11/27/14 O&A Throwback Thursday: Eurythmics

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Eurythmics are a British music duo consisting of members Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart. They are associated with the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US. The duo released their first album, In the Garden, in 1981 to little fanfare, but went on to achieve global success with their second album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), released in 1983. The duo went on to release a string of hit singles and albums before they split up in 1990. 

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Eurythmics’ commercial breakthrough came with their second album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), released in January 1983. The successful title track featured a dark and powerful sequenced synth bass line and a dramatic video that introduced the now orange crew-cut Lennox to audiences. The band’s fortunes changed immensely from this moment on, and Lennox quickly became a pop icon, gracing the covers of numerous magazines including Rolling Stone.

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Eurythmics released Revenge, in 1986. Missionary Man reached number 14 on the U.S. Hot 100 chart and went all the way to No. 1 on the US Album Oriented Rock chart.

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11/26/14 O&A Theatre: Ritual (REVIEW)- “The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank”

By Walter Rutledge

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Off Broadway is to live theatre, what the concept car is to the automotive industry. It allows the public to participate in the process of creation, where memorable productions transition into unforgettable theatre. Ritual, a play conceived and produced by Stanley Bennett Clay is a clever one-act drama that reveals the secrets of an “ideal” upper middle class Africa American Family. 

To everyone on the outside looking in, the Becker Family of Baldwin Hills was living the American dream. Leon (David M. Raine), a successful lawyer, and his beautiful wife Sylvia (Q) are the proud parents of two children daughter Teresa (Latresa Baker) and son Mason (Reginald James Albert). Teresa is a dutiful daughter and younger brother Mason is the brilliant son attending an Ivy League School. From the moment we are invited in to their living room we quickly discover humorist, the late Erma Bombeck, was correct; “The grass is always greener over the septic tank.”

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Playwright Bennett skillfully takes us on a fast paced ride with more twist and turns than a Peyton Place cul de sec. This is the tale the American Dream becoming a domestic nightmare. Power struggles, familial alliances, incest and betrayal of modern-day Borgia-que portions rock the Becker Family to their very core.

Ritual fulfill the first rule of good theatre by allowing the audience to experience the unexpected. The production concluded the initial run of Saturday afternoon performances at the 777 Theatre, 777 8th Avenue, on November 15th; but returns for a new Sunday run beginning December 14 at 2pm. For more information or to reserve tickets call 866-811-41111 or visit theatermania.com.

11/26/14 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: All In The Family

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All in the Family is a sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. The show revolves around the life of a working class bigot and his family. Produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin the series starred Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, and Sally Struthers.

The show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for U.S. network television comedy. Themes such as racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, rape, miscarriage, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence. Through depicting these controversial issues, the series became arguably one of television’s most influential comedic programs, as it injected the sitcom format with more realistic and topical conflicts. Read More »

11/25/14 O&A Dance: Complexion Contemporary Ballet …In The Beginning (Part 3) An Interview With Christina Johnson

By Walter Rutledge

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As Complexions Contemporary Ballet begins the second week of their two-week season tonight at the Joyce Theater we continue our conversation with Christina Johnson. The season commemorates the 20th anniversary of the company, Out and About NYC Magazine looks back through the eyes of artists who there at the beginning. Read More »

11/23/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: Mary Poppins

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Mary Poppins released August 27, 1964 to universal acclaim, receiving a total of thirteen Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture an unsurpassed record for any other film released by the Walt Disney Studios and won five; Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. Read More »

11/21/14 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Review- Complexions Contemporary Ballet Gala

By Walter Rutledge

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Complexions Contemporary Ballet held their 20th anniversary gala performance Thursday, November 20 at the Joyce Theater. I believe galas should not be held under the same critical scrutiny as a regular season performance; these events have a different focus. Galas acknowledge company milestones such as dancers transitioning, directors passing the torch, season openings and in this case celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary.

Gala programs are usually abridged performances; augmented by lofty speeches by company hierarchy and entertainment personalities, and then interspersed with stellar dancing by guest artists. After brief pre-performance greeting by co-founders Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden and gala host Phylicia Rashad the company presented a full evening of dance. The cohesive mix of pomp and performance honored the company’s longevity while satisfying their loyal arts community following. The sold out event was a fitting retrospective of a company fulfilling their artistic vision.

The opening work Head Space (world premiere) exemplified Rhodens signature style. The amalgam of different dance disciples, use of abstract themes with dramatic undertones and interpreting the music through the entire body has become his movement cornerstone. The work showcased his choreographic prowess and steadfast commitment to his own unique vision. Dancer Terk Waters is a standout  he has grown with each season. Also worth noting is Kevin Tate, he has an innate stage quality that makes you look at him.

An unexpected highlight was a special performance of Head Space by students of the New Orleans Ballet Association Center for Dance. The group of young performers were well rehearsed and performed Rhoden’s intricate work with surprising precision. Kudos to Aline De Souza and Donald Williams who coached and rehearsed the ensemble, their diligence and attention to detail was evident.

Jeraldyne Blunden, the Artistic Director and Founder of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, had first alerted me to Dwight Rhoden’s choreographic aspirations. When I became a curator for the Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (THPAC) in the 1990’s I finally got an opportunity to see Rhoden’s work. THPAC Artistic Director  Melvin Davis had inherited the organization after the death of Larry Phillips. He (like the present Executive Chairman Alex Smith Jr.) had an uncanny eye for identifying new and innovative emerging artists.

Davis asked me to see a new company that he wanted to present. They were planning their first performance at Symphony Space in June and were in rehearsal. I don’t remember where the rehearsal was but I do remember climbing the stairs to a small studio somewhere in Manhattan. Dwight Rhoden was seated on a chair with his back to the mirror. I introduced myself and after a personable, but brief greeting he continued rehearsing.

He had that young choreographer energy- an exuberant conviction for the work. The dance had a “post Ulysses Dove” feel to it; but their was a passion and glimmers of movements that were truly his own. It was clear Rhoden already possessed that Svengali like quality choreographers need to get dancers to follow them- to believe in their vision and to trust. Later I telephoned to inform them we would like to feature Complexions in an upcoming series and I can recall the excitement in Desmond’s voice.

