LITERACISE AT BPL UNTIL MARCH 2010
EGYPTIAN SECRETS UNEARTHED
MIDSUMMERS NIGHT DREAM AT RCC
THIS IS IT!
HALEY HOUSE BAKERY CAFEÂ´ NEWS
MAN GONE DOWN WINS
THE MAGNETISM OF BOONDOCK SAINTS II
UP-COMING EVENTS & COMMUNITY INFORMATION
LITERACISE AT BPL UNTIL MARCH 2010
by Kay Bourne
The excited child dashed from the children’s reading room of the main branch of the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, through the adjoining door to the LITERACISE exhibit. His mom was close behind.
Together they began to traverse the 60×15 foot bilingual, interactive exhibit. Inspired by the popular children’s book by IRENE SMALLS, “Jonathan and His Mommy,” the walk through the heavy board construct suggests doing lots of movements from zig zagging to hop scotch to jogging to reggae steps with directions implied by painted footprints on the floors and silhouette figures on the sides of the four lanes. There are pictures of giants, spiders, storefronts, all kinds of points of interest that would intrigue a child taking a walk.
“I had a very active little boy,” says Smalls about the inspiration for the book. “We’d go for a walk through the South End where I live and he’d be running all over the place.”
She invented little games to play as they walked along remembering how her kindergarten teacher had gotten her to participate in the classroom activities rather than be disruptive.
Her teacher at P.S. 90 in Harlem “never said ‘No! – Don’t – or Stop!’ She’d say, ‘Let’s play a game, and the rules of the game are..’ I loved games so of course I was eager to follow the rules.” Smalls thought back to those days to get her son under control in a way that he’d enjoy the walk, but not be flying here and there.
With Literacise, Smalls is up to more than child psychology, however. According to the ‘Alliance for a Healthier Generation,’ nearly one-third of U.S. youth ages two to nineteen are overweight (yet facing huge pressure to pass standardized academic test requirements, many schools have drastically cut physical education classes).
Smalls says that “the Literacise story steps exhibit gives children a chance to connect physically with reading which enhances the literacy experience.”
She’s trying out Literacise’s effectiveness as Author in Residence at the Nathan Hale Elementary School in Roxbury. So, for instance, using Patricia McKissick‘s award winning book “Miranda and Brother Wind,” which involves a child’s fervent wish to win a cake walk, Smalls read the story and then had the children walk with large plastic plates on their heads. She taught them about the effect of good posture on the spinal chord which is an extension of the brain and a conduit for oxygen to the brain, as well as, being important for proper alignment of the body. The children then entered a cake walk contest for the length of the classroom.
“It’s the brain, body, book connection I’m working on,” says Smalls. “I want to awaken children to their bodies, to sensitize them in how good health practices affect their well being but even more so their learning.” She would like to take Litercise nationally.
Meanwhile, the exhibit at the Boston Public Library, which was supported by State Street Bank, has the kids hopping. “They love it,” enthused the security guard whose post halfway up the entrance lobby gives him a perfect view of the exhibit.
EGYPTIAN SECRETS UNEARTHED
by Kay Bourne
(photo: beer jars resting in a niche)
A flotilla of small boats beats its way northward by oars and southward by sails on the Nile River, steadily moving towards eternity. Or are they voyaging across the sky with the sun god?
This exquisitely carved congregation of boats is but one of the mass of awe-inspiring funerary objects in the masterfully curated “The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 BC” exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston through mid May 2010.
In the fleet of 59 models (the largest ever discovered in an Egyptian tomb), a red kitchen barge features a man seated in the prow tending a cooking fire. On the deck behind him is a pair of food crates and a pair of beer jars with mud stoppers. The crew on a second kitchen boat is occupied with making bread and beer – distillation for making spirit drinks was unknown in ancient Egypt.
Beer (and wine making) which depended on abundant harvests was regarded as crucial not only on earth, but in the After-life, as well, for offerings (the presiding deities of beer were the goddesses Menqet and Tenemyt, whose names probably derive from a type of beer jar and beer respectively). Drunkenness, by the way, was regarded as a way of communing with the gods.
