Tag Archives: diversity

The Godmother of Rock and Roll!

While visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio,  Randy Johnson, the creator of such seminal works as Always Patsy Cline and A Night Janis Joplin, came upon a book titled Shout Sister Shout! Randy’s first reaction, “That’s a perfect title for a musical.” The fact that the book was a biography of Sister Rosetta Tharpe who is often referred to as ...

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What’s it all About? Five Guys Names Moe!

The Nate Holden Performing Arts Center on Washington Blvd in Los Angeles is now presenting a revival of Five Guys Named Moe, by Clarke Peters, and starring Obba Babatundé. The premise of this piece is a sampling of the formidable works of Louis Jordan. If you’re not familiar with the name, Louis Jordan is credited with many accomplishments – The founder of Jump Jazz, the Grandfather ...

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Black Theatre Matters: A Dialogue

Black Theatre Matters: A Dialogue, took place on a Monday February 27th, at the Offices of Actors’ Equity Association in North Hollywood. An eminent group of African American artists: Robert Hook, Brent Jennings, Constance Jewell Lopez, Yvette Carson, Gilbert Glenn Brown. Eric B. Anthony and Wren Brown spoke to a series of questions posed be the moderator, Kim Estes. What became readily apparent, was there ...

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Chuck Berry and Creating Commercialated Culture

chuck berry sailor cap

Chuck Berry may be dead but you know he won’t stay buried.  He’s just too irrepressible for confinement to such a singular state.  He was like his music:  audacious and muscular.  His huge hands easily enveloped the fretboard of his Gibson ES-335 and pulled sounds from it that would electrify the soul.  Is it possible to remain still while experiencing the pure energy coming from ...

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24th Street Theatre Among TCG Grant Recipients

footlights tcg audience revolution

The sixteen projects supported by the latest round of Audience (R)Evolution Travel Grants aim to connect with Deaf and Latinx audiences, reach Middle Eastern and Muslim communities, engage with refugees and those in addiction recovery, and more.  TCG Awards $114,470 for Audience (R)Evolution Travel Grant Recipients. Local Los Angeles theater companies 24th Street Theatre and Latino Theater Company will benefit among them. PRESS RELEASE New ...

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Is It Enough?

Recently, I had the privilege to see a performance of Zoot Suit, the revival at the Mark Taper Forum. While I often speak of theatre as an important tool of cultural consciousness, I also look forward to being entertained when I see a play.  And I can unabashedly say that both my wife Michelle and I both loved the show. Charles McNulty of the L.A. ...

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The Divisiveness of Demographics

glass heart broken demographics

You remember the story of Solomon and the Baby?  Solomon was able to smoke out the true mother of the child by threatening to divide it.  The fake mother, who must have been awfully cynical, was down with his solution. That’s something I never understood.  I mean, what would this woman do with pieces of a baby? The de facto  motto of the United States ...

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Opening the Dialog for Women in Theater

woman at sunrise for grid banner

Summer 2015 was the genesis of a thought: Write about powerful women in Los Angeles Theater. Focus upon a more cohesive picture of theater culture. Open up a dialog about what the landscape really looked like for women. And discuss their integration in the performing arts. There was this temptation of course to be the underdog. In the last year alone, I’ve read article after ...

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Diverse Culture at Towne Street Theatre

nancy davis passing solo towne street

This month Towne Street Theatre hit the Hollywood radar with Passing Solo, a memory play set in the 1920s about two African American women who share a secret: Their birth certificates read “Negro” but both can – and do – pass as white. Footlights  took the opportunity to speak with company co-founder, artistic director, and star, Nancy Cheryll Davis-Bellamy, to get some insight about this ...

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Hamilton: American Sign Language Style

hamilton asl sign language video

Hamilton  just got choreographed in a powerful way.  Sarah Tubert translated “Alexander Hamilton”  into American Sign Language. Update September 21, 2016:  Lin-Manuel Miranda, the guy who created Hamilton, thinks Sarah’s piece is special, too.  And posted so on Facebook.

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