So, I have been honest about the fact that I had some reservations about The Wiz Live, set to air in December. When it was first announced, I immediately thought back to the universally panned Sound of Music Live. I love the 1976 film version of The Wiz (yes, even the 30+ year old Dorothy) and didn’t really see the point of remaking a classic. But as the cast was announced (Queen Latifah, David Alan Grier, Uzo Aduba, Amber Riley) my worries eased up. But just a bit. When 18 year old Shanice Williams was cast, I praised the decision to hire an unknown actress. When I heard Shanice sing, I felt like the producers made a great choice.
This week, The Wiz Live released a video of Shanice singing the iconic song Home with none other than the original Dorothy, Stephanie Mills (She also plays Auntie Em in the updated version). I got MY ENTIRE LIFE watching this!! Shanice kills it and I can not WAIT to see her and the rest of the cast when The Wiz Live airs.
Check it out here:
What do you think? WIll you be watching The Wiz Live when it airs December 3rd on NBC?
Issa Rae, one of my faves and former Cinema in Noir guest, recently launched Issa Talks on her YouTube channel. In the first installment she chats with writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood and writer/producer Lena Waithe. The women discussed their initial meeting, the influence of music in their work and the journey to getting their latest projects (Beyond the Lights and Dear White People, respectively) made.
I can not say enough WONDERFUL things about this series of videos. I have been a HUGE fan of Gina Prince-Bythewood since I saw Love and Basketball back in 2000. And I have been raving about Lena Waithe since I discovered one of my favorite webseries, Hello Cupid, which she co-created. It is really cool to get to know these women behind the camera.
Congratulations to Audra McDonald! Tonight, the amazingly talented singer and actress made history by winning the Tony Award for Best Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. The win is Audra’s sixth which makes her the winningest woman in Tony history. It also makes his the only person to have a Tony in each of the four acting categories.
Check out this video I found on Youtube of the ICONIC Grace Jones in a 1985 interview on the Australian show “Day by Day.” In the clip the eccentric artist talks about her reputation, and her androgynous persona, and her undefinable sexuality. Check it out:
I LOVE Grace Jones SO much. She is the epitome of a free black women. She is the ultimate bodacious black eve 🙂
Happy Birthday to one of my faves, the super talented Kerry Washington.
I have been a huge fan of Kerry since her early roles in the films Our Songand Save the Last Dance. She also co-stars in one of my favorite Spike Lee joints, She Hate Me. Over the past few years, I have fallen more in love with Kerry’s work, mainly because of Scandal and Olivia Pope. Kerry’s weekly performance as the political fixer has been nothing short of amazing to watch.
Check out this video from Parade.com where Kerry discusses some of her notable film roles:
Last night I was a guest on Celi’s Hangout: Golden Globes Roundtable (Women’s Edition). This was my second appearance on Celi’s show (You can check out the first one here). Also on the panel was Arlene McGruder, Kim Akia, Natasha Ononogbo and Adrienne Moore (who plays “Black Cindy” on one of my favorite shows, Orange is the New Black) . During the discussion we chat about our picks for film the year and chat about the definition of a “leading woman.” and much more!During the discussion, we gave
Today Juanita Moore, the Academy Award nominated actress who received accolades for her role as Annie Johnson in the 1959 version of Imitation of Life passed away today. She was believed to be 99 years old.
Although she will be primarily remembered for her role in Imitation of Life, Ms. Moore worked in theater, television, and film in a career that spanned nearly five decades. She was an amazingly talented actor.
Below is a scene from Imitation of Life in which Ms. Moore, as Annie Johnson, pays a final visit to her daughter Sarah Jane:
Born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, OH, Ruby Dee is an actress, activist, and writer. In 1948 she married actor Ossie Davis and the two remained a fixture in Hollywood and the political world until his death. Ruby has won a Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Screen Actors Guild Award, and SAG Lifetime Achievement Awards. She is also the recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2007 she was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the film American Gangster.
Ruby is a living legend and an icon and should be revered and respected for her artistic and political contributions. Happy Birthday and many more, Ruby Dee!
Twtter, Instagram, and Facebook have been a buzz in celeration of Beyonce’s birthday. Today the singer/actress turns 32. I am a huge Beyonce fan. She has conquered the world of music and I think she is one of the greatest performers of all time.
Beyonce continues to make strides in her acting career as well. Her latest venture was as Queen Tara in the animated film Epic. But my favorite Beyonce film performances are those that incorporate her musical talents. So to celebrate her Bey-day, I want so share a clip from one of my favorite movies, Dreamgirls. In the scene, Beyonce’s Deena Jones takes the lead for the very first time.