It’s unsurprising, really, that these particular models were removed from the underground burial chamber where they’d originally been placed atop and around the coffins of Governor and Lady Djehutymakht of Deir el-Bersha. These important personages ran a huge agricultural estate in central Egypt. Very likely, the Djehutnakhts supplied other Egyptians far and wide with the bounty of their vast plantings of grain and other produce.
The exhibit at the MFA is an epic ode to the skill, patience, aesthetic sensibility, and specialized knowledge of curators past and present at the venerable arts institution. They have been working to reassemble the remaining contents of a plundered Egyptian tomb of the Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 BC) for a century since the crates of bits and pieces arrived at the Huntington Avenue museum in 1915.
Most recently, under the piercing eye of senior curator Rita E. Freed with Lawrence M. Berman, Denise M. Doxey, and Nicholas S. Picardo and a team of MFA experts, the shattered assemblage from the grave has finally been completely mended so that The Secrets of Tomb 10A reveals a goodly part of the story of the Djehutnakhts’s life and times.
The collection of carved boats and other models, such as a procession of offering bearers, a four thousand year old painted coffin, mummified head, and other artifacts are on view together for the first time. They survived two fires, the onslaught of robbers in antiquity who stole gold and other precious items from the grave and damaged what they left behind, and the effects of four thousand years underground.
Excavated by the joint Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, the find represents the largest Middle Kingdom burial assemblage ever discovered and sheds light on the grand lifestyle by the local governor and priest Djehutynakht and his wife Lady Djehutynakht, for whom the tomb was built.
The famed “Bersha Coffin,” the beautifully crafted outer coffin of the governor figures prominently in “The Secrets of Tomb 10a.” Its extensive decoration includes an elaborately painted false door through which Djehutynakht’s “ka” or life force could easily pass between the worlds of the living and the dead and a pair of eyes that permitted him to see out of the coffin.
With the creatively mounted exhibit Secrets of Tomb 10A, we glimpse back through time into the Djehutynakhts’s beliefs about making a safe and comfortable passage to where they will finally come to rest.
MIDSUMMERS NIGHT DREAM AT RCC
(l to r: Eric Mayer-Garcia as Oberon, Jawel Zimbabwe as Puck)
When 10-year-old JAWEL ZIMBABWE as Puck aka Robin Goodfellow stretches his arm out in fellowship to the audience at the conclusion of “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” with the words, “Give me your hands if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends.” —- and the audience of young teens stretch their arms up to him, you know there’s magic in the air.
The Roxbury Repertory Theater production at Roxbury Community College is also unique for casting students from the Perkins School for the Blind as fairies inhabiting the woods outside Athens. Directed by Marshall Hughes, the classic tale continues for five more performances: NOVEMBER 12 & 13 at 10 am & 8pm, and NOVEMBER 14 at 2 pm. Tickets available at the door at $10 and $5 for students/senior citizens. For more info go on-line to www.rccmainstage.com.
THIS IS IT!
by Joseph Crowley © 2009
There have always been few genuine showbiz legendary entertainers. We’re talking the type of performer who, even after their talents have faded, can still own a crowd with pure showmanship – a sort of gift consisting of more than charisma or “presence”; it’s like a spell such performers can cast over their audiences. Think: Frank Sinatra, Billie Holliday, Judy Garland, and, alas belatedly, Michael Jackson.
Though never the best singer, Jackson onstage was all about “showmanship”. “THIS IS IT!”, the “concert” documentary consists mostly of rehearsals for MJ’s planned 50-performance ‘comeback’ concert schedule (which was cancelled upon his death).” The movie highlights Jackson’s strengths as a performer. It also amazes me when I realize – from published legal documents – how many drugs were in his system at the end of his life) how, when everything else, his finances, his addiction, his very grip on reality, etc., seemed to be out of control, Jackson still was the consummate entertainer.
THIS IS IT! does the nearly impossible: it makes us remember why the whole world fell in love with Michael Jackson. Long before the abyssmal multiple cosmetic surgeries, the whitening of his skin and the bizarre actions (dangling his baby over a hotel railing ) and charges of child molestation, Jackson was a very special star with that indefinable “something”.
