Category: Entertainment - Original Written by RJ Barnhill
When hosting a party, the excitement is often about the guest list, invitations and the menu, but what about the amount of trash that comes out of gathering with family and friends? In the spirit of Earth Day, we teamed up with Tatiana Grant, president of Infused PR and Events, to share innovative and eco-friendly party planning ideas, so you can increase the fun, while decreasing your waste.
Below are a few tips Grant suggests for keeping waste to a minimum at parties:
• Reduce — Think about future dinners when preparing your party menu. Serve items that will freeze well. If you have leftovers, this will reduce food waste and give you a head start on dinner the following week. Also, companies like eVite allow you to send free virtual invitations instead of sending paper versions, which are harmful to the environment. If you do need to print something, only use recycled paper.
• Reuse — If you entertain frequently, invest in the real stuff – china, flatware, glassware and napkins. Accumulate them slowly by shopping at thrift stores and the sales at your favorite stores. Select a solid color and stick to that color to build a collection you can use year-round. For example, red is great for everything from Christmas to Valentine’s Day to the Fourth of July.
• Recycle — Create sorting stations with proper receptacles — trash, recycling and compost — to make sorting waste easy. Then ensure sorting station signage is bright and noticeable so guests know where things go. Use colored chalk on chalkboards, have your kids draw colorful pictures of the recycling symbol, paint signs on recycled wood, or take photographs of your children holding letters that read RECYCLE. Enlarge the photos, place them in frames and hang them above the recycling bin station.
“You don’t have to sacrifice style and individuality when introducing eco-friendly elements that promote the three R’s into your plans,” said Grant. “From 200 wedding guests to intimate backyard barbecues, you can make small changes that will make a big difference in reducing your waste. Going green is crucial to all facets of our lives, including event planning. These tips not only aid in supporting the environment but also save money, which is essential to every event budget.”
For more helpful tips, including a how-to guide on planning and executing a waste-conscious event, head to www.Glad.com/onebag.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 00:10
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Steve Holsey
Not every artist has been described as “the hardest working person in show business.”
...has won 17 Grammy Awards.
...can enter into a $50 million, multi-year deal with Pepsi.
...can star in a Super Bowl halftime show that people are still talking about.
...has, with her husband, placed No. 1 on Forbes magazine’s World’s Highest Paid Celebrity Couples list.
...has her own fragrance.
...has been a resounding success as singer, songwriter, producer and actress.
...has had the first lady of the United States say that if she were an entertainer, she would like to be like her.
SOME PEOPLE were born to entertain. Names like Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli, Prince, Beyoncé and Diana Ross immediately come to mind. You cannot imagine them doing anything else. In fact, they could not do anything else!
And speaking of the Motown superdiva, Beyoncé said, “Diana Ross is a big inspiration to all of us. We all grew up watching everything about her — her style, her class, her grace...
“I think I’m opening doors for more black women, just like Diana Ross and Halle Berry opened doors for me.”
ANOTHER huge influence on Beyoncé, in the most literal sense, is Tina Turner. They, of course, sound nothing alike, but on stage many of Beyoncé’s moves — even her aura — have Tina Turner written all over them. She must have studied Tina carefully on TV and in videos.
Many entertainers are quite different in their private lives than they are on stage, on screen, etc. It is necessary for them to shift gears, so to speak, into “performance mode,” adopting a different persona.
When she is home, Beyoncé says she is Beyoncé Gisselle Knowles-Carter (her husband is Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter), But in performance it’s another story. At that time she is “Sasha Fierce” — the alter ego who sets the stage on fire, giving her enraptured audience a thrill a minute.
“Who I am on stage is very, very different from who I am in real life,” said Beyoncé. “I’m always so glammed up and so diva on stage. When I’m on stage it feels incredible, but no one knows what I’m really like from that.
“I’M NOT this round-the-clock diva looking for attention. People don’t understand that. I’m way more comfortable out of the spotlight and just chilling with my family.”
She says “Sasha Fierce” does things that Beyoncé would not and and perhaps in some cases, could not.
Ah, and then there’s the music! Like they used to say back in the day, “The hits just keep on comin’!”
Beyoncé has given us some of the most loved and memorable songs of the last decade or so.
A partial list of her successful songs — and this does not include the Destiny’s Child hits — includes “Crazy In Love,” “Irreplaceable,” “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It),” “Naughty Girl,” “Halo,” “Check On It,” “If I Were a Boy,” “Diva,” “Get Me Bodied” and “Baby Boy.”
