15 Questions With Mahogany Reynolds

Last night Slow Bullet, My Three Loves opened at Manhattan Repertory Theater to great success, partly because of the acting ability of Ms. Mahogany Reynolds.  Mahogany is a brave, unrelenting actress who fearlessly took on the role of Rhea Davies, a deeply complex character in the middle of a breakdown.    While preparing for her for the show, Mahogany answered our 15 questions so you could get to know her a little better.   But all you really need to know is that you don’t want to miss the rest of Mahogany’s performances in Slow Bullet, My Three Loves because it’s out of this world!

1. What intrigued you about Slow Bullet, My Three Loves and your character in particular? I was intrigued by the deep subject matters. Depression. Mental Illness. Stigmas about those two subject matters within the Black community. I was also intrigued by the serious subject of suicide. Especially with so many prominent individuals dying of suicide or suspicious deaths lately. As well as, far too many young people committing suicide. I was also intrigued by how multifaceted and complex Rhea Davies is. Ordinary, she is definitely not! Moreover, I was fascinated by the stories of her three loves. And how these men have shaped, and in some ways, deformed, her life. Especially, her relationship with her lover, Jordan. That relationship; I believe, affected her the most.

2. If you could impart any words of advice to your character, what would you say? One word. FIGHT. I wrote her a long letter; three nights before the opening of the show, to impart this advice to her.

3. Which actors/actresses influence you the most?Angela Basset, Meryl Streep, Cicely Tyson, Ruby Dee, Nia Long, Viola Davis, Jody Foster, Denzel Washington, Anthony Hopkins, Leonardo Dicaprio, Sidney Poitier, Phylicia Rashad, Taraji P. Henson, Lawrence Fishburne, Whoopi Goldberg, Mariska Hargitay, Lily Tomlin, Jenifer Lewis, and Regina Hall…to name a few.

4. If you could play any role, who would it be? Well, I am playing a role that I love. Rhea Davies is definitely a dream role. Any role that allows me to fully express myself artistically, with no barriers, is a role I want to play. I have a real strong personality and so I seek out female characters that mirror me. In addition to that, I’d love to portray Diana Ross. She’s beyond fabulous. A movie or stage play about her life story would be really cool to play. Plus, I’m from Detroit, so that would be awesome.

5. What is your favorite movie?  “Love Jones” by far, when it comes down to romance, sexuality, sensuality, heartache, and love between a black man and woman. What is your favorite play?“A Raisin in the Sun” because it’s a bold play that tells a bold story. I love anything bold. So long as it has a purpose. Ironically, I’ve recently been cast, to play the character “Ruth Younger” in this legendary play! I’m super excited about that.

6. Who is your superhero alter ego and why?Wonder Woman, no doubt! Because I’m tall physically. And I walk tall in my spirit and attitude. Plus, she’s smart. So am I. She’s a seductress. So am I. She’s a warrior. So am I. I don’t back down easily. I’m brave. I don’t scare easily. And I try to stand up for what’s right, no matter how difficult the fight will be. Plus, I love her costume. It’s so bad ass and super sexy! And that dominatrix thing she got going on with that rope. Yeah baby, she’s my alter ego bad chick for sure!

7. What would your theme song be?“I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan remixed by Whitney Houston. My favorite lyrics are: “Whatever you want. Whatever you need. Anything you want done baby. I’ll do it naturally. Cause I’m every woman. It’s all in me.”

8. If you were exiled to an island, what three items would you take with you? A framed photograph of my son. My journal and ink pen set. And a bottle of William Hill Estate Napa Chardonnay.

9. What is your favorite season and why? Summer. I love sun and heat. Because I hate wearing lots of clothes. I love being as naked as possible. With sophistication of course.

10. What is your favorite accessory? A sexy pair of panties. No matter what you are wearing, there’s something about having on a sexy pair of panties, that brings out the seductress in me.

11. If we lived in a clothes optional society, would you choose to wear clothes or go naked? Naked, all the way baby! Hence, my answer to question 9. Women have to deal with body image issues our entire damn lives! Men are visual. Sadly, many women go nuts trying to cater to a man’s visual needs. And stroke his ego. I don’t have time for that! So, when I declare naked, it’s not to please any one, but ME. I love the skin I’m in. So why not wear it exclusively. If you were a fly on my wall, when I’m totally alone, you’d catch me naked rather often.

