Last fall Orlando Bloom made his Broadway debut playing opposite two-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad in “Romeo and Juliet”. … Continue reading →
We are all familiar with the story of Macbeth, the Scottish warlord who would become king partly on the count … Continue reading →
Holocaust survivor, sniper, sex therapist, author, mother of two, widow, grandmother of four all packed in 5-foot-4-inch frame, can anyone … Continue reading →
I always knew that Broadway was haunted. Apparitions of playwrights, producers, actors and famous characters skulk around theaters and are … Continue reading →
A Time to Kill has been captivating audiences for over 20 years. The novel, which eventually became a best-seller, was … Continue reading →
Holy revival Batman! There is a nightly resurrection going on every night at The Lyceum Theatre. In an era when … Continue reading →
Spring is near and if you weren’t already itching to get out of the house, let F.A.M.E NYC give you another reason. Daniel Radcliffe is best known for conjuring magic on the big screen, but he has also been known to create some special moments on stage as well. This spring Radcliffe is coming back to Broadway in THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAN. And we want to give someone a pair of tickets to see Radcliffe in action. All you have to do is riddle us this?
What school did Harry Potter attend?
Leave your answer in the Comment Box below for a chance to win.
We will choose the winner on St. Patrick’s Day at 5 p.m. May the luck of the Irish be with you!
Robert Frost once wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” But how many of you would jump at the chance to peer past the fence and find out what your neighbors are really like?
F.A.M.E NYC would like to give one lucky FAMER and a guest the opportunity to find out by extending two passes to the dress rehearsal of “THE REALISTIC JONESES” on March 12 at 8 pm. Written by Will Eno and directed by Sam Gold, “The Realistic Joneses” stars Academy Award nominee Toni Collette, Golden Globe winner Michael C. Hall, Tony Award winner Tracy Letts and Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei.
To enter to win the passes for this exclusive event, all you need to do is answer this question:
What is the name of the film in which Marisa Tomei gave her Oscar winning performance?
The winner will be announced on February 25 at 5 pm. Despite the mounds of ice littering our sidewalks, spring is coming! And on Broadway Spring 2014 is shaping up to be one helluva season. Here’s your chance to become a Broadway insider. Enter this contest!
Good luck FAMERS!
We are one month into 2014 and despite the snow and frigid temperatures; NYC is still in a celebratory mood. The Super Bowl on Sunday… Chinese New Year…Fashion Week around the corner…new shows opening on Broadway, it may be winter, but The Big Apple is hotter than ever. F.A.M.E NYC has remained in a festive mood as well. So much so, that we would like to show our appreciation by offering one FAMER tickets to see the 2013 production of “Romeo and Juliet” starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad in movie theaters. During its final week of performances the play about the world’s most famous star-crossed lovers was filmed and will be broadcast in theaters nationwide from February 13 – 19 as a part of BroadwayHD, www.broadwayhd.com.
We will pick a name from one of the FAMERS who have commented to one of our contests last year. The winner will be announced on Monday.
THANK YOU FAMERS! It’s been a pleasure bringing you the NYC I get to see. The journey is still continuing and spreading in new directions. I hope you will all take the twists and curves with me.
F.A.M.E NYC Editor and Founder
When producers Kenny “Dope” Gonzales and Louie Vega formed Masters at Work in 1990, they proceeded to create a catalog that contains some of house music’s most recognizable classics. Such is the case when two great creative minds come together to collaborate. It seemed that from the time Alvin Ailey hit the streets of The Big Apple in 1954, he and Duke Ellington’s paths were destined to meet. Both he and Ellington were born in different areas of the country but had come to New York City to pursue their art, although by the time young Ailey had arrived, Ellington had already cemented his legacy as a jazz virtuoso. However, it didn’t take long for Ailey to begin to carve a name for himself in the world of dance. With pieces like “Revelations” and “Blues Suite”, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which was formed in 1958, quickly became a sensation in the modern dance scene. Like Ellington, Ailey was known for a unique style infusing ballet, Horton, jazz and African dance techniques. Also like Ellington, Ailey lifted his art above the grouping of race which allowed his work to be recognized as an American art form the world over.
