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.
Tigers’ Opening Day
Cheer for the Tigers as they take on the New York Yankees
Redford Branch Library
10 am-12:30 pm
Now through April 9, Redford Branch Library, sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation. This six-week workshop is intended to educate and provide skills and toolds for people living with Type-2 diabetes. For more information, call (800) 482-1455
‘A Thousand Circlets’ (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Detroit Repertory Theatre
Theroun D’arcy Patterson’s play will make its Midwest premiere this Thursday. The story tells the tale of a highly regarded African-american architect who is at the height of his career wihen he discovers he has alzheimer’s. You don’t want to miss this poignantly moving performance. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit detroitreptheatre.com
For more information call the theater directly (734) 688-8480
The acclaimed jazz artist will be in concert one night only for a magical experience of smooth sounds and electrifying rhythms.
Visit olympiaentertainment.com or ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets.
After a highly successful bout on Broadway, legendary boxer, Mike Tyson announced today that he will take his acclaimed one-man show, "MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH," on a national tour with a limited one-night performance at Detroit's Fox Theatre on Saturday, April 6 at 8 p.m. Helmed by renowned director Spike Lee and producer James L. Nederlander, the 10-week tour will visit over 36 cities.
The Village Theater at Cherry Hill
Doors open at 7:30 pm. Show starts at 8 pm.
For more information, visit tonylucca.com or call the theater at (734) 394-5300
Detroit native and finalist from NBC’s mega-hit show “The Voice” will be in concert singing songs for all ages.
All-Star Comedy Festival
Detroit Opera House
Come and be entertained by this laugh out loud, funfest featuring comedic acts like Sheryl Underwood, Earthquake and John Witherspoon.
For more information, visit ticketmaster.com
Delta Sigma Theta Inc.,: Celebrating a Century of Sisterhood Scholarship and Service Exhibit
Charles H. Wright Museum
9 am-5 pm
The first Saturday of April marks the beginning of a scheduled yearlong exhibit of Delta Sigma Theta memories and articles.
For more information, visit thewright.org
“Real Women Like Us—Redefining Our Beauty Dinner"
Silver Gardens Event Center
4 pm-8 pm
General Admission: $40
Positive S.I.S.T.E.R.S. presents an event with a theme of “Unleashing Your Soul’s Essence.” Come be a part of an afternoon of empowerment, live jazz and local vendors.
For more information, visit positivesisters.com or call Kimle Nailer at (313) 402-4887
Last Updated on Friday, 05 April 2013 01:55
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Steve Holsey
It happens every now then. A television show so hot that fans wait with bated breath for it to air each week. The next day it is a major topic of discussion in offices, in beauty salons, on the Internet, etc. And, of course, the show’s ratings are in the stratosphere.
Such is the case with “Scandal,” the political thriller series that made its debut on April 5, 2012.
The show was created by Chicago-born Shonda Rhimes.
The screenwriter, director and producer is not a newcomer to the world of hit TV shows. She is also responsible for the creation of “Grey’s Anatomy” which has been a ratings bonanza since early 2005. And then there is the spin-off, “Private Practice.”
In “Scandal,” set in Washington, D.C., Kerry Washington portrays Olivia Pope, who had been a White House communications director for the president of the United States (Fitzgerald Grant, portrayed by Tony Goldwyn).
But later she formed her own crisis management firm called Olivia Pope and Associates.
Pope and her staff are charged with protecting the public images of people in high places, and that includes the White House. In other words, making sure their “secrets” are kept secret, and it all gets complicated, not to mention “juicy.” Particularly tantalizing is Pope’s romantic relationship with the president.
Rhimes, daughter of a college professor and a university administrator, went to Dartmouth College where she earned a bachelor’s degree. It was in college that she began writing in earnest, as well as directing plays and acting in them as well.
Always a gifted storyteller, Rhimes eventually relocated to Los Angeles where she studied screenwriting at the University of Southern California (USC), by now completely sure of what her life’s work would be. She was so proficient and imaginative that, in addition to earning a Master of Fine Arts, she won the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship Award.