12. What is your guilty pleasure?Sex in public places, when I can get away with it.

13. What is your favorite dish?A big handmade cheeseburger; with all the toppings (hold the mayo and the onions); some hot french fries, coupled with an ice cold Sam Adams craft beer.

14. If your friends and family could sum you up in one word, what would it be? Ambitious

15. What are you most proud of?My son. When I became a mom, I evolved. I expanded spiritually. I grew mentally. I enhanced physically. And I elevated intellectually. My son is my biggest and greatest accomplishment. We’re super close. And he’s just a super awesome kid.

 

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15 Questions With Arthur Gregory Pugh

Arthur Gregory Pugh is the trifecta.  He is an actor that has been endowed with enormous talent, professionalism and a willingness to go deep to bring the needs and emotions of the character to life.  There is a sense of awe in seeing an actor give up his body to allow the character to step in.  Arthur gives his all and personifies what Floyd “Money” Mayweather describes as the keys to success – hard work and dedication.  For me Arthur Gregory Pugh has been my anchor, the rock that grounds a production that deals with controversial topics in an unorthodox way.   It can be hard to portray a character that is flawed and may come off as unlikable, but Arthur gives Zeke Brown a soul.

FAMERS I asked Arthur 15 questions to introduce you to the man that plays Zeke Brown in Slow Bullet, My Three Loves.  Arthur is a chill dude that makes Zeke’s blemishes a little less imperfect, but you don’t have to take my word…come see for yourself.

1. What intrigued you about Slow Bullet, My Three Loves and your character in particular?

Rhea’s choosing to make this decision and her revelations along the way intrigued me about the play. As for my role, as someone who has always played a cop or a soldier, even though Zeke has a sternness about him, having a relationship his daughter is special to me.

2. If you could impart any words of advice to your character, what would you say?

No matter if you believe you are doing what’s best for you and those you love, they won’t believe it unless they hear it.

3. Which actors/actresses influence you the most?

Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba

4. If you could play any role, who would it be?

I am going to be Othello one day. I would also like to play a lawyer of a landmark case.

5. What is your favorite movie?  What is your favorite play?

Movie: Ray / Play: A Soldier’s Play

6. Who is your superhero alter ego and why?

I am Spiderman. As an actor I understand the great power I possess and the great responsibility to always be on point.

7. What would your theme song be?

Follow The Leader – Eric B. & Rakim

8. If you were exiled to an island, what three items would you take with you?

My MP3 player, a Sudoku puzzle book, comfortable shoes.

9. What is your favorite season and why?

Fall. Not too hot, not too cold… and there’s football on TV.

10. What is your favorite accessory?

That MP3 player, gotta have my tunes.

11. If we lived in a clothes optional society, would you choose to wear clothes or go naked?

Clothes. Nudity should be for intimacy.

12. What is your guilty pleasure?

Mom’s coconut custard pie.

13. What is your favorite dish?

Dad’s chopped barbecue.

14. If your friends and family could sum you up in one word, what would it be?

Dedicated. 

15. What are you most proud of?

My daughter’s accomplishments.

 

Port Cities Comes To NYC

F.A.M.E NYC is proud to spread the word about projects like Port Cities.  It is important that art explores the past, speaks to the age we are living in and inspires us to build  a better future.

PORT CITIES is a global performance art project linking five cities along 17th century Dutch trade routes. From Perth Australia to Cape Town South Africa, from Amsterdam and New York City to the old port of Jakarta, each city will host a unique project exploring our interconnected heritage and its legacy.

PORT CITIES events will:

  • be presented on or nearby the city’s port
  • explore the city’s connection to Dutch trade route history and its unique location on the route
  • comprise a team of local and international collaborators
  • include movement particular to the city (either through theme, experience, or dance)

Local myths, legends, and folklores will be explored against the backdrop of contemporary issues. The sum of all five cities will be documented as an interactive mapping space both on this website and within a gallery,   as a project in five movements, like an opera.