In 1970, Alvin Ailey and Duke Ellington’s paths finally met. American Ballet Theater commissioned Ailey to create “The River”. The ballet was the first collaboration between Alvin Ailey and Duke Ellington. Ailey would again refer to Ellington’s music when he created “Night Creature” in 1974 and “Pas de Duke” in 1976. For the 2013 season, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater paid homage to these late geniuses and their collaborations by premiering new productions of “The River” and “Pas de Duke” at the New York City Center. Along with the first season’s performance of “Night Creature” and Ailey’s most seminal work, “Revelations”, the debut of these works was an evening of remembrance, revelry and appreciation for beauty, physicality and style in motion.
AAADT weaves athleticism and artistry so seamlessly that it takes the medium of dance to another level. Visually stunning and always breathtaking to behold, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater never fail to provide its audience with the most soul-stirring shows they will ever see. It is where perfection and performance meet. This sentiment simply radiates through “The River”, a work that utilizes the entire company and is as moving, fierce and romantic as its namesake. With the accompaniment of Duke Ellington’s score driving this piece forward, the love Ailey had for dance is truly exhibited. The way in which he carefully blended classical ballet elements together with modern techniques is nothing short of masterful. “The River” is energetic; it rolls and sweeps the audience in its majesty. It is a living example of the brilliance of these two men.
“Pas de Duke” was first created for Ailey’s muse Judith Jamison and ballet superstar Mikhail Baryshnikov. Black and white, modern versus ballet, Eve and Adam, “Pas de Duke” is witty, flirtatious, sophisticated and utterly charming. Ailey must of thought of the song “Anything You Can Do” when he choreographed this piece.
As one of the children of the night, I have always had a fondness for those who skulk down sidewalks, saunter into nightclubs and compete with colored spotlights for the glory of a night filled with sweat and velocity. On many occasions, I have been one of them creating new realities on the dance floor. Ellington said, “Night creatures, unlike stars, do not come out at night, they come on.” I would say they come out to be alive, alive in a way they can’t be when the sun is shining. Alvin Ailey’s “Night Creature” is overflowing with life. The company slinks, leaps and struts with authority. It defines the sumptuous nightlife that New York City is known for.
There can be no better end to an evening with AAADT than “Revelations”. It is the work that Alvin Ailey is most known for and definitely on the top my list. Seeing Alvin Ailey’s choreography paired with Duke Ellington’s music gave me a few revelations of my own. There is no debate why the majority of their works are regarded as masterpieces. I would liken the Ailey-Ellington collaborations to an artistic atom bomb – an explosion of epic scale whose far reaching effects have spanned over generations.
Photos: Paul Kolnik, Christopher Duggan, Gert Krautbauer
I didn’t realized how rare it was to witness the emergence of a masterpiece before December 7, 2013. “A Love Supreme”, “A Raisin in the Sun”, Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations”, often times the works I regard as masterpieces were created before I was born, but the thing about a masterpiece is you know one when you see one. It rocks your head back and socks you directly in the breadbasket. After seeing Camille A. Brown’s “Mr. Tol E. Rance” my head has been popped up Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots style.
Like “Revelations”, “Mr. Tol E RAncE” was born from choreographer Camille A. Brown’s personal experiences. Frustrated with the game many artists must master in order gain recognition or make a living, Ms. Brown started on a journey that culminated in this powerful, introspective piece. Through exploring her own emotions, Ms. Brown was also influenced by Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled”, Mel Watkins’ “On the Real Side” and the idea of the modern day minstrel. Utilizing sketch comedy, live music and animation, “Mr. Tol E RAncE” presents a mirror to the audience allowing them to examine the influence that stereotypes have had on black culture and art. The stereotype is the mask the artist wears to become successful, but what happens when one becomes imprisoned by it?
Hattie McDaniel was once quoted as saying she would rather make $700 a week playing a maid than make $7 a week being one. This sentiment speaks to the first act of the production. Beginning with photographs and videos of comedic actors and shows, the dance troupe then provides a blistering, rhythmic history lesson, sometimes acting out the gestures of famous black characters. An episode of “The Twilight Zone” could best describe act two. The particular one that comes to mind is titled “The Masks.” Family members gather at the home of a wealthy family member whose dying. He demands the members to where masks he selected all night in order to obtain their inheritance. They comply and when they are able to remove the mask, they realize that their face has contorted into the same shape as their mask. As much as the first act reveals how stereotypes were used as a means of paving a way, the second act shows how stereotypes have become the main contributor to black culture and the road that was paved has lead black entertainers to a realm where minstrelsy is not only perpetuated but expected.