But after graduation, for Rhimes it was tough going, because at any given time there is an abundance of hungry scriptwriters and directors in Hollywood. But throwing in the towel was never an option.
The directorial debut of Shonda Rhimes took place in 1998, in the form of a short film starring Jeffrey Wright and Jada Pinkett-Smith titled “Blossoms and Veils.”
Rhimes’ biggest break up this point was receiving an assignment to write the script for “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” the HBO movie about the legendary, beautiful 1950s film star (“Carmen Jones,” “Island in the Sun,” “Porgy and Bess”). In the role of Dandridge was the equally talented, famous and lovely Halle Berry.
“Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” was a ratings success and Berry received several awards.
Fast forward to the mid-2000s at which time Shonda Rhimes was head writer and executive producer of the show of her creation, “Grey’s Anatomy,” the setting being Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, in Seattle, Washington.
It, of course, delves into the intricacies of the staff’s personal relationships.
Rhimes quipped, “I can feel it when there’s too much medical and not enough personal, and that’s the most important balance to keep. We’ve done episodes where there is a lot of personal and not very much medical. Works just fine. But when the medical sort of overtakes the personal, the show doesn’t feel like the show.”
Regarding “Grey’s Anatomy” and, of course, “Scandal,” it is noteworthy and representative of progress being made in certain areas in that ethnicity is not a factor on any level. People just like the shows, period.
Rhimes commented, “It’s incredibly encouraging that our viewers haven’t gotten hung up on the race thing.”
This year, “Scandal” received an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Drama Series category, and Kerry Washington earned a Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series award at the same ceremony. Rhimes received an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series.
“Scandal” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 10:03
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Steve Holsey
If you have heard Beyoncé’s new release, “Bow Down/I Been On,” you have probably joined the multitudes who are asking, “What’s up with this?”
The song can have so many meanings. Is it to address the women who do not like her? Some believe that is why she keeps repeating the shocking words, “Bow down, bitches!”
This seems especially strange coming from a woman who is known to be a nice person and who is so much into empowering women, such as hiring all-female bands.
Maybe the whole point is just for “Sasha Fierce” (Beyoncé’s aggressive alter ego) to get people talking. If so, mission accomplished.
If the song is indeed a matter of the beautiful megastar firing back at her female critics, it wouldn’t be the first time. On “So Good,” a song featured on the Destiny’s Child album “Writings on the Wall,” she sang forcefully, “I know you don’t like me, you made that really clear. You’re always talking about me from what I hear. I know you hate it, but I’m doin’ so good.”
D.L. HUGHLEY proved very quickly that although he is a great comedian and a commendable actor, he is certainly not a dancer. In the season opening of “Dancing With The Stars,” Hughley, partnered with the outstanding Cheryl Burke, was stiff and awkward, much like Wendy Williams was a few seasons back.
Situations such of these make you wonder why people with extremely limited dance skills would be a part of a dance competition show — on national television.
But, of course, no one could ever be as bad as rap star Master P. That was almost unbelievable!
PRINCE, who is still amazing at age 54, recently appeared in concert in Austin, Texas, and his show was 2 hours and 40 minutes long!
That is very unusual and generous, but I once went to a Funkadelic-Parliament concert at Masonic Auditorium (when “One Nation Under a Groove” was hot) that started a 8 p.m. and was still going strong when I left at midnight. Those who remained (about a fourth of the original audience) seemed to be in a P-Funk trance.
Prince joked after the second of a half-dozen encores, “Don’t make me hurt you! You know how many hits I have?” Then he added playfully, “I feel like a servant to you.”
THE INTRUDERS are a group I always liked and felt should have received more attention, although they had a lot of hits from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.
The thing that intrigued me most then and now is the voice of lead singer Sam Brown (“Little Sonny”). It was very different and even sounded slightly off-key, but in a charming way.
Fans of the Intruders, who hailed from Philadelphia, should make it their business to acquire the double CD titled “The Intruders: Philly Golden Classics.” Among the 30 tracks are “Cowboys to Girls,” “I’ll Always Love My Mama,” “Together” and three of my favorites, “Slow Drag,” “I Wanna Know Your Name” and “(Love Is Like A) Baseball Fame.”