Director-choreographer Kenny Ortega, Jackson’s long time colleague, has made a wonderful tribute to the artist. who was Michael Jackson, at his best. Through judicous editing and smart choices, Ortega presents a Jackson who – despite his impending death and fatal addiction (the medical reports make viewers realize Jackson must’ve been high during every frame of this film) – still has “got it”. Like the consummate performer he was, Jacksons talent was the one positive thing he didn’t seem to lose.
If the viewer is looking for a tabloid treatment of Jackson’s life – or even a genuine documentary on who the man behind the mirror was – THIS IS IT! is the wrong film. If, however, one wants to remember what made us all fall in love with this truly gifted star, THIS IS IT! is for you. A film that is the best tribute possible.
HALEY HOUSE BAKERY CAFEÂ´ NEWS
The Haley House Bakery CafÃ© is now open for dinner three nights a week 5pm until 9pm, in addition to its Monday through Friday 7:30am and Saturday 9am breakfast and lunch hours.
The evening themes are:
* Wednesday: Pizza and Jazz night, different pizza menu and jazz band weekly.
* Thursday: Art is Life Itself, an inter-generational, inter-active performance series hosted by Nina LaNegra & Fulani Haynes.
* Friday: Sister Za’s Vegan Spot, a three-course vegan meal prepared by Zakiya Alake of Abundance Vegan Catering Service.
The Friday night Vegan Spot debuted last month with DINNER & A MOVIE featuring The Color of Film’s pick film “SIMPLY RAW: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days.” Because of the overwhelming response, Haley House & TCOF will reprise that night with an encore DINNER & A MOVIE screening on Friday, NOVEMBER 20 at 6pm. For all those who missed Morgan Spurlock’s SIMPLY RAW documentary and the amazingly delicious raw food feast prepared by Zakiya Alake, get your tickets now. Her menu will be appetizers of Portobello, Avocado and Pickled Ginger Maki Rolls, with Raw-Style Barley, Thai-Inspired Collard Green Spring Rolls with Almond Butter, Mango, Cabbage and Agave Tamarind-Mango Dipping Sauce; a dinner salad of Portobello Cerviche, Ribbons of Zuccini and Summer Squash and a Veritable Veggie Mash Up of Lettuce, Cabbage,Carrots and Squash, dressed with Avocado-Citrus Dressing; and dessert of Apple Fetti – shoestrings of apple in traditional apple pie spice with Cashew Creme sweetened with agave. Then, Nina LaNegra will lead the after movie discussions. Tickets are required for this event in advance, and are only available online here.
Now’s the time to order your Haley House Thanksgiving Pies made from scratch, for pickup throughout Thanksgiving Week. To place pie orders, call Dan Cordon by NOVEMBER 18, on the catering line at 617-939-6837. The four pies available at $18 each are: Apple Crumb, Pumpkin (made with organic pumpkins from their local Noonday Farm, while supplies last), Sweet Potato and Pecan (with agave syrup in place of corn syrup.) Orders of 20 or more pies (often in the case of a workplace), come with free delivery. For any other information regarding The Haley House Bakery CafÃ©, located at 12 Dade Street, Dudley Square, Roxbury, call 617-445-0900. Haley House website
MAN GONE DOWN WINS
by Kay Bourne
photo: Thomas giving his acceptance speech. credit: Jason Clarke
Race, work, and family – and at the heart of it all, an existential crisis – bear down on the unnamed black narrator of MICHAEL THOMAS‘ award winning “Man Gone Down.”
Yet, our hero is haunted by the long view. What is the identity he can offer his three small children, two little boys and a baby daughter?
At the moment they are staying with his wife, who is white, as he tries over four days to ante up the money to keep the kids in school and put a down payment on an apartment.
Well into the story, the narrator is taken back in memory to the day they moved into the old apartment. The boys were confused, moping around the stacked boxes. He puts the stereo on, Bob Marley’s “Ride Natty Ride.” The boys twist and dip and jump, the little girl uses dad’s leg to pull herself up to standing:
“‘Fire!’ Bob and I cry. ‘Fire!’ yell the boys in response. My girl, only a few months steady on her feet, rocking her head and body, smiling, watching her brothers. Teaching my boys right in front of their Brahmin mother to hold the burning spear. Whipping them into righteous rage and indignation – the young lions.”