Ave Maria choreographed in 1995 still captures the passion and exuberance of that time in Rhoden’s career. There is a visual simplicity and sculptural consistency throughout the work that compliments the subtle majesty of the music. Misty Copeland and Clifford Williams danced with the needed commitment and technique to produce Rhoden’s intended “wow factor”. But it goes beyond the performers here it really was about the dance.

I wish choreographers who have large bodies of work would go back and present their earlier dances. Sometimes what they may lack in invention is surpassed by their  innovation. For many it was a time before galas and the need for constant fund-raising. When the focus was simply on making dances- it was also a time when Terpsichore literally rested her hands on their shoulders. This is place were the audience will gratefully follow; believe in the vision and trust.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Joyce season continues through November 30. For ticket and program information visit joyce.org.

11/20/14 O&A Dance: Complexions Contemporary Ballet Celebrates 20 Years (Part Two)- Christina Johnson Interview On Restaging Ave Maria

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O&A NYC video interview with Original Complexions Contemporary Ballet member Christina Johnson on restaging Dwight Rhoden’s duet Ave Maria. The duet was originally choreographed on Johnson and Donald Williams in 1995. American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland and Complexions Contemporary Ballet Artist in Residence, Clifford Williams will perform the work at the Thursday, November 20 Gala performance.  10392506_10152549376453892_4574420590891863747_n Read More »

11/18/14/ O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Popeye The Sailor Man- Brotherly Love

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Popeye the Sailor Man is a cartoon fictional character, created by Elzie Crisler Segar, who has appeared in comic strips and theatrical and television animated cartoons. He first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929; Popeye became the strip’s title in later years. In 1933, Max and Dave Fleischer’s Fleischer Studios adapted the Thimble Theatre characters into a series of Popeye the Sailor theatrical cartoon shorts for Paramount Pictures. These cartoons proved to be among the most popular of the 1930s, and the Fleischers—and later Paramount’s own Famous Studios—continued production through 1957. Read More »

11/18/14 O&A Dance: Complexions Contemporary Ballet Celebrates 20 Years (Part One)

Complexions Contemporary Ballet begins a two-week season tonight at the Joyce Theater. The season commemorates the 20th anniversary of the company. This week Out and About NYC Magazine would like to take a look back through the eyes of artists who there at the beginning.

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Founder and Artistic Director, Aubrey Lynch Extra Essential Arts, ALEEArts

Desmond Richardson and I have been best friends since he was about 15. We all knew even back then that he would be a star. When Desmond, Dwight and I were in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater together doing Alvin Ailey’s Sinner Man all over the world, we became very close, sharing our dreams and the other art forms that interested us.

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During that time, Dwight and Desmond spoke a lot about the company they wanted and experimented with a movement vocabulary inspired by Ulysses Dove and Donald Byrd. When Dwight taught company class for Ailey he would turn and twist classic lines into wonderfully inventive shapes and inspired us all. At first they called their company DR2 (DR squared) and began on Ailey company members.

I remember the idea of a ballet Wonderful, seven or so solos for men performed to Stevie Wonder music. Ultimately they went with “Complexions, Dance in Every Hue” and I was fortunate enough to be a part of this original company. Unfortunately I was not able to perform the debut at Symphony Space because I was pursuing a career in film television and Broadway and was performing with Stephanie Mills in Your Arms are too Short to Box with God. However I joined  Complexions in all subsequent performances and tours. It was an amazing time and I am so proud of Desmond and Dwight for sticking to their dream and reminding us all that there is no formula to great art. One must simply remain inspired, take risks, and dare to be authentic in expressing the human story through art. 

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I ultimately went on to work as Associate Producer for Lion King and now run my own arts and education program Aubrey Lynch Extra Essential Arts ALEEArts, but stayed close with my fellow “Sinner Men” following the incredible evolution of the company.  Sometimes I regret leaving the stage so soon but life is full of adventure and I wanted to be more than just a dancer as Desmond and Dwight and I had dreamed about in those early days as dancers with Ailey. We are blessed to be able to do what we love every day and I am honored to have been a part of the magnificent worldwide phenomenon known as Complexions. 

For ticket and program information for Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Joyce season visit joyce.org

11/17/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: Some Like it Hot

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Some Like It Hot (1959) film comedy directed by Billy Wilder; and starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The supporting cast includes George Raft, Pat O’Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee and Nehemiah Persoff. In 2000 the American Film Institute listed Some Like It Hot as the greatest American comedy film of all time.
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11/16/14 O&A Fashion Alert: Solange Knowles’ Dress and Style Recall An Iconic 1930′s Hollywood Bride

By Walter Rutledge

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Singer Solange Knowles (28) and her 51-year-old video director boyfriend Alan Ferguson wed this weekend in New Orleans. “Everyone I worked with on the wedding are friends who I love,” said Solange via email earlier today. “Everything was a labor of love.” The dress was by Humberto Leon for Kenzo, but we could not help but draw comparisons to another famous bride whose dress and personal (signature) style is remarkably similar.  Read More »

11/16/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Andrae Crouch

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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Andraé Crouch is a gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, recording artist, record producer, and pastor. Crouch was a key figure in the Jesus Music movement of the 1960s and 1970s. His influence helped develop contemporary Christian music,  which began to bridge the gap between black and white Christian music. Read More »

11/13/14 O&A Throwback Thursday: Outkast

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Outkast (stylized as OutKast) is an American hip hop duo formed in 1992, in East Point, Atlanta, Georgia, composed of Atlanta-based rappers André André 3000 Benjamin (formerly known as Dré) and Antwan Big Boi Patton. They were originally known as Two Shades Deep but later changed the group’s name to OutKast. The group’s original musical style was a mixture of Dirty South and G-funk. Subsequently  funk, soul, rock, electronic music, spoken word poetry, jazz and blues elements have been added to the group’s musical palette. Read More »

11/12/14 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Abbott & Costello- The Niagara Fall Sketch (“Slowly I Turned”)

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The skit, which was well known on the vaudeville circuit, goes something like this: A bedraggled man buttonholes a stranger and tells him a tale of betrayal and vengeance. A rogue seduced his sweetheart. He trailed the miscreant from town to town, finally catching up with him in Niagara Falls, where he pummeled him mercilessly. The hearer of the story haplessly says the magic words, “Niagara Falls,” causing the man to turn on him and mete out the same punishment. Read More »