GIVE RIHANNA credit for a creating, or at least agreeing to, something different. She recently took a group of 256 journalists and fans on a fast-paced world trip on a Boeing 777 — seven concerts in seven days in seven cities around the world, namely Mexico City, Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, London and New York.
Trouble is, the journalists complained that they were not granted access to the star.
Music icon Chaka Khan is celebrating 40 years in show business as well as her 60th birthday. (She was born March 23, 1953.) Those two things landed her on the cover of Billboard magazine.
Brian McKnight took a real public and media lashing for that blatant, over-the-top, completely out of character sex song he recorded last year, “If You’re Ready to Learn.” Longtime fans were very offended. His new album, “More Than Words,” is a return to what made him famous — and respected.
Tina Turner, who has mostly been under the radar in recent years, is working on a new CD. (She was on the cover of the German edition of Vogue magazine, at the age of 74!)
Meanwhile, the much younger Ashanti is planning her re-entry into the recording business, but now wiser and more focused, having learned from experiences and mistakes. I always felt that she shot to fame too quickly.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW...that when “Johnny’s Greatest Hits” by Johnny Mathis was released in 1958, it was the very first album with the words “greatest hits” in the title. Today, of course, that is standard.
MEMORIES: “You Ought To Be With Me” (Al Green), “The Jam” (Graham Central Station), “Easy Lover” (Philip Bailey with Phil Collins), “Funkin’ For Jamaica (N.Y.)” (Tom Browne), “Turn Back the Hands of Time” (Tyrone Davis), “Show and Tell” (Al Wilson), “Remember What I Told You to Forget” (Tavares), “Practice What You Preach” (Barry White), “I Gotcha” (Joe Tex), “I’ll Make Love to You” (Boyz II Men).
BLESSINGS to: Henry Fambrough, Karen Dumas, Myron H. Wahls, Jr., Charlene Uresy, Tony Stevenson, Ronnie McNeir, Kimmie Horne, Carolyn Crawford, Michael Brock and Esther V. Smith.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Bette Midler: “Cherish what makes you unique because you’re really a yawn without it.”
Let the music play!
Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 18:52
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins, Entertainment Editor
No longer Snoop D-O-Double G, Snoop Lion is gearing up to release his twelfth studio album in May entitled “Reincarnated”. In case you missed it, after a “pilgrimage” to Jamaica, Snoop found spiritual enlightenment, converted to Rastafarianism and changed his name to Snoop Lion. His new, reggae sound is all about peace and love, not smoking and women. Fans can look forward to tracks featuring Chris Brown, Drake and Rita Ora.
In an interview with Q Magazine, Snoop explains his transformation, acknowledging that his music has an effect on people especially young people. He says it was time for him to grow up.
When you reach the pinnacle, you finally wake up, put aside childish ways and want to do something positive. You can affect people. You have kids and you understand what life is about. At 40 most men decide to live wild and crazy because they’ve been so conservative all along. Me, I’ve been living wild my whole life!
[The songs on my new album] will cross me over to a real musical icon. It’s real important to me. You don’t do it for the accolades but when you’ve been in it for so long and you’ve been great, you start to look for things to push you forward.
This socially conscious Snoop is a refreshing contrast to some of the violent and misogynistic music out today. He recently released a new video featuring his 13-year-old daughter Cori B. and Drake has clips from the Trayvon Martin case, Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre and the Aurora movie theater shooting. In the “No Guns Allowed” video, Snoop takes a stand against gun violence. He raps:
We don’t want to see no more innocent blood shed. Me don’t want for see no more youth dead.
Snoop’s change is not completely selfless. He has set his sights on a new goal: being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He says:
I wanna go to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. And the only way I can do that is if I do 25 years of great music non-stop. So I’ve got two more years to go. That’s my goal.” He went to explain why he has gone for such a drastic change in his career, insisting that he didn’t get bored of his rap persona, but just wanted to mix things up.