Thomas’s debut novel won the richest literary award in the world (apart from the Nobel Prize in Literature) – $180,000, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, open to novels written in all languages.
KBAR spoke with by phone recently with Thomas, who born and raised in Boston (his novel is set here and in New York City) then attended Hunter College in New York where he currently teaches.
He says, in his novel the narrator struggles with the notion of ties that bind as regards to child raising. It lies less in a biological mandate that keeps people together, “for it demands much more than blood. It’s an idea that I have struggled with in my own life. The narrator understands that paternity is more than conception.”
As to Boston, Thomas as with so many other African Americans native to this city, says of it, “I feel a great deal of nostalgia and love and at the same time a great amount of contempt for my hometown. I have some horrible memories. The busing. The police. The racism. The class zenophobia, The provincialism,” says Thomas, who grew up here in the 70′s and 80′s.
Still, he loves Boston for “how it seemed always to me small and how that was comforting too.” His next novel is set in Boston. “I’ll never leave it behind and I hope to treat it fairly. I do miss it and I harbor fantasies of moving back.”
THE MAGNETISM OF BOONDOCK SAINTS II
by Joseph Crowley © 2009
Writer-director TROY DUFFY, who used to bartend in Somerville when he lived here, was tending bar on trendy Melrose Avenue when he sold a script to HARVEY WEINSTEIN. Weinstein eventually backed out of his deal (which also included allowing Duffy to direct the film and to produce a CD for Duffy’s hard core band, also called The Boondock Saints), but the film was produced elsewhere. It quickly sank. End of story? Hardly. The dvd of The Boondock Saints sold over $100 million, becoming a cult classic, with diehard fans the world over.
Critically panned, shot on the cheap – why did The Boondock Saints become such a phenomenon?
First, let’s look at the storyline. Two working class Irish-born brothers (Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus) living in Boston take on the local Mob. They decide to make things right, taking justice into their own hands. A good old-fashioned vigilante story (think DEATH WISH on acid). The Boondock Saints is so way over the top , it’s a blast ! It’s a “boys story” and then some. As if James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart – sporting Irish brogues – had moved to (a very seedy-looking) Beantown and had fun! Not the type of film to garner awards, but then that was never the point! The Boondock Saints shows a Boston not seen again on screen until Ben Affleck‘s directorial debut version of local author Dennis (MYSTIC RIVER) Lehane‘s GONE, BABY, GONE.
The sequel, now in release, is more of the same – only bigger, badder, and more polished (though equally gritty) and as much fun as a night of hard partying without consequences: the viewer emerges from “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day,” with loads of belly laughs, but no hangover.
“Though set in Boston, only a week of footage for TBS was actually shot locally; the rest of the film was made in Toronto. The film – steeped deeply in the Boston culture of “the Irish Mob” – got a lot of press both locally and nationally and, ironically, spurred other Hollywood filmmakers to shoot their productions in Boston.”
It included local comics Jimmy Tingle (as an Irish priest hearing a Confession like none you’ve ever seen before!) and Bob Marley. Though they don’t return for the sequel, Irish comic/character actor Billy Connolly is back onboard for more fun. How about Willem Dafoe (as the bad ass gay Boston Irish cop in the first film) ? Go see it and find out!
One of the strong points of both films are the talented cast. In leads, Flannery (so good in Truman Capote‘s THE GRASS HARP, and cult favorite POWDER) shows he’s got real acting chops. And Dafoe & Connolly add a lot to the film’s appeal. Veteran actors Peter Fonda (who went to a Massachusetts high school) and (New Hampshire-born) Judd Nelson join in the fun for this lively sequel. In keeping with the spirit of the original film, TBS – Pt. 2 , there’s no love story here, but Julie (DEXTER) Benz is cast here, as a quirky, tough local FBI agent.
by Lisa Simmons
(Chris Rock interviews high school students about their hair.
Photograph courtesy of HBO.)
Good Hair is a complicated and touchy subject that Chris Rock takes a stab at explaining in his new movie “Good Hair”.
Funny at times, the documentary reveals the intricacies behind what makes black hair straight and what black women have to do to make it that way. More of an educational piece than a historical documentary, “Good Hair” whimsically asks the question: what makes hair “Good Hair?”