Mixing nostalgia with bitter truths, “Mr. Tol E RAncE” can brutal on the eyes and soul. The comedy and jiving lower our guards and lure us in, then without warning the rug is snatched from under your feet. Suddenly, you realize the role you play in the perpetuation of today’s stereotypes. As much as black entertainers wear a mask, we assist and often times insist on them wearing it. Afterall, we are the ones that subscribe and purchase what these entertainers are peddling. The penultimate section of act two contains two riveting solos by Waldean Nelson and Camille A. Brown, each struggling to break away from their masks. The work ends with a dialogue between the dancers and the audience. Explosive and extremely emotive this work barrels through the consciousness like a bullet shattering through panels of glass. If works of art were required to be seen, this would be one of them. It is the most telling piece of edutainment I have seen in a long time. In short I could sum up “Mr. Tol E RAncE” in three syllables, tour de force.
Camille A. Brown & Dancers performed “Mr. Tol E RAncE” at Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts on December 6 and 7. Some may always think of December 7 as a day that will live in infamy. I will view it as a day of awakening. There is no way you can sit down to view “Mr. Tol E RAncE” and walk out the same. When this work is performed again I urge everyone who reads F.A.M.E NYC to see this seminal dance piece and witness this masterpiece with your own eyes, mind and spirit.
Photos: Christopher, Grant Halverson
When I first heard the announcement of Nelson Mandela’s death I was shocked. I felt my heart chambers deflate. Of course I knew he was ill, but what I’ve learned from watching elderly family members battle sickness and slowly fade over to the other side is that you’re never really ready when the news comes. At first I tried to face this news with a celebratory attitude. Mandela was 95-years-old. He had lived several lives in the almost century his soul was here on Earth. He changed the lives and outlooks of many worldwide. If anyone deserved rest, it was him. As a former Baptist, I was trained not to mourn death but to celebrate it. We sing. We shout. “Our beloved is going home to be with our Heavenly Father and those who have gone before him. He will always be with us –even until the end of time.” That is what my head reasoned. It told me to clap my hands as I watched South Africans gather in front of Mandela’s home and sing, “Nelson Mandela ha hona ya tshwanang le ena.” But my heart wouldn’t concur. Tears fell over tears so fast that I couldn’t contain them. I cried as if a member of my family had passed, although it really doesn’t matter that we didn’t share chromosomes…one of my family members did pass.
For anyone who craves freedom and justice for everyone, Madiba was our father. I grew up watching the Black Liberation and African National Congress flags fly in my backyard. My father told me about the struggles of the ANC and Nelson Mandela, who was still serving his prison sentence. He told me how apartheid mirrored Jim Crow and how we must show our support, even if all we could do was show up at a rally to put pressure on the U.S. government and corporations to divest from South Africa. It was Madiba’s imprisonment and incidents like Yusef Hawkins’ murder here in New York that forced me to write manifestos and place them on my high school bulletin board in an effort to create awareness among my classmates. From prison Madiba’s spirit and the spirits of other freedom fighters led me to attend protests and marches against injustice wherever it showed its smug, intolerant face.
Madiba has brought me to tears before. My parents and I had tears in our eyes as we watched him walk out of prison in 1990. He was so vibrant; the feeling resonated through the television screen. Within months he was in New York and we went to see him. It didn’t matter that we were just faces and voices in the crowd, we were there. Madiba brought me to tears when he was elected president of South Africa and he brought me to tears when he took the oath of office.
Today I realized why I had to cry when I heard the news of Mandela’s passing. It brought me back to the day I realized my family, which at one point was too large to count, was shrinking. All the individuals who strive to simply make the world a better place for all its citizens were leaving. “Our elders are transitioning…” I thought as I cried. “Who would take their place? Has the last few decades prepared anyone to take their place?” These answers will only come in time.
Social Media has provided a platform for anyone with brainwaves and internet access to comment about the life of Nelson Mandela, positive or negative. But I will remember Madiba as a patriarch and the “troublemaker” that his name proclaimed him to be. I will remember his unyielding spirit. I will remember how he ascended above the lower emotions of hate and hostility to work towards a greater South Africa. To me he was Gandhi, Spartacus and FDR rolled into one towering figure with a smile that beguiled the heart of anyone who saw it.