“It’s like Michael Jordan. He won three basketball championships and decided to take a year off to play baseball ‘cos he loved it. He struck out terrible and people were, Mike, you gotta put that 23 [jersey] back on! And he put that motherf–king number 23 back on and won three more championships in a row. So, to me? I’m at that stage where I won so many championships in rap that I wanna see if I can win a championship in reggae. And if it don’t work out, I could always go grab my jersey, put it back on. Go back to the rap world.
Check out the “No Guns Allowed” video below. What do you think of the new Reggae Snoop?
Q Magazine contributed to this story
Follow Amber L. Bogins on Twitter @AmberLaShaii
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:51
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Yvelette Stines
There are times in life when our gifts are presented to us. If we pay attention and stay aligned, there is no turning back. For Luke Song his path led him to creating unforgettable hats. His entrepreneurial journey started as a young boy when he helped his mother with the family business. “I grew up working on the weekends at the boutique. It was then that I learned the ins and outs of the business,” he said. Song didn’t have an interest in being an entrepreneur until a turning point in his life. He was initially studying biochemistry and during his last semester changed his major to fine arts.
Focusing on painting and sculpture led him to Paris. Exploring the artistic side of life, finances led him back home to Michigan. It was the return to his roots where he found his calling. “I came back in 1996 and started making hats. People loved what I created so I continued,” he says. His mom allowed him to sell his hats in the store and by 1997 his hats were creating a lot of buzz. With much encouragement from clients and his eclectic hats, Song was nationwide by 1999.
His gallery and store, Mr. Song Millinery, located in Southfield, is a popular stop for hat enthusiasts and Song is happy to serve the city. Stumbling upon the hat business, Song is grateful that he was led to his calling. “It is very exciting to create hats, it is more exciting than anything I’ve ever done,” he says. He also loves his customers who he considers his extended family. “The core of my customers and my number one supporters are church-goers,” he says. Appreciating that his “customers take the biggest risks in fashion and are dressed to the best from head to toe,” Song knows that he has to keep his hat designs both highly creative and cutting edge. When it comes to designing hats Song’s inspiration comes from a limitless vision. “I don’t limit myself. I get inspiration from anywhere. I don’t necessarily like shopping, but I walk into stores to get ideas,” he says. From everywhere to Ikea to a hardware store, Song can find his next design just about anywhere. “There are times where I can see certain materials formed into a hat,” he says. The average eye wouldn’t see where his creative genius lies. His hats are made with untraditional materials such as window screens and chicken wire.
Due to his creativity and working outside of trends, Song has created a following within Michigan and nationwide. His business supplies hats for the Derby fans, gospel artists, Sony Pictures, and one of his designs appears on Damon Wayans’ book, “Red Hats.” His hats have also appeared in films such as “Grown Ups” and “Sparkle” among many others. We can never forget the historical inaugural hat that was worn by Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. Having a quick turnaround of two days to make the headpiece, Song created three hats for Franklin, so she would have an option. He was being diligent and giving quality customer service to a loyal client to make her happy, Song didn’t expect the type of attention that the hat would receive. He is very humbled by his success and has much gratitude for Detroit.
“The city has made me who I am. I’ve been here for 26 years and it has been a long journey. Although we’ve moved to Southfield, we are here to stay,” he says.
As a business owner who has sustained for decades, Song understands the art of steady progress.
“We’ve carefully expanded. The economy is on its way back and I would like to open a southern branch of Mr. Song, in the Dallas or Houston area,” he says.
Song is happy about his chosen path, as he reflects back to his journey and decision regarding his next steps. In any decision he makes, his formula is simple and he encourages others to do the same.
“Follow your heart,” he advises.
There have been many decisions where his heart has led him to a successful outcome.
“I encourage everyone to do what you love. I work 18 hours a day and I love it. Enjoying what I do leads to more potential. I know people feel my passion and energy that I put in the business.”
Luke Song is very grateful for his opportunities and he embraces them fully.
“God gives us all talent and if we don’t use it, it is like committing a sin,” he said. MC
Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 18:50
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