His quest to answer this very curious question takes him to the barbershops and beauty salons of the African American community, to India (the number one exporter of human hair), and to black hair shows. So much of this we know, we meaning African American women who have for years worked at keeping our hair straight as a reflection of the hegemonic society. This film brings to light some secrets of black women’s hair but it really explores what African American women have gone through and continue to go through to get “Good Hair.”
It is a must see for everyone African American and not for validation but as an education of a process that places a lot of value on how African American women see themselves in a wider spectrum. Chris Rock does a good job of scrapping the surface of this topic, but it would have been interesting if he had scratched the surface a little deeper and raised questions around what does it actually mean to have “Good Hair” in the African American community.
UP-COMING EVENTS & COMMUNITY INFORMATION
(pictured: Cullen Washington Jr.)
Black masculinity has been embattled since the beginning of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Artist CULLEN WASHINGTON, JR.’s paintings conjure up a new mythology pitted against that brooding past with “Hero’s Story,” a new exhibit of his work currently on display at the Museum of the National Center of Afro American Artists, 300 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury, until JANUARY 10. A conversation with Cullen is scheduled at NCAAA this Sunday, NOVEMBER 15 at 3pm. For more info click here or call the Museum at 617-442-8614.
SHAKESPEARE NOW! a professional theater company which brings live perfromances of the playwright’s works to school-aged children presents MACBETH directed by Stephen Maler at Mass College of Art 621 Huntington Avenue in the Tower Theater, every Monday through Friday until NOVEMBER 20 at 10am – 12:30pm for high school students. $10 students, chaperones free. Special evening performance on Sat. NOVEMBER 14 is $18 gen. adm., $16 students/senior citizens. Info 617-734-3477.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS FREE COMMUNITY DAY, Wednesday, NOVEMBER 11 10am – 4:45pm, at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Free museum general admission and free admission to “The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egupt 2000 BC.” Made possible by the support of Bank of America. The day’s events includes Art of Asia, Art of the Americas and Art of Europe guided one-hour tours; The Family Art cart with fun and educational activites for children 4 years and older; Journey up the Nile – virtual expedition in the Remis Auditorium and more. For info call 617-267-9300 or click here.
Experience the Middle East in the Middle of Boston on Thursday, NOVEMBER 12, at 6pm, take the MUSLIM FOOD WALK AND COOKING CLASS. Join Epicurean Studio’s Chef NADINE NELSON, and DISCOVER ROXBURY on a tour of the Roxbury Crossing area that includes a Halal market and a Sudanese coffee shop. See and experience aspects of Muslim culture first hand. Learn about regional spices, and how to stock your own Middle Eastern pantry. Then, participate in an interactive cooking class at Epicurean Studio where you will prepare traditional Moroccan dishes. Limited to 20 people. Rain or shine. Reservations ($60) must be made in advance, on line at www.discoverroxbury.org or by calling 617-427-1006. Tour departs Roxbury Crossing station at 6pm.
The VALERIE STEPHENS GROUP celebrates Scorpio-ness at “The Annual Scorpio Leather & Lace Birthday Party”, on Thursday, NOVEMBER 12 at Slade’s Bar and Grill, 958 Tremont Street, Roxbury. You are invited to show your inner Scorpio in lace or leather or both. Live music by The Valerie Stephens Group: Tuffus Zimbabwe on Keyboard, Daniel Day on Bass; Stanley Swann on Drums; David Eure on Violin, Valerie Stephens – Vocals; Special Guest: Nurudafina Abena on Percussions. More Special Guests Abound. Musicians & Vocalists Bring your Axe and Jam. This is a party for all!!!!
The public is invited to the unveiling of the FIRST NIGHT BOSTON 2010 button designed by Roxbury painter and collage artist, EKUA HOLMES, on Friday, NOVEMBER 13, 10 am in the lobby of The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers. The program is 20 minutes long, with a presentation, as well as a short speaking program. For more information on Holmes’ art, visit her website here.
