evening. Concert begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. For ticket information, call 617 747-2261.
February 24-A Visit with Henry Grimes, Avant-garde bassist and violinist Henry Grimes performs for the public during his Berklee residency. The evening also features an interview with Grimes, conducted by Ralph Rosen.
February 26-Geri Allen Pianist, composer, and educator Geri Allen presents the world premiere of her solo piano work, “Refractions, Flying Toward the Sound.” Concert begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston.
March 12-Gospel Jazz with Dennis Montgomery and Friends Minister and faculty member Dennis Montgomery presents an evening of gospel jazz.

Photographer Derek Lumpkins‘ Carnival!, new large format works from Boston’s Caribbean Carnival is on display a The Savant Project, restaurant, until February 28, at 1625 Tremont Street, Roxbury in Brigham Circle. Visit Derek’s website here.

PAINTINGS by BOSTON area AFRICAN AMERICAN PAINTERS in the “PAINT – BLACK on CANVAS” will exhibit until FEBRUARY 28 at THE ART GALLERY AT THE BUNKER HILL COMMUNITY COLLEGE. For info call 617-228-2093.

Tickets on Sale now for THE COLOR PURPLE at the CitiCenter (formerly the Wang Center) JUNE 16-28. For info call 617-532-1116. Oprah Winfrey presents THE COLOR PURPLE, a soul-stirring musical based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the Oscar-nominated film by Steven Spielberg. The unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who triumphs over tremendous odds to find joy in life, and her true inner beauty. Nominated for eleven Tony® Awards,

Tickets on sale now for the 30th Anniversary Tour of the 1978 Tony Award-winning Best Musical AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ starring 2003 American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard at the Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road, Dorchester, APRIL 10 – 12. For info call 617-635-1403.

Ralph Beach, a long time member of the Boston Afro-American Artists Association (and a resident artist at AAMARP, the African American Master Artists Residency Program at Northeastern University) is reviving BAAA, a 43 year old professional organization that holds exhibits and provides helpful information to its members. Interested in becoming a member of this important affiliation for artists of color? Click here to find more info.

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The Color of Film Collaborative is a non-profit organization that supports and fosters the individuals and organizations in the creation of diverse images of people of color in film, video, theater and other media, by providing artists with opportunities to exhibit, distribute and find funding for their work, as well as provide a supportive environment where they can share and develop their ideas, their vision and their work with their peers. About Us

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