11/11/14 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Castell J.R. Barnes

Inspirational-Tuesday

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New York-native, Castell J.R. Barnes made his mark as an intellectual powerhouse using his personal and professional philosophy Prosper, The Elite Way. Barnes grew up during the 1990′s witnessing inner-city violence, cultural indifference, single parenting, economic struggle, and the lack of appreciation for education. Instead of falling victim to these circumstances and becoming a product of his environment, Barnes was inspired and defined by these conditions to become the promising speaker and inspiring author he is today.
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10/10/14 O&A Review: Ain’t Misbehavin- Fats Waller’s Harlem

 By Walter Rutledge

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Harlem original Fats Waller returned uptown to the community he loved via the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin presented at Faison Firehouse Theater. This version of the high-spirited, and high-energy musical revue is directed by A. Curtis Farrow; and presented in collaboration with Irving Street Rep. and FaisOne Productions. The first thing that becomes apparent is how well the intimate setting complements Waller’s songbook; which has become a compass articulating the Harlem Jazz era of the 1930’s and 40’s. Read More »

10/10/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: Gone With The Wind

Hollywood Mondays

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Gone with the Wind is a 1939 epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International Pictures and directed by Victor Fleming. Set in the 19th-century American South, the film tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara, the strong-willed daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, from her romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes, who is married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton, to her marriage to Rhett Butler.

The movie is set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and Reconstruction era, the story is told from the perspective of white Southerners. The leading roles are portrayed by Vivien Leigh (Scarlett), Clark Gable (Rhett), Leslie Howard (Ashley), and Olivia de Havilland (Melanie).  Read More »

10/9/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Tasha Cobbs

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Tasha Cobbs began in her hometown, Jesup, Georgia. She was Worship Leader of Jesup New Life Ministries, founded by her late father, Bishop Fritz Cobbs. In 2012, Cobbs recorded her freshman project titled GRACE, produced by multi-award-winner and Motown Gospel label mate, VaShawn Mitchell. This project featured the lead single, Break Every Chain, which landed as Billboard’s #1 song for a total of 12 weeks. Read More »

10/7/14 O&A With WaleStylez: Odin New York Fall/Winter 2014 Junya Watanabe, Thom Browne And More

By Adewale Adekanbi

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Odin New York release their Fall/Winter 2014 lookbook showcasing the latest from Public School, Junya Watanabe, Kitsuné, Thom Browne and many more. Odin is one of New York’s best stocked boutiques and their latest buy does not disappoint. Notable standouts include the Mohair Overcoat by Thom Browne, the Leaky Over Shirt by Bellerose and the Tweed Pant by Public School. Read More »

10/5/14 O&A DIVO ALERT: Eric Underwood – The Caterpillar in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (The Royal Ballet)

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Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011) was The Royal Ballet’s first new full-length work since 1995. The works developed theme, sumptuous costumes and sets and focused choreography received approval from both audiences and critics. This excerpt is another example of The Royal Ballet’s soloist Eric Underwood’s technical versatility and artistic virtuosity. His performance as the playfully seductive Caterpillar epitomizes an artist in total control of his craft (and vicariously recalls my own days savoring “special” mushrooms). Out and About NYC Magazine is proud to again spotlight this American artiste who is at the top of his game.
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10/ 5/14 Wildin Out Wednesday: SNL- Black Jeopardy

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50 years after Jeopardy! debuted, “Saturday Night Live” came up with a new way to parody the iconic game show. Black Jeopardy! is hosted by Darnell Hayes or “Alex Treblack” (Kenan Thompson) and features categories such as “It’s Been A Minute,” “White People,” and “Psssh.” Let’s just say it’s not exactly what African Studies professor Mark (Louis C.K.) had in mind when he signed up. The sketch includes Jay Pharoah and Sasheer Zamata as fellow contestants. Read More »

11/3/14 O&A With Christopher Crawford: Fitness- Core Essentials for Exercise

By Christopher Crawford

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Many people exercise to get in shape and feel better about themselves. Unfortunately, just because they are working out that does not mean they are building better, stronger and fully functional bodies. There are many people that build more imbalances in their body by working out with incorrect form or by using machines that require no core stabilization, which basically shuts off the core muscles. Training improperly and weakening your core will lead to bad posture, inability to perform functional movements and potential injury being that the core is not stabilized. Read More »

11/3/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: The King And I

Hollywood Mondays

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The King and I is a 1956 musical film made by 20th Century Fox. The movie was directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is based on the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I. The musical starred Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. It was Brynner who pressed for Kerr to play the role. Marni Nixon provided Kerr’s singing for the film.  Read More »

11/2/14 O&A With WaleStylez: Alexander Wang And H&M Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

By Adewale Adekanbi

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Following the presentation of the Alexander Wang and H&M collaboration collection, we take a look at the individual pieces that make up the fantastic joint collection.  Each piece reveals a very wearable set of goods, done in Wang’s signature monochromatic color palette. Trendy materials like neoprene are used throughout while the designer’s last name, a handful of graphic prints and textures give the collection luxurious feel.  

Take a look at each piece above and pick up your favorite beginning November 6 at hm.com.

 

 

 

 

 

11/2/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Jamie Grace Harper

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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Jamie Grace Harper is a 23-year-old Contemporary Christian musician, singer, rapper and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. Discovered in 2010, via her YouTube channel, by TobyMac and was immediately signed to his Gotee Records label. She released the song Hold Me in 2011, which landed her a nomination at the 2012 Grammys. Harper won the 2012 Dove Award for New Artist of the Year. Read More »

10/31/14 O&A With WaleStylez: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star “Color Weave” Collection

By Adewale Adekanbi

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The Chuck Taylor All Star iconic Converse sneaker has been given a jaw-dropping woven upper in a design, that unfortunately is  exclusive to the Asia Pacific market. The new rendition features a one-piece upper crafted from colored strips, offset against a clean white midsole and leather branding. The Asia Pacific region “Color Weave” collection are now available at Converse stores in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea; and online at Converse China. Hopefully they will find their way to the United States. 

10/31/14 O&A Throwback Thursday Halloween Edition: Michael Jackson’s Thriller

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Michael Jackson’s Thriller is an American 13-minute music video for the song of the same name released on December 2, 1983. It was directed by John Landis, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Jackson. It was MTV’s first world premiere video.