COMPANY ONE, Inc. presents the Boston premier of award-winning playwright J. T. ROGERS’ must see exotic thriller “THE OVERWHELMING” running until NOVEMBER 21 at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont Street, Roxbury. J.T. Rogers will be in person for the post-show talkback this Friday, NOVEMBER 13! (Synopsis: Seizing the opportunity to do research for his new book, Jack Exley uproots his family and moves to Rwanda in early 1994. As Jack, his wife and his teenage son encounter foreign culture and eye opening politics, they each find their own brand of trouble. Realizing that in this place no one is exactly what they seem, his family begins to unearth unexpected truths about this tiny, troubled nation and about themselves.) For performance dates and time, to watch the trailer and for ticket information, visit the Company One website here, or call 617-292-7110.
On Friday, NOVEMBER 13, The Humanities Center at Northeastern University presents, “The Coltranes and Humanism: Spirituality, Music and Sound,” from 6-8 PM, in the Amilcar Cabral Center in the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute. The event is free and open to the public. The John D. O’Bryant African American Institute is located at 40 Leon St., Boston, in the middle of Northeastern’s campus. Convenient T stops are on the Green (Northeastern) and Orange (Ruggles) Lines. For information, call 617-373-8700. Alice and John Coltrane have made important contributions to a multicultural American – and global – humanism. To assess and discuss those contributions, and the large questions that they raise, NU’s Humanities Center is bringing together a diverse group: musicians, historians, African-Americanists, urban specialists, sociologists, ethnomusicologists, historians, religious studies scholars, gender theorists, political scientists, lawyers, media specialists, and others.
The Office for The Arts at Harvard presents artist SANFORD BIGGERS’ CONSTELLATION (Stranger Fruit) an installation at Harvard’s Memorial Hall/Sanders Theatre until DECEMBER 2. Attend a conversation with BIGGERS on Monday, NOVEMBER 16, 6-7pm at the Arther Sackler Museum, 485 Broadway, Cambridge (free and open to the public) and on Wednesday, NOVEMBER 18 at 4pm will be a performance at his installation, with vocalist Imani Uzuri, members of Harvard’s KeyChange and instrumentalist Sumie Kaneko. For info click here.
The guillotine casts a menacing shadow over Paris in “A Tale of Two Cities,” Dwayne Hartford‘s stage adaptation of Charles Dickens classic novel about romance and revenge during the tumult of the French Revolution. The professional, equity, non-profit Wheelock Family Theater gives this stirring tale its New England area premiere through NOVEMBER 29 at 200 The Riverway, Boston on The Fens. JANE STAAB plays the nefarious Madame Defarge who tends to her knitting as heads fall. For more info go to www.WheelockFamilyTheatre.org.
Be a part of THE RAINBOW CONNECTION. Create and carry a rainbow in the First Night Parade. Join artists Wendy Ellertson and Lisa Lee at free workshops in the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center, 9 Fulda Street, Roxbury, on-going Saturdays, NOVEMBER 14, 21, DECEMBER 5, 12 and 19 from 10am – 1pm. Light refreshments will be available. Registration is required. For information or to register, call 617-427-0613 or email email@example.com.
The Boston Fire Department will host an informational session at Florian Hall, Tuesday, NOVEMBER 17, 6 to 8 pm, 55 Hallet Street, Dorchester regarding the upcoming Firefighter Examination that will be held Saturday, April 24, 2010. The 2010 exam provides the list for potential firefighters hired from November 2010 through November 2012. If you have any questions regarding this examination please contact Michelle McCourt, Boston Fire Department HR Manager at (617) 343-3024.
You are invited to THE FUTURE OF CUBA discussion at J. F. Kennedy Library on Tuesday, NOVEMBER 17, 5:30 – 7pm, with Tom Gjelten, NPR correspondent and author of Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause, will moderate a discussion on relations between U.S. and Cuba with Jorge Dominguez, Professor of Latin American Politics at Harvard University; Adriana Bosch, writer and director of the PBS documentary Fidel Castro; and Carlos Saladrigas, co-chair of the Miami based Cuban Study Group. Call 617-514-1643 to rsvp for this free, public event. Doors open at 4:30pm
The Strand Theatre comes alive with a night of comedy and music on Saturday, NOVEMBER 21, at 8PM with JONATHAN GATES presents “Generation Next” hosted by “Boston’s Bad Boy of Comedy,” Jonathon Gates, featuring: CHRIS TABB from BET’s “Comic View”; BETHANY VAN DELFT, founding member of “Colorstruck: Women of Color in Comedy”; New York’s TERRY HODGES and JAY from Jersey. Music by DJ Wade. Gates is coming off his recent appearance on Martin Lawrence’s “1st Amendment” show on STARZ. General admission tickets are $20. Tickets available now at: A Nubian Notion or Nex Graphix & Printing, 36 Warren Street; online at www.telecharge.com or charge by phone at (800) 432-7250 and the day of show at the Strand Box Office.
WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents SARA TAVARES Saturday, NOVEMBER 21, 8pm, at The Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets are $28 and $22. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts (617) 876-4275. Born to second-generation Cape Verdean immigrants, Lisbon-based Sara Tavares sings for a generation caught between cultures. Tavares was born in Portugal in 1978, and became familiar with the hardships of a diasporic existence at a painfully early age. When she was just a child, her father went to America to seek better professional opportunities and her mother moved south, leaving Tavares to be raised by an elder Portuguese woman in Lisbon. Of the experience of being a Cape Verdean in Portugal, the artist says, “There’s a large generation of Cape Verdean and other Africans here in Lisbon who feel like they have no identity.” When it comes to the dealing with this duality of place and culture, Tavares has always relied upon music. As a young child, she won several televised music competitions including two of Portugal’s most prestigious TV music contests. Initially known as a singer and composer of pop, gospel, funk and soul music, as she grew older, she gradually incorporated more of African music in her compositions. The constant search for her roots, both physically and musically, led her to work with veteran African musicians in Lisbon and travel to Cape Verde, Haiti and Zimbabwe. www.saratavares.com
Join THE WAMPANOAG NATION SINGERS AND DANCERS in celebration of the harvest season and American Indian culture on Friday, NOVEMBER 27, 10:30 -11:30am in the Stephen Smith Center at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston. This is event is appropriate for family audiences and children ages 5 and up. Reservations are required for this free program, by calling 617- 514-1644.
Berklee College of Music’s SINGER’s SHOWCASE concert is Thursday, DECEMBER 3, at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Almost 100 students auditioned and nine have been picked to perform in this year’s show: Maureen McMullan, Annette Phillip, Mario Jose, Lucia Sentirenla, Luis Figueroa-Roig, Naomi Gillies, Karen Rodriguez, and the duo of Aubrey Logan on trombone and vocals and Kata Kozma on piano and vocals. General admission tickets are $15. For more information call 617-747-2261 or visit ticketmaster.com.
What does KWANZAA mean to you? In the spirit of Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith, The John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute invites the community to join in their annual KWANZAA celebration of family, culture and community on Friday, DECEMBER 4 at 5pm in the Cabral Center, 40 Leon Street, Roxbury at NU. For more info call 617-373-4911.
New Rep Announces “Dear Scrooge” CONTEST. Hey, kids of all ages! Write a letter to Scrooge letting him know why you would like to see Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol this holiday season and be eligible to win TWO FREE TICKETS to this popular holiday classic. The winner will also meet Scrooge and have his or her photo taken with him. Perhaps you enjoy the pre-show caroling concert? Maybe it is the thrill of seeing ghosts that fly through the air and evaporate into the London Fog? Or are you continuing or starting a family tradition? Whatever the reason, Scrooge wants to know! Just write a letter to Mr. Scrooge telling him your reasons for wanting to see Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Be creative! Mail letters to:
New Repertory Theatre
Attn: “Dear Mr. Scrooge”
200 Dexter Ave.
Watertown, MA 02472
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your address, phone number, and e-mail address. All letters must arrive at New Rep by DECEMBER 2 deadline, to be eligible for the contest. The Winner will be notified on Monday, December 7. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol runs DECEMBER 6 – 27, at The Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA. For more information or to purchase tickets call 617-923-8487 or click here.
The 40th season of Langston Hughes’ BLACK NATIVITY presented by The National Center of Afro-American Artists, combining gospel music and songs with dance and poetry, in the telling of this unforgettable rendition of the Christmas story runs DECEMBER 4-20, at the Tremont Temple, 88 Tremont Street, downtown Boston, with tickets at $45, $36 and $28. For information visit www.BlackNativity.org.