Madiba, I never met you in life, so I will take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for giving the world you. Thank you for being the type of troublemaker who wouldn’t hesitate to shake up and change an unjust system. Thank you for showing us what one person can do when they are armed with devotion, discipline and forgiveness. Thank you showing us that even through our human frailties we can and should always allow our God-given light to shine. And to the family of Nelson Mandela, thank you for allowing us to share him with all of you.
Nelson Mandela there is no one like you. There will never be another like you. History and the world could never forget you. Go and take your place among the ancestors.
Actress Meagan Good has displayed her beauty and talent in numerous films including Deliver Us from Eva, Stomp the Yard and Think Like a Man. Recently she, along with other actors such as Cuba Gooding Jr., Patricia Heaton and Christopher Gorham and pastors such as Craig Groeschel , Erwin McManus , Jonathan Falwell and Miles McPherson, has participated in the latest audio production of the bible. Directed by actress and director Chip Hurd (who also directed the 2006 audio adaptation) NIV Live: A Bible Experience features cinematic 3D enhanced sound and a musical score courtesy of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. When asked about her involvement with NIV Live, Meagan responded, “As a little girl I’d known Chip and she’s just an incredible person and incredible mentor. As this project came about she asked me if I would like to be a part of it and I was like of course I would.”
The bible is one of the most read works in the human history with several adaptations published. The creative team behind NIV Live: A Bible Experience also produced the first audio version of the bible in 2006. The passages Meagan and the other cast members read were assigned to them. In this version she portrays Eve, mother of all mankind, but as for her personal favorite passage the 32-year-old actress stated, “My personal favorite is always going to be Proverbs 31 because that is who I aspire to be every day. I put my best foot forward to try to be that woman.” NIV Live: A Bible Experience can be purchased as a 79-disc CD set with a bonus DVD featuring the making of NIV Live, a downloadable digital version with multi-platform access or a mobile app with price points ranging from $19.99 to $62.50. If you want to see and hear Meagan, you won’t have to wait long; she is co-starring in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is set to be released on December 18. In 2014, she will be reprising the role of Mya in Think Like a Man Too. And yes FAMERS, I tried to get some scoop for you, but all Meagan would say was, “I will say…that someone gets married. That’s all I can say or else Will Packer [producer of the Think Like a Man films] will have my head on a platter.” And none of us wants that.
For those of you that are doing your Black Friday shopping online this evening, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is offering 40% off select performances at New York City Center. The heat that emanates from the stage of any AAADT performance is surely hot enough to thaw a frigid night and is a cool alternative to the traditional holiday outings.
To order visit, http://www.nycitycenter.org/tickets/productionNew.aspx?performanceNumber=7466 and enter code ALYFRI.
Need an extra incentive to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, well I’ve got one. Your purchase guarantees you a “ticket-to-dance.” “Ticket to Dance” offers a complimentary Ailey Extension class with a ticket stub from any Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater or Ailey II performance nationwide. There are myriad techniques to choose from, including Horton, Ballet, Salsa as well as Yoga. Now that is a gift that keeps giving.
Photo: Andrew Eccles
Pablo Picasso once stated, “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” By using color, line and form, abstract artists, like Picasso, create works that are considered free from traditional visual references. The deconstruction of the customary form allows the viewer to interpret the art however they desire. This fall, the timeless words of Shakespeare are receiving an abstract spin courtesy of director Jack O’Brien. Macbeth, starring Ethan Hawke, is playing at Lincoln Center Theater until January 12. Steeped in colors of black, blood red and white, this production explores the adverse realities that plagued Macbeth’s mind thrusting the audience into the eye of a nightmare. But do not believe me; see the faces of Macbeth for yourself!
To learn more about Macbeth at Lincoln Center Theater please visit the following sites:
It’s F.A.M.E NYC Magazine’s Anniversary!!! And as a thank you to all my FAMERS, I would like to extend the opportunity to win two tickets to see BECOMING DR. RUTH!
To enter, all you have to do is leave this comment: “I LOVE F.A.M.E NYC!”
Each comment increases your chances of winning, so comment a lot. This is quickie ticket giveaway and the winner will be announced November 20, 2013.
So what are you waiting for….comment and tell us how much you love F.A.M.E NYC and win some tickets!
Tickets courtesy of Serino Coyne