NO ONE was really surprised when Beyoncé, the great singer and performer, also proved to be a good actress with a natural screen presence. This was particularly evident in “Dreamgirls,” but also in “Obsessed,” “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “Cadillac Records,” “The Fighting Temptations,” “Carmen: A Hip-Hopera” and “The Pink Panther.”
None of this is to suggest that Beyoncé, despite her large female following, is not without her share of detractors, more than her share, actually, but she has lived and experienced enough to know that it comes with the territory.
As Smokey Robinson put it (in another context) in one of his compositions, “The day you take one, you’re gonna have to take the other.”
THE MAJORITY of the people taking pot shots at Beyoncé are females, more specifically, Black females. Part of it, no doubt, stems from jealousy, another from what some people perceive as overexposure. One of my female former co-workers complained that “she’s everywhere!”
The same situation was faced by Diana Ross, Whitney Houston and others, although they too also had a multitude of female supporters.
Beyoncé recently showed what may be a different side of herself, and plenty of eyebrows were raised. The song is titled “Bow Down/I Been Down” and may indeed be Beyoncé addressing those who “diss” her. Or maybe it’s just something to create controversy and make people speculate.
Beyoncé is currently on her fourth world tour, interestingly titled “The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour” that was launched on April 15 and will conclude on Sept. 13.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 12:12
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins, Entertainment Editor
The weekend is here! Need something to do? Here’s a list of things to get into this weekend in and around Detroit.
Southfield Restaurant Week April 22-27.
Inspired by the acclaimed success of neighboring cities, the Southfield debuting is first official “Restaurant Week” featuring the great tastes of Southfield’s best. Participating restaurants will offer a three course dinner menu at fixed prices ranging between $15-$35. For more information visit southfieldchamber.com
The Mountaintop April 25- June 2
Performance Network Theatre
Times and ticket prices vary
Katori Hall’s play, The Mountain Top, tells the story of the night of April 3, 1968 at the Memphis’ Lorraine Motel which is also known as the night before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Come and watch this moving and enlightening story come to life on stage in Ann Arbor. For more information or to purchase tickets visit performancenetwork.org or call (734) 663-0681.
Dionne Farris and Russell Gunn April 26-27
Two shows: 8 p.m and 10 p.m.
The Music Hall’s Jazz Café. This duo of Grammy nominated trumpeter and Grammy Award winning songstress will be concert for back-to-back evenings of a smooth music and great sounds. For more information visit musichall.org
Detroit Historical Museum Re-opening
Museum opens at 9:30 a.m
This Detroit spot reopens with three new exhibits and some enhancements to the Streets of Detroit exhibit. For more information call 313-833-1805
RESOLVE's Annual Spring Event
Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak
7 p.m.-9 p.m.
Join the Great Lakes Region of RESOLVE for an evening of family building education as they present their ever popular, "Ask the Expert" program. Local experts attending the event include reproductive endocrinologists, adoption experts, acupuncturists, mental health professionals and other complementary care experts. Registration is required. Individuals and couples welcome. No children, please. For more information, call 586-498-4423 or visit http://www.greatlakes.resolve.org
Snoop Lion Reincarnated Movie Screening
Nandi’s Knowledge Café
Doors open at 8 p.m.
Come see why Hip Hop legend Snoop Dogg has teamed up with VICE on a spiritual journey to Jamaica to reflect on his past career, including his failures, loves, regrets and losses. There will be $1 raffles for official Snoop Lion prizes. For more information, call 313.702.0700.
The Original Funkfest
Ticket prices vary
The Funk world’s greatest are coming together for a night of “5 Hours of Funk”. The Funk Master George Clinton along with Parliament P Funk Allstars, the Ohio Players and many others will be in attendance putting together a spectacular show. For more information and tickets please visit olympiaentertainment.com or to charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000
21st Annual Comedy Show
Detroit Opera House
Ticket prices vary
Funny guy and actor Martin Short will be featured in this night of side-splitting comedy presented by Forgotten Harvest. Other notable people in attendance will be Detroit author Mitch Albom as the Evening Honoree and the Evening Master of Ceremonies Rhonda Walker, Local News Anchor for Channel 4. For more information visit michiganopera.org or forgottenharvest.org
NAACP Detroit 58TH Annual Fight for Freedom Dinner
For the past 58 years Detroit chapter of the NAACP had held this notable event to bring together the people in the community to help support civil rights and the fight against social injustice. The dinner also contributes to many of the NAACP outreach and young programs. For more information or to purchase tickets call 313-871-2087 or visit detroitnaacp.org
5K Run for Literacy
Detroit River Walk
Start your Sunday morning by running for a good cause help promote literacy and support programs that enhance reading skills. If you aren’t a runner, you can also participate by walking in the 5k or the 1-mile family walk. All the fun starts at 10 a.m. for more information and registration visit runmichigan.org or call Sharon Common at 313-833-4610.