Voted as the most influential pop music video of all time, Thriller proved to have a profound effect on popular culture. It was named “a watershed moment for the music industry” for its unprecedented merging of filmmaking and music. Guinness World Records listed it in 2006 as the “most successful music video”, selling over nine million copies.

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10/29/14 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday Halloween Special: The 3 Stooges In SPOOKS

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In the classic 3-D short SPOOKS (1953) Moe Howard, his brother Shemp Howard, and Larry Fine again encountered a mad scientist attempting to put a human brain into a gorilla. SPOOKS was one of the Three Stooges’ best blends of comedy and scares. With howling winds, skeletons and conwebs, it has a fun and spooky Halloween-type atmosphere that’s sure to grab any monster kid. The laboratory scenes with the mad scientist, his brutish assistant, a caged gorilla and a beautiful girl in bondage resembled an old pulp magazine cover of the ’30s and ’40s. Read More »

Up in the Air- Honoring Louis Johnson

Up in the Air is a feature-length documentary about legendary dancer, choreographer and director Louis Johnson. Narrated by Johnson, with additional commentary by his colleagues and friends- people he’s known and influenced for over six decades. The artists who have committed to share their experiences with Johnson include as luminaries as: Chita Rivera, George Faison, Carmen De Lavallade, Sylvia Waters, Desmond Richardson and Troy Powell. The initial goal is to raise $30,000 for the pre-production and production costs through a Kickstarter campaign. Read More »

10/27/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: West Side Story

Hollywood Mondays

 

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West Side Story is a 1961 romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture (as well as a special award for Robbins), becoming the record holder for the most wins for a movie musical. Read More »

10/23/14 O&A Throwback Thursday: En Vogue

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Assembled in Oakland, California in July 1989, En Vogue launched with original members Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson and Terry Ellis. The inspiration for the group came when production duo of Foster and Mc Elroy envisioned a modern-day girl group in the tradition of the 1950s/1960s female trios. The blueprint was based on the plan of recruiting singers who possessed strong voices, noticeably good looks, and intelligence. Read More »

10/22/14 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Homey D. Clown

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Homey D. Clown – Damon Wayans plays an ex-con who works as a clown (real name Herman Simpson) for his parole agreement. Homey lashes out at anyone (usually by hitting them on the head with a sock full of pennies) who attempts to make him perform the standard antics of the role – “I don’t think so… Homey don’t play dat!”. His goal in life is to get even with “The Man”, a personification of the white males that are “holding him down”.

Near the end of most sketches, Homey would lead a group of children (played by the cast members) in a call and response sing-along. This would end with him degenerating into a rant, then intimidating the children into repeating after him. Homey was also the first, and only, In Living Color character to get his own video game. Read More »

10/21/14 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina

Inspirational-Tuesday

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The extraordinary memoir of Michaela DePrince, a young dancer who escaped war-torn Sierra Leone for the rarefied heights of ballet. Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a “devil child” for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life. Read More »

10/20/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: The Godfather

Hollywood Mondays

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The Godfather (1972) is a crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. The movie stars Marlon Brando ( Vito Corleone) and Al Pacino     (Michael Corleone) as the leaders of a fictional New York crime family. The story spans the years 1945-55, centering on the transformation of Michael from reluctant family outsider to ruthless Mafia boss while chronicling the Corleones under the patriarch Vito. Read More »

10/19/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: John P. Kee

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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John P. Kee was born the 15th of 16 children in Durham, North Carolina. At an early age he began to develop his musical talent both instrumentally and vocally. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and at 14, he and his brothers Wayne and Al moved to California where he began attending the Yuba College Conservatory School of Music in Marysville, California.

During this time, he began playing with various groups such as Cameo and Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds. After having a hard time adjusting in California, he left and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina only to find himself living in a part of the city known for its violence and drug activities. After watching one of his friends being murdered in a drug deal gone bad, he rededicated his life back to God during a visit to a revival meeting. Read More »

10/18/14 O&A Its Saturday: The Bessies Dance Into the Apollo on Monday

By Walter Rutledge

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The Bessies- the New York Dance and Performance Award is the Oscars for dance. Named in honor of pioneer dance educator and choreographic mentor Bessie Schonberg, the Bessies has become one of the most prestigious awards one can receive in the world of dance. On Monday October 20, 7:30pm the Bessies will be held at the Apollo Theater, 325 West 125th Street. Read More »

10/17/14 O&A With WaleStylez: Rick Owens Robotics by Simeon Georgiev

By Adewale Adekanbi

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Bulgarian artist Simeon Georgiev unveils his latest installment of robotics featuring influential designer Rick Owens. Challenged with recreating the fashion designer’s flowing hair and trim physique, Georgiev outfitted the monochromatic droid with cables for hair and an asymmetric chain running through the torso. The robot’s footwear, meanwhile, takes the form of a futuristic version of the Paris-based designer’s famed Ramones silhouette. Read More »

10/16/14 O&A With WaleStylez: Pharrell Williams x Uniqlo UT Fall/Winter 2014 i am OTHER Collection

By Adewale Adekanbi

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Earlier this year Pharrell Williams released his first i am OTHER collaboration with Uniqlo UT. After it’s affordable success, it’s no surprise that a second drop has just arrived in time for fall. Similar to the first collection, it consists largely of graphic T-shirts, this time with the seasonal addition of printed hoodies and snap-front jackets. The range features adaptations of some of the original T-shirt designs, now seen in different colors. And the trademark logos and slogans are showcased throughout the selection of garments in a variety of colors. Stop by the Uniqlo website to purchase the pieces, or alternatively buy them in-store.

 

 

 

 

10/16/14 O&A Throwback Thursday: Diana Ross- Standing Room Only Live At Ceasar’s Palace (1980)

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The HBO special, first aired in early 1980 as part of the network’s Standing Room Only series. It was taped in 1979 at Caesar’s Palace as Ross promoted her then-current album, The Boss. The album, featuring writers/producers Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, featured songs that showed off a range and power that many had forgotten Diana Ross possessed. This was a peak time in the diva’s career; Ross dazzled audience around the world with her demanding, Tony Award-winning An Evening With Diana Ross stage show, and starred with protege Michael Jackson in the 1978 film The Wiz.  Read More »

10/14/14 O&A NYC: A Conversation with Philadanco Founder Joan Myers Brown and Author Brenda Dixon Gottschild (Repost)

By Walter Rutledge

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In The Art of War author Sun Tzu reveals, “…When people are skillfully led into battle, the momentum is like that of round rocks rolling down a high mountain – this is force.” This statement also applies to Philadelphia’s unstoppable force- Joan Myers Brown. Joan Myers Brown and The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina, a Biohistory of American Performance by Brenda Dixon Gottschild chronicles the evolution of African-American dance and culture in Philadelphia.

