3/25/18 O&A NYC THEATRE REVIEW: Chicago- Valerie Simpson Takes No Prisoners As Matron “Mama” Morton

By Walter Rutledge

Songwriter, recording artist, entrepreneur, and restauranteur Valerie Simpson can now add Broadway thespian to her impressive list of accomplishments. On March 12, 2018 Simpson made her Broadway debut as Matron “Mama” Morton in Broadway’s longest running musical Chicago. For her six-week run (through April 22) Simpson is flanked by a talented cast of Broadway veterans including: Amra- Faye Wright as the Vaudeville villainess Velma Kelly, Bianca Marroquin– the murderous ingénue Roxie Hart and Chaz Lamar Shepard as brash barrister Billy Flynn. Continue reading

3/22/18 O&A NYC THROWBACK THURSDAY CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: Ashford and Simpson – Found A Cure (Live 1979)

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, the successful songwriting duo and recording artists, met at Harlem’s White Rock Baptist Church in 1964.   Continue reading

2/11/18 O&A NYC BLACK HISTORY MONTH SUNDAY AFTERNOON JAZZ CONCERT: Joséphine Baker: The First Black International Superstar

Josephine Baker was an entertainer, civil rights activist, French Resistance agent and the first Black international superstar. Her career was centered primarily in Europe, mostly in her adopted France. Continue reading

10/18/16 O&A NYC INSPIRATIONAL TUESDAY: Ruth Brown’s 1989 Tony Award Acceptance Speech For Best Actress in a Musical And Performance With Linda Hopkins And Cast

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Ruth Brown wins the 1989 43rd Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Black and Blue. And a performance of T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do with Linda Hopkins  and cast. Continue reading

5/27/16 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Gregory and Maurice Hines

Shall We Dance
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Gregory and Maurice Hines, Harlem natives and child entertainers  were the sons of Alma Iola (Lawless) and Maurice Robert Hines, a dancer, musician, and actor. Maurice began his career at the age of five and Gregory at age two. Both studied tap dance at the Henry LeTang Dance Studio in Manhattan. LeTang recognized their talent and began choreographing numbers specifically for them patterned on the Nicholas Brothers. Continue reading

5/6/15 O&A Its Saturday- Anything Goes: Lena Horne – The Lady and Her Music (1982)

It is Saturday

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Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music the 1981 Broadway musical revue, written for and starring American singer and actress Lena Horne. The show opened on May 12, 1981, and after 333 performances, closed on June 30, 1982, Horne’s 65th birthday. In 1981 Horne also won a special Tony Award at the 35th Tony Awards, a special award from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, and the City of New York’s Handel Medallion. At the 24th Grammy Awards, Quincy Jones and Horne won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, and Horne won the Grammy for Best Vocal Performance, Female. Continue reading