Follow Amber L. Bogins on Twitter @AmberLaShaii
Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 08:35
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Roz Edward
But what I and everyone else heard in Country Day's elegant state of the art Performing Arts Center was an eloquent and impassioned discourse on the importance of "getting back to basics."
I encountered Vance walking the halls of his high school alma mater, holding his mother's hand, not in the way a child does, but as a man does, gently and confidently leading her along the hallowed halls of what had become professional and personal memory lane. The irony was not lost on anyone who witnessed that poignant moment.
Vance, who has worked with such industry giants as James Earl Jones, Denzel Washington, and Whitney Houston, turned and caught sight of me as we approached our favorite English teacher, Mrs. Hannett's classroom. With a booming and familiar laugh he opened his arms; we embraced and reminisced briefly about the years we spent at one of the country's most prestigious academic institutions.
Vance worked through the exhaustion of eight weekly Broadway performances, then traveled to Detroit from New York where I had spoken with him a few days earlier about his role in the Broadway production of the hit play, Lucky Guy.
Having seen Vance perform in so many big and small screen hits, including Hamburger Hill, The Preacher's Wife, etc., I joked that he owed me $1,350. When he asked why, I admitted that I had become such a fan of what had become television gold, "Law and Order," and his role of Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver, that I downloaded countless hours of the show from Netflix and exceeded my Wi-Fi card limit by 135 megabytes. "We really got you, didn't we Roz," he shot back with a smile, and having gotten that off my chest, we immersed ourselves in the interview.
When you consider your entire body of work, which of your performances comes to mind?
It would have to be Fences and Hamburger Hill, because that was my first (hit movie), along with The Preacher's Wife and the show I'm doing now, Lucky Guy. I was blessed to get two wonderful theatrical productions on Broadway, Fences and Six Degrees of Separation, which I ran in for over a year in both of them but to get a third go-round typically just doesn't happen. Imagine working with George C. Wolfe coupled with getting 14 actors together in such a complex play, and doing it without the late playwright Nora Ephron is nothing short of a tour de force.
How do you decide on what roles you want to go after?
I look for role's that challenge me, andI consider whether it is something that I and my family will be proud of? Will my family be proud to watch the work and will it challenge me. In this case [The Lucky Guy] it was the opportunity to work with Nora Ephron and Tom Hanks and George C. Wolfe; if the three of them are involved, I am in it. George is a taskmaster, and we are all exhausted, but exhilarated. He is relentless because his vision is so big.
If you had not become an actor, what would you have done instead?
Probably work at General Motors in some sort of business development capacity. I worked summers there in the World HQ and ... the worldwide head of purchasing for GM, Robert Stone, and his boss took me under their wing. They were about to send me to business school when I found theater. In fact, they offered me a job that summer which I turned down because I was going to participate in an acting workshop. Then I told my parents what I had done. ... Years later that same head of purchasing, and his wife, came all the way from Switzerland and saw me on stage in Fences. ... Later he and I wept backstage because he had essentially saved me that summer ... it was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
What are you proudest of in your career?
My body of work. My kids can watch it and feel good about it. ... People just embrace me and my wife [Angela Bassett] for our body and of work, and we haven't compromised who we are. That means that we save our money and we have to wait sometimes. ... I haven't been on Broadway in 20 years, and then this came along at the right time when my children are older, they are seven now, and they are old enough that I can be away from them for a time. ... when they were younger I couldn't commit to six months of being in New York. I am most proud of the way we have crafted our careers and our lives.
Lucky Guy dramatizes the story of tabloid columnist Mike McAlary's meteoric rise, fall and rise again, ending with his coverage of the Abner Louima case for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, shortly before his untimely death on Christmas Day, 1998.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 17:11
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Steve Holsey
Brad Paisley, country superstar, has sure stirred up a hornet’s nest with his new song, “Accidental Racist,” featuring a guest performance by, surprisingly, rap superstar (and actor) LL Cool. Talk about two very different genres! That’s a good thing, though. And by the way, they are friends.