Read More »

10/13/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: Training Day

Hollywood Mondays

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Training Day is a 2001 film starring Denzel Washington as Alonzo Harris, a corrupt Los Angeles police officer, and Ethan Hawke as Jake Hoyt, a new recruit looking to become a part of Harris’s elite narcotics unit. The entire movie takes place over a single, intense 24-hour period that forever changes the lives of both officers.
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O&A 10/11/14 Gospel Sunday: LeCrae

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Lecrae Moore, known as Lecrae, is a Christian hip hop artist, record producer, and actor. He is the president, co-owner and co-founder of the independent record label Reach Records, and the co-founder and president of the non-profit organization ReachLife Ministries. To date, he has released seven studio albums and two mixtapes as a solo artist, and has released three studio albums, a remix album, and one EP as the leader of the rap group 116 Clique.  

Read More »

10/10/14 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Dance Theatre Of Harlem- Troy Game (1985)

Shall We Dance

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Robert North’s Troy Game is one of Dance Theater of Harlem’s happiest dances. Set to a stylishly syncopated, Brazilian-flavored score by Bob Downes, Troy Game is a funny and sexy romp that was performed with special wit by the company on Wednesday at the Metropolitan Opera House, where Dance Theater performs through June 29. Read More »

10/9/14 O&A THROWBACK THURSDAY: JODY WATLEY (Repost)

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Jody Vanessa Watley  is a singer, songwriter, record producer, music maverick and one of music’s defining artists. Her music crosses genres from Pop, R&B, Jazz, Dance and Electronic Soul. In 1987, she won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.  Watley ranks as one of MTV Video Music Awards most nominated female artists ever, with six nominations for her Real Love video. Read More »

O&A 10/8/14 Wildin Out Wednesday: Steve Harvey

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Broderick Steven “Steve” Harvey is an actor, comedian, entertainer, television/radio personality, and author. He hosts The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Steve Harvey, and Family Feud. He is the author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, which was published in March 2009, and the book Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find and Keep a Man. Harvey starred in The Steve Harvey Show and he was featured in The Original Kings of Comedy. Read More »

10/7/14 O&A With WaleStylez: Premiere of Pharrell’s Gust Of Wind Video

By Adewale Adekanbi pharrell-williams-gust-of-wind-featuring-daft-punk-0

 The five-minute clip was directed by famed film director Edgar Wright and features a number of signature references from the international artists including stone versions of the French duo’s futuristic helmets. Pharrell, meanwhile, has finally opted for another hat, which most likely will not see the same amount of meme attention as his Vivienne Westwood piece. Read More »

9/6/14 O&A With WaleStlyez: Aston Martin Shows New Lagonda Sedan

By Adewale Adekanbi
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The Aston Martin Lagonda Sedan will come back soon, yet unfortunately only in the Middle East. Inspired by the original Lagonda from the late ’70s, the UK luxury car maker shows off detailed looks of the latest version of the Lagonda Sedan – the limited edition sports saloon car that will be coming with a 5.9-liter V12 engine and 560 hp. You can expect a release of the car in mid 2015.

10/5/14 O&A In NYC: Four Places For Sunday Brunch

By Walter Rutledge 

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A Sunday afternoon in October is a great time to get out and explore New York City. Whether you go uptown, downtown or over one of the bridges into another borough there is no better way to begin your day than with brunch. Here are four restaurants that will get you off to a great start on your day Out and About. 

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Catfish, 1433 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, is a true Crown Heights gem serving classic New Orleans dishes. At this cozy hideaway, you can savor bona fide Southern dishes like spicy, flavorful jambalaya or shrimp and grits. Enjoy a strong spring cocktail on the outdoor patio, like the Lady Laveu, a refreshing, flavorful mix of absinthe, St. Germain and cucumber lemonade. But be warned—alcohol isn’t served until noon. Until then, there’s no shortage of delectable eats.

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Toast,  3157 Broadway NY, NY 10027 (just south of 125th street between Tiemann & LaSalle Streets), is the wonder world of a bruschetta, where the pasta with chicken and pesto cream sauce is awesome. The mesquite-smoked barbecued-pork sandwich rules. The skirt-steak appetizer rocks. The raspberry swirl cheesecake kicks ass. In general, Toast is gratifyingly pleasant, and everything is cooked as if you were the only one dining. Rest assured you’re not: Toast has caught on with local students and other Upper West Siders. “Where all good things are toasted” is the restaurant’s cheerful motto, so let the browning and the brew-downing begin.

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Five and Diamond, 2072 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (112-113th), is an intimate storefront restaurant that serves a southern inspired weekend brunch. There is an unlimited brunch cocktails special for those with an empty stomach and a hollow leg. 

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Tosca, 4038 E. Tremont Ave., offers the irresistible flavors of Italian cuisine—a compilation of our family recipes using the finest ingredients and offering the traditional tastes of home-cooked pastas, lusciously fresh seafood, and the distinctly unique flavor of our coal oven pizzas. Along with the savory and sweet menus we offer our guests, we invite you to linger at our bar and lounge, take a mouth watering pause at our distinctive sushi bar, or plan your next event at our lavishly appointed restaurant. Much awaits you at our family of eateries here in the Bronx. Let us treat you to the delights of our foods.

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We look forward to seeing you Out and About

10/5/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Fred Hammond

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Fred Hammond is a gospel singer,bass guitar player, and record producer. Hammond first gained recognition while playing bass guitar for the gospel group The Winans. By 1985 he was one of the six original members of the group Commissioned, participating in 10 of the group’s 12 albums. After his time with Commissioned ended, he regained fame in the gospel community after selling millions of albums with his musical group Radical For Christ. He is a multiple Grammy, Dove, and Stellar award winner as a performer, producer and writer. Read More »

10/4/14 O&A With WaleStylez: Pharrell Williams – Gust of Wind (Teaser)

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Fresh off delivering the Takashi Murakami-produced visual interpretation of ”It Girl” , Pharrell Williams took to his i am OTHER YouTube Channel to tease his latest music video for the Daft Punk-assisted “Gust of Wind.” The 30-second clip shows the polymath stumbling upon a Daft Punk rock formation in a wooded area, almost as if they’re ancient relics.