PORT CITIES NYC, the first movement of the global odyssey, is a theatrical journey from the Financial District to Red Hook. In May 2016, audiences will meet at Pier 11 in the Financial District, ferry across the harbor accompanied by an original soundscape, dock in Red Hook’s working port, and board The Waterfront Museum Barge for a multimedia performance. Featuring a live musical score by Cameron Orr, generative projection visuals by Horus Vacui, and an ensemble who move, morph, and mix between early settler icons and modern city dwellers, PORT CITIES NYC highlights systems of trade and cycles of violence.

To learn more about Port Cities, please visit: http://www.portcitiesproject.org/.

#Artswithapurpose

15 Questions With Lamar Richardson

Lamar Richardson is the personification of “talented tenth.”  He’s ivy-league educated; a member of the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for Black men and an extremely talented and dedicated actor. He also has a smile that’s infectious. To me he’s a wonderful ray of light that I’ve been blessed to work with.  Like the character “Baby Boy,” Lamar brings purpose, hope and humor to everyone he meets.  His journey may have started down bottom in North Carolina, but it’s surely destined for the stars.

I asked Lamar 15 questions so that you FAMERS can get to know the man behind “Baby Boy” a little better.  But if you really want to see him shine…don’t forget to get your ticket for Slow Bullet, My Three Loves.

1. What intrigued you about Slow Bullet, My Three Loves and your character in particular?

I loved that the script tackles such deep, often unsung, material. I always long for a theater piece with a powerful message, and ‘Slow Bullet, My Three Loves’ spoke me in a special way. I especially connected with Baby Boy because I find myself serving a similar purpose in my own personal life.

2. If you could impart any words of advice to your character, what would you say?

The world is a better place because your spirit lives on and shines a bright light in many dark places. You’re truly a rainbow in the clouds.

3. Which actors/actresses influence you the most?

I am a big fan of Don Cheadle, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Glover, Forest Whitaker, and, of course, Denzel Washington.

4. If you could play any role, who would it be?

I would love to do someone’s biopic, similar to Jamie Foxx in ‘Ray.’

5. What is your favorite movie?  What is your favorite play?

My favorite movie is ‘Ray,’ followed by ‘Hotel Rwanda.’ My favorite play would have to be one of August Wilson’s pieces. I’d say ‘Fences,’ but I love his body of work in general. I’m also a big fan of biopics.

6. Who is your superhero alter ego and why?

I’d have to say Spiderman because he’s so dynamic and versatile. I love his ability to jump from buildings and skyscrapers while saving the world.

7. What would your theme song be?

My theme song would definitely be ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey because I love its comforting message of hope.

8. If you were exiled to an island, what three items would you take with you?

I would take a mini-fridge, my cell phone, and a blanket.

9. What is your favorite season and why?

Summer is my favorite season because the sun is out and it’s a great time of the year for traveling and festivities.

10. What is your favorite accessory?

My Columbia University class ring because it was a gift from my mother.

11. If we lived in a clothes optional society, would you choose to wear clothes or go naked?

Depends on the temperature…lol!

12. What is your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure would have to be binge watching ‘Empire’ and ‘Power.’

13. What is your favorite dish?

Baked macaroni and cheese

14. If your friends and family could sum you up in one word, what would it be?

Charismatic

15. What are you most proud of?

Being the first Ivy League graduate in my family.

 

Strange Fruit Redux Goes To Queens

SFR Flying Solo 1

Since its debut last July, Strange Fruit Redux has continued to make its mark.  Strange Fruit Redux tells the story of 25-year-old visual artist Nathan Strange, who is on the verge of becoming the latest sensation in the NYC art scene.  While working on his final painting, Nathan expresses his views about black culture and what it means to be black in the new millennium moments before a confrontation with NYPD.  Strange Fruit Redux is a series of poem monologues mixed with music and sio-political, pop culture sound bites geared to show the fears and frustrations of the modern day black man.

In March Strange Fruit Redux played to a sold-out audience at the Downtown Urban Arts Festival.  This May Strange Fruit Redux will perform at the Flying Solo Festival in Queens.  Tickets are available at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/958683.

Although Strange Fruit Redux is playing at the Secret Theatre, the secret is out…NYC can’t get enough of Strange Fruit Redux!