In case you haven’t heard the song, it is about a White man and a Black man sharing views on one of our country’s most delicate subjects.
Paisley sings words like, “I’m just a White man comin’ to you from the southland, tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be. I’m proud of where I’m from, but not everything we’ve done, and it ain’t like you and me can rewrite history.
“Our generation didn’t start this nation. We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday...I try to put myself in your shoes, and that’s a good place to begin. But it ain’t like I can walk a mile in someone else’s skin.”
LL raps in response, “Now my chains are gold, but I’m still misunderstood. I wasn’t there when Sherman’s March turned the South into firewood. Feel like a newfangled Django, dodgin’ invisible white hoods. So when I see that white cowboy hat, I’m thinkin’ it’s not good. I guess we’re both guilty of judgin’ the cover, not the book. I’d love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air.”
And on it goes and, yes, sometimes what is said is likely to make many (perhaps most) people uncomfortable. But ultimately, the song is about two people from different backgrounds communicating with honesty.
All of this made me think of something one of the all-time favorite philosophic writers, the late Sydney J. Harris, once expressed in one of his syndicated columns, “Every race has much to be proud of and much to be ashamed of.”
While many may view “Accidental Racist” as being overly simplistic, the fact remains that bitterness only hurts the person feeling that way. It’s toxic.
The past has a great effect on the present, and ignoring seldom makes anything go away. But life is too short to wallow in bitterness. As LL Cool J put it during an interview last week, “Don’t be bitter, be better.”
Neither artist regrets having recorded the song — and they shouldn’t because it is what they were feeling.
USHER really embarrassed himself recently on national TV when he said “Nashville is a state.” But that is not the likable star’s first nationally televised blunder.
A while back he performed McFadden & Whitehead’s No. 1 hit from 1979, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,” on a television special.
One line goes, “We’re gonna get ourselves together, we’re gonna polish up our act.”
But Usher sang, “...We’re gonna polish up our back”! And to make it worse, he was motioning as though he was rubbing his back with a towel! Exactly how does one “polish up their back”?!
Andre 3000 (of OutKast) and Beyoncé have recorded a song together, a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” to be featured in a movie, a new version of “The Great Gatsby,” scheduled for May release.
IT SEEMS strange — and proves how time flies — that there are now “oldies but goodies” shows featuring five or more rap stars who peaked “back in the day.” An example is the show coming to the Fox Theatre next month, featuring Big Daddy Kane, the Sugarhill Gang, MC Lyte, Whodini, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick and Rob Base.
And speaking of rap, the group De La Soul (remember “Me, Myself and I” from 1989?) is celebrating their 25th anniversary. That includes “Get Away,” their first new album in nearly a decade.
Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Sanaa Lathan and Harold Perrineau were among the stars of “The Best Man,” a 1999 film. Now in pre-production is a sequel, “The Best Man Holiday.” The four actors and two actresses will reprise their roles.
Despite his denials, there is little doubt that Ray J’s new song, “I Hit It First,” is a rather crude dig at Kanye West with regard to Kim Kardashian, who Ray J used to go with. Ray J and Kardashian also made a show-everything sex video.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW...that rock icon Jimi Hendrix, early in his career, played guitar in the Isley Brothers’ back-up band. The band was called the I.B. Specials.
MEMORIES: “More Love” (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles), “Silky Soul” (Maze featuring Frankie Beverly), “Tossin’ and Turnin’” (Bobby Lewis), “Lovin’ Is Really My Game” (Brainstorm), “It Seems to Hang On” (Ashford & Simpson), “Ain’t That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)” (Luther Ingram), “M’Lady” (Sly & the Family Stone), “I Am Love” (Jennifer Holliday), “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (Aretha Franklin and George Michael), “After the Love Has Gone” (Earth, Wind & Fire).
BLESSINGS to Mary Grace Wilbert, Sheila Grant, Ronald A. Pride, Duane Parham, Craig Monroe, Huel Perkins, Mildred Gaddis, Robert McTyre, Carmela McTyre, Maceo Hampton, Phoebe Hampton and Jill-Day Foley.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Rickey Minor: “Your biggest adjustment may be knowing when something has run its course. A better way to look at it is to recognize that it’s time to get off one train and jump onto a new one.”
Let the music play!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 07:51
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