10/ 4/14 O&A With Walestyles: What if the Apple Watch was Designed by Famous Fashion Designers?

By Adewale Adekanbi

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With the celebrated announcement of the Apple Watch, we were wondering what would happen if some of the worlds most celebrated fashion designers produced versions of the watch. The idea is not too far-fetched considering how many designers produce cases for the i-phones, and i-pads. Lets take some of our favorite fashion designers and brands and imagined what the Apple Watch would look like if they had a say in their design. Read More »

10/3/14 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Banda (excerpt)- Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade

Shall We Dance

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Geoffrey Holder’s Banda dance debuted in the 1954 Truman Capote/Harold Arlen musical House Of Flowers. Holder the Baron of The Cemetery (based on the Haitian Loa of Death Baron Samedi) and received both a performer and choreographer credit in the program. The Broadway musical takes place somewhere in the West Indies during Mardi Gras weekend. Read More »

10/2/14 O&A Throwback Thursday: Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds

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Babyface (Kenneth Brian Edmonds) is a multi-platinum selling R&B singer, songwriter and record producer. He has written and produced over 26 No. 1 R&B hits for artists such as Whitney Houston, Karyn White, Johnny Gill, Vanessa Williams, Pebbles, Madonna and Boyz II Men, and has also worked on various film soundtracks in his successful career. Babyface has won 10 Grammy Awards.

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10/1/14 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Boondocks- R. Kelly Goes To Trial

wildin out wednesday

 

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The BOONDOCKS is an adult animated sitcom on Cartoon Network’s late-night programming block, Adult Swim. The series premiered on November 6, 2005. Created by Aaron McGruder, BOONDOCKS is based on McGruder’s comic strip, which is distributed in over 350 newspapers nationwide. The sitcom revolves around a boy named Huey and his gangster-wannabe brother who have left the inner city to live with their grandfather in the suburbs. Read More »

10/1/14 O&A DIVA ALERT: Aretha Franklin Sing Adele’s Rolling In The Deep On Letterman

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Aretha Franklin was the guest on last night’s David Letterman, where she performed her cover of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep that was released yesterday (which also contains a bit of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”). For the performance, she was joined by a choir (which included Cissy Houston) and a large back up band.  Read More »

9/30/14 O&A REVIEW: Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical

By Walter Rutledge

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Before RuPaul, or Boy George the crown of cross-dressing performers was wore by Sylvester the “Queen of Disco”. He reigned over the androgynous 1970’s and 1980’s dance and club culture with visual daring and signature gospel infused falsetto vocals. The new off-Broadway musical Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical now playing at The Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th Street pays tribute to the iconic and trailblazing songwriter and performer. Read More »

9/29/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: Cabaret

Hollywood Mondays

large_oE89VVdKLVuy8KyRUP9zoYgGUOCabaret is a 1972 musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey.  The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the ominous presence of the growing Nazi Party. Cabaret holds the record for most Academy Award wins in a single year without winning the highest honor, Best Picture, with eight awards. The film won the Academy Award for Best Director for Bob Fosse, Best Actress for Liza Minnelli, Best Supporting Actor for Joel Grey, and five more technical awards. It lost the Best Picture award to The Godfather, which won three awards.

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9/28/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Whitney Houston

GOSPEL SUNDAY
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Whitney Houston was born on August 9, 1963 in what was then a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. At the age of 11, Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. Her first solo performance in the church was Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah. When Houston was a teenager, she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls’ high school in Caldwell, New Jersey.

For Gospel Sunday Out and About NYC Magazine presents four Houston gospel classics Yes, Jesus Loves Me, This Day, I Love The Lord, and a special encore performance.

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9/27/14 Its Saturday: Gap presents the ‘GQ’ Best New Menswear Designers in America 2014 Collections

It is Saturday

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By Adewale Adekanbi

Every year for the past eight years, GQ has named their picks for the Best New Menswear Designers in America. Previous winners include the likes of Daiki Suzuki’s Engineered Garments, Robert Geller, Billy Reid and Alexander Wang. Back in March, men’s lifestyle magazine GQ announced the best menswear designers in America for 2014. GQ team up with American retail giant Gap who give the designers the opportunity to create their own limited edition capsule collections. Read More »

9/25/14 O&A Throwback Thursday: Sylvester

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Sylvester James, Jr. better known as Sylvester, was a disco and soul singer-songwriter. Known for his flamboyant and androgynous appearance that exemplified the era. Sylvester was often described by the mainstream media as a drag queen, but he repeatedly rejected such a description. Responsible for a string of hit singles in the late 1970s, Sylvester became known in the United States under the moniker of the “Queen of Disco.” Read More »

9/24/14 O&A With Walestylez: A First Look At The Penfield Fall/Winter 2014

 

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Penfield offer up a first look at the Fall 2014 collection lookbook. A celebration of their classic cuts, we’re reminded of the brand’s roots in all things outdoors, a “promise of durability, functionality and quality.” Classic 60/40 becomes 80/40 in the popular windproof Hoosac Parka, the Kasson jacket adds a layer of water protection with its bonded cotton and for those chillier days, the new Loring down-insulated shirt and plenty of old-school fleeces. Quilted blazers, hunting and hound prints, contrast zips, and ‘crazy’ colorway accessories – “designed for life in the open.” Read More »

9/24/14/ O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: The Cosby Show Season 1 Episode 17 – Theo and the Joint

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When Clair finds a marijuana joint in Theo’s history book she and Cliff confront Theo He explains that it is not his and both Cliff and Clair believe him, but Theo feels that they are going to look down on him from this point on. So they next day he goes to school to confront the person it actually belonged to. The episode was part of the first season and originally aired on February 7, 1985.  Read More »

9/23/14 O&A This Week: September 22 thru 29: Places To Go and Things To See

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Fall is here! As we bid summer a fond farewell the new season ushers in a whirlwind of arts events. We have classic cars in the Bronx, a watershed moment in dance in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the “Queen of disco” is re-crowned Off Broadway and there are Killer Heels in Brooklyn that would make Nancy Sinatra “walk all over you”. Here are a few of the many events happening in the city that never sleeps guaranteed to keep you Out and About. Read More »

9/22/14 O&A The A- Z of Dance

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Shot on the streets and rooftops of sunny LA, our A-Z of Dance shows you how to set hearts alight and clubs on fire. Float like an Arabesque, spin like a B-Boy, wobble like a Chicken Noodle Soup… it’s time to step up! In a very special project for i-D and Diesel, director Jacob Sutton has captured the world’s hottest dancers walking in the air in their Jogg Jeans and cut-offs.

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Lil Buck shows us the way of Memphis Jookin. Super-thighs Nicole the Pole – star of Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” video – takes us to a whole other level. And fresh from the Rick Owens catwalk, the Soul Step team show us how to dance to Le1f. Read More »

9/22/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: Our Gang /The Little Rascals- Mush n Milk

Hollywood Mondays

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Our Gang (also known as The Little Rascals or Hal Roach’s Rascals) began in 1922 as a series of silent short subjects produced by the Roach studio.  The series is about a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures. Created by comedy producer Hal Roach, the series is noted for showing children behaving in a relatively natural way, as Roach and original director Robert F. McGowan worked to film the unaffected, raw nuances apparent in regular children rather than have them imitate adult acting styles. Read More »

9/21/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Amazing Grace- Aretha Franklin from the Women of Soul White House Performance

GOSPEL SUNDAY

mezzanine_144Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House is a PBS music special taped in the East Room of the White House, celebrating the great “foremothers” of American music, with songs expressing the struggles and achievements of women. President and Mrs. Obama hosted the event on Thursday, March 6, 2014. The all-star concert will include performances by Tessanne Chin, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe and Jill Scott, with Greg Phillinganes as music director.  The program finale was Aretha Franklin performing Amazing Grace. One of the song Franklin has performed throughout her “amazing” career.  Read More »

9/20/14 O&A Richard Sherman: Never Finished- Nike Spoof’s The Hype

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Richard Sherman is unquestionably one of the most polarizing figures in the NFL, but his entertainment value is hard to deny. Since ascending to All-Pro status as a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012, Sherman has made a name for himself by constantly boasting that he’s the best corner in the game.This hilarious new ad from Nike Football makes light of the headlines he sparks and even brings in comedian Damon Wayans Jr. to help tell the tale of Richard Sherman. Johnny Manziel and some of Sherman’s teammates were (fictionally) not impressed. Read More »

9/20/14 O&A Its Saturday: Ruby Dee Memorial Service Livestream Today 11am

It is Saturdayyiqlwwzy7so8c6c6nzcrA memorial for actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee is scheduled to begin Saturday, September 20 at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT. The service will be held at the Riverside Church in New York and will feature music by Alicia Keys and Audra McDonald, reflections by former Mayor David Dinkins and Sonia Sanchez, and a eulogy by Harry Belafonte. Dee died June 11 at 91. Read More »

9/17/14 O&A: Todd Snyder for PF Flyers

 By Walter Rutledge

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Fashion designer Todd Snyder has teamed up with PF Flyers to create a men’s footwear collection. The partnership came together naturally given Todd’s love for vintage sportswear and PF’s heritage in athletic footwear. This collaboration merges the essence of both brands creating a timeless yet fashion-forward aesthetic. Read More »

O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Jamie Foxx as Wanda- In Living Color

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Eric Marlon Bishop known professionally as Jamie Foxx, is an African-American actor, singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian and musician. Ugly Wanda, played by Foxx, was based on a character LaWanda Page played in a sketch on Redd Foxx (1977). The first sketch to feature Wanda, in which she gives an erotic massage to a man who hasn’t seen her face, is a remake of the original Redd Foxx sketch. The character was named after Page. Jamie took his stage name as a tribute to Redd Foxx. Read More »

9/16/14 Reflections on Katherine Dunham and Lavinia Williams (part two)

By Noel Nantambu Hall

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On her passing Mme. Williams was recognized by the Haitian government with an official national funeral and a posthumous award, Grand Officer De L’ Ordre National Honneur et Merite. She is survived by daughters Sharon and Sara, both of whom are active in the dance field. Sharon, a master percussionist and Sara, a former leading dancer with the Harkness and Atlanta ballets, the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Read More »

9/16/14 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Tony Robbins- Focus

Inspirational-Tuesday

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Where focus goes, energy flows. And where energy flows, whatever you’re focusing on grows. In other words, your life is controlled by what you focus on. That’s why you need to focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. When you next find yourself in a state of uncertainty, resist your fear. Shift your focus toward where you want to go and your actions will take you in that direction. Read More »

9/15/14 Reflections on Katherine Dunham and Lavinia Williams (part one)

By Noel Nantambu Hall

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 Katherine Dunham laid some sturdy foundations in arts and education that would not only benefit her era, but mushroom through the years and inspire new foundations and further growth. Education and the self-reaffirming power it wielded on an individual, group or society had clearly evidenced itself on her development and growing consciousness in the mid-nineteen thirties, and at the forefront were dance and anthropology. Read More »

9/15/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: The Band Wagon: Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse

Hollywood Mondays

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The Band Wagon is a 1953 musical comedy film that many critics rank, along with Singin’ in the Rain, as the finest of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals despite only a modest box-office success. The film tells the story of an aging musical star who hopes a Broadway play will restart his career. The play’s director wants to make it a pretentious retelling of Faust, and brings in a prima ballerina who clashes with the star.

The songs were written by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz, and some were created for the original 1931 Broadway musical also called The Band Wagon. The Broadway production featured a book by George S. Kaufman and starred Fred Astaire and his sister Adele. The movie’s dances and musical numbers were staged by Michael Kidd.

Read More »

9/14/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Smokie Norful- I Need You Now

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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Reverend W.R. “Smokie” Norful, Jr. is an internationally renowned musician, music composer, and recording artist. His debut compact discs entitled I Need You Now and Smokie Norful Limited Edition have garnered favorable accolades and awards across the world, including the 2005 Grammy Award for Contemporary Soul Gospel Album of the Year for his release entitled, Nothing Without You; three Stellar awards; four Dove awards; three Gospel Music Excellence Awards; an NAACP image Award nomination; a Soul Train award nomination; two nominations for the BET award for gospel music; two RIAA certified Gold selling compact discs; and countless others. Read More »

9/12/14 O&A Its Saturday: Morning, Noon and Night with Nigel Sylvester

It is Saturday

Photo by: Karl Ferguson (www.rageonemedia.com)
Check out street cyclist Nigel Sylvester’s entire day in the order that it all went down, from morning to the afternoon, and finally into the night. Nigel starts his day cruising the streets, only to have a chance encounter with Teyana Taylor. His afternoon fades to night, as he rides through the streets of NYC with friends, ending up at the club.

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And a O&A repost of Nigel’s 2014 ESPN Body Issue photo session video

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9/12/14 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Jerome Robbins- Fancy Free

Shall We Dance

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Fancy Free is a ballet choreographed by Jerome for Ballet Theatre, the predecessor of American Ballet Theatre. The work is set to a score by Leonard Bernstein, with scenery by Oliver Smith, costumes by Kermit Love and lighting by Ronald Bates. The premiere took place on Tuesday, April 18th, 1944, at the original Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The sailors were played by Jerome Robbins, Michael Kidd, and John Kriza. 

The inspiration for Fancy Free came from Paul Cadmus’ 1934 painting The Fleet’s In!, which is part of the Sailor Trilogy. The character driven dance takes place  in New York City, during the second world war. Three Sailors on liberty boisterously arrive at a bar, have a drink, and head outside looking for female companionship.  Read More »

9/11/14 O&A DIVA ALERT!: Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston- When You Believe

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When You Believe is a song from the 1998 DreamWorks musical animated feature film The Prince of Egypt. The song was written and composed by Stephen Schwartz. A pop single version with additional music and lyrics by writer-producer Babyface was also recorded for the film. The song was performed by pop divas Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston for the film’s end credits and the soundtrack album.

Read More »

9/11/14 O&A Throwback Thursday: Mariah Carey

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Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey was born and raised on Long Island, New York, she came to prominence after releasing her self-titled debut studio album Mariah Carey in 1990. The album went multiplatinum and spawned four consecutive number one singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Referred to as the songbird supreme by the Guinness World Records, she is famed for her five-octave vocal range, power, melismatic style and signature use of the whistle register.

Throughout her career, Carey has sold more than 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2012, Carey was ranked second on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music. Aside from her commercial accomplishments, Carey has won five Grammy Awards, nineteen World Music Awards, eleven American Music Awards, and thirty-one Billboard Music Awards. Read More »

9/10/14 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Eddie Murphy – Raw

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Before films such as Tower Heist, Meet Dave, Holy Man and Daddy Day Care comedian turned actor Eddie Murphy use to be funny. A native of the Bushwick section of Brooklyn Murphy’s early comedy was characterized by profanity laced punch lines, and sketches lampooning a diverse group of people. At age 19 he became the youngest member of the Saturday Night Live cast. From 1980 through 1984 Eddie helped resurrect the show with characters including Gumby, Buckwheat and Mr. Robinson (a spoof on Fred Rogers).

Murphy released Raw in 1987. It followed the success of Delirious, the 1983 film of his stand-up comedy routine. Filmed in the Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden in New York, the film contained the word fuck 223 times, setting the record for the highest fuck count ever in a feature-length film. Raw surprisingly surpassed the 1983 Scarface with itself profanity and held this record until 1990. Read More »

9/8/14 O&A Hollywood Monday: On The Town

Hollywood Mondays

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On The Town, the 1949 MGM musical film is an adaptation of the Broadway stage musical of the same name produced in 1944. Both the theatre and film productions are based on the Jerome Robbins ballet entitled Fancy Free, which was also produced in 1944. The music was written by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. 

With an all-star song and dance cast including Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin, Ann Miller, Betty Garrett and Vera Ellen the film was an instant success. On The Town won the Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Cinematography (Color). Screenwriters Comden and Green won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Musical. Read More »

9/7/14 O&A Gospel Sunday: Reverend James Cleveland

GOSPEL SUNDAY

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The Reverend Dr. James Edward Cleveland was a gospel singer, musician, and composer. Known as the King of Gospel music, Cleveland was a driving force behind the creation of the modern gospel sound by incorporating traditional black gospel, modern, soul, pop and jazz in arrangements for mass choirs. Throughout his career, Cleveland appeared on hundreds of recordings, won 4 Grammy Awards, and received a star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Read More »

9/3/14 O&A Wildin Out Wednesday: Joan Rivers

wildin out wednesday

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Brooklyn native Joan Alexandra Molinsky known by her stage name Joan Rivers, is an actress, comedian, writer, producer and television host. Rivers is best known for her stand-up comedy, co-hosting the E!  celebrity fashion show Fashion Police. Rivers and her daughter Melissa are also stars of the reality series with Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?
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8/29/14 O&A Shall We Dance Friday (repost): Rainbow Round My Shoulder- Donald McKayle with Mary Hinkson

Shall We Dance

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Donald McKayle’s 1959 masterwork, Rainbow Round My Shoulder, is acclaimed as a modern dance classic. A searing dramatic narrative, it is set on a chain gang in the American south where prisoners work, breaking rock from “can see to can’t see.” Their aspirations for freedom come in the guise of a woman, first as a vision then as a remembered sweetheart, mother, and wife. The songs that accompany their arduous labor are rich in polyphony and tell a bitter, sardonic, and tragic story. It was created for the Donald McKayle Dance Company, and has been in the repertoire of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Batsheva Dance Company and Dayton Contemporary Dance, among others. The cast in the video excerpt includes Donald McKayle and Mary Hinkson. Read More »

Shall We Dance Friday: Sammy Davis Jr.- The Original Triple Threat

Shall We Dance

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Samuel George “Sammy” Davis, Jr. was born on December 8, 1925. He was an African- American entertainer who broke many barriers and paved the way for entertainers in all  disciplines. Davis was primarily a dancer and singer, but he also received acclaim as an actor of stage and screen, musician, and impressionist. Davis died at age 64 in 1990, after spending 61 years in the profession he loved.  Read More »

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