Last Friday, I checked out my buddy Joel King's two act production of "Me, Don and the Psychiatrist" at the Vaughan Cultural Center in Grandel Square. Put on by J.P.E.K. and the Network Group, the play was attended by about 90 patrons (which is a packed out for the Center) and it was a free event. It starred local actors L.A. Williams and my girl Shawn Guy Pitts and King himself (at the last minute--I will explain later--the pic of the play is shown at the upper left hand corner of this blog). The play ran for two nights (Friday and Saturday) and it was mainly about a woman taking her man to a shrink because of his obsession with her vagina.
It was definitely something worth reckoning especially for King who mostly does Christian based plays. It was experimental theatre at its best with all of the plesantries of an R-Rated "Mad About You" episode. King had to step in at the last minute (literally) becasue the actor who was supposed to play the psychiatrist had a family emergency and had to cancel the day of the first production. Well, come to find out King had to step in at the last minute, don the actors' costumed and pretend to analyze the couple with his clipboard but was actually reading his lines (and played it off well).
My only beef was the ending was predictable (She forgives him) and there was no real surprises in the play. But overall, it was a good piece of work. Big ups to Christian Cofield and Cody Aaron who did the music and lights respectively for this show.
On Saturday, I went to the Jazz Loft on Olive just to get out of the house. Nothing special was going on but I did see the regulars up in therr. I ran into a female colleegue at AG Edwards who was suprised to seeme up in there ( I wasnt for sure if it was her or not cause I had drank two Kamos prior to getting to the Loft so you know I was TOE-UP and no I didnt have a straw in my mouth. LOL). I also saw Edward Jones broker Roger Macon making his rounds and local actor Stuart Allen who I was surprised was up in therr cause he mostly go to the vanilla clubs (aka Club Buka). I stayed til about 2:30ish and jetted.
On Sunday was the annual Annie MAlone May Day Parade which was held on Market from Harris STowe State University to 7th and Market. There was much controversy over this particular parade cause for the longest time it was on NAtural Bridge in North County and when it was decided by the Annie Malone board to move it downtown there was uporoar and howling about its change. This was my first time going to the parade overall and I wanted to go myself to see how many people were goign to show up.
I parked my Kia Spectra at the Metro Link at the SWIC and took it to Union Station. I got off and it was about 12ish or so when I walked west up Market to find teh perfect spot to see the parade (which started at 1 p.m.) There was a nice gathering of people who congrageted on both sides of Market either standing or sitting under shady trees. I got situated on the corner of 20th and MArket with my bag that had my digital camera, my snacks and my water. And the rest was history....
Before the parade began there was ghetto drama ten fold. First was this family that got out of this ghetto cruiser on teh corner of 20th and had packed everything but the kitchen sink for this outing. One of the females in the car had so much stuff in her hands(including a 24 case of bottled water) that I knew for sure a catastrophe was about to happen. And it did. She dopped teh case of water and three of them fell out of the case while she dropped the other things that was in her hand near the curb. A family member was yelling at her that some trucks were coming her way. She managed to get eveything out of the way, but it was too late for the three bottled waters that were splashed under one of the big rig's truck wheels. She mumbled, "I wasnt going to get those anyway." CLASSIC.
Now it was about 12:45 pm and it seems as though the polics and fire departments were just setting up the area for cars to stop driving on MArket! I was like, didnt the city know that the parade was about to start around 1? I thoughtthat was pretty tacky for the city to wait the last minute to shut down the street as well as set up the Amercian flag with two fire truck ladders holding it up 100s of feet from 20th and MArket.
Another was the weather. True it was going to be good weather for the parade, but it was humid as in I will pass out if I breathe humid. It caught a lot of people off guard and wasnt expecting for the weather to be that humid. But other than that, the parade was successful.
There were about 50 or so floats from area schools and orgaizations and radio stations (even WESL on the East SIde made an apprearance) I was ecxpecting a Grand MArshall to begin the parade, but I dont think there wa snone. My boy Jessie Taylor form 100.3 The Beat was on the radio stations' float (which I thought was the best float as far as creativity with its mini concert with Dun Deal, Rucka Puff and Pimp C). I shouted out Jessie name and he saw me and yelled out with a megaphione, "Marcus ATkins is in the building." I felt rellay special and important after that. LOL
Some of the local celebs who particpated was KMOV-TV;s Vickie Newton, Fox 2's Elliott Davis, Rob Desir, and Bonita Kornute, Majic 104.9's Tammie Holland (when are you expecting?), and Tony Scott, Fire Chief Sherman George, Police Chief Joe Mokwa (who walked toward the curb in my side and threw out some candy into the crowd and that casued a mini-apocolypse with the kiddies)May Day Parade. They also had many stretch minos and Ciorvettes flossin on dubs, UPS trucks (I Guess), Fire trucks, belly dancers, Ol Skool Drill Teams (which was a fave ), frat and soror steppin, and politicnas like State Rep Yaphett El Amin and County Board Prez Charles Dule.
The DONT DO THAT AWARD (Sorry Freeman Bosley Jr SHow for biting your award) had to go to the heavy set sister that was on one of the floats who had on a wet t-shirt, Daisey Dukes with all of the cheese on her thighs who turned around and shook her thickaliciousness to teh crowd. Hello this was a event with kids. Wherr did she think she was at the Pink Slip Strip Club? That was too much playin.
FYI. Someone one told me that rapper Chingy wa son a float. I don't know cause I stayed til the end. Maybe he was at the African Heritage Festival, the rival event that went down at Natural Bridge. I know the Rose Man showed up cause I saw him with suit and all selling flowers. You know it aint an event without him. LOL.
Overall, the parade was nice. There were no fights. Everyone was ruly and I think the parade should stay downtown so it can attract more people (even though the "accidental" white people who was there had that out of towner look and looked like--Where are all these black people coming from?) and the cops can be on deck to handle any mishaps.
After the parade, which enede dabout 4 p.m., I walked to the Metro LInk at Union Station (where an oficer was giving a young sista a ticket for unlruly behavior at the ticket booth) and rode to 8th and Pine for the Post-Jazz fest hosted by radio personality The Real JR where singers like Kim MAssie performed her ASS OFF for the crowd. I ran into a few of my assoiciates therr like Vanita Applebum, Rene Thomas Woods, Eric WIlson (we gotta talk about the column), and Chantal Owens(We gotta talk about your exodus from inbox girlfriend).
Now the trips were two committed bound people who were part of this crowd. One was the sista with the veily red dress with Converse on (Shown to the right of this blog). She was dancing and having her own concert (even pointing to the crowd while singing with the performers), but she took the cake when she got on stage while one of the performers were singing and walked near the back to shake hands with the performers. I gulped wondering what was she doing up there. After a few minutes, she walked down from the stage and JR whispered somthing in her ear (probably, Dont ever-ever-everevereeerer do that again!)
The other was the older motorycle black guy with a helmet on who was dancing and bending backwards as though he was giving himself the Hemlich. I had to take a pic of him, It was too priceless not to snap. (If you ant to see pics of the parade as well as Motorycle man, check out more pics on OUT 48 following this blog post)
R.I.P. The world has lost dancer/activist/anthroplogist Katherine Dunham (pictured in teh center of my blog). She died in a Manhattan assisted living facility last Sunday at the age of 96. There have been so much said about her (for more on her life check out www.stlamerican.com ) but I want to put a more personal spin about Ms Dunham.
I heard that she was hard to work with and very stern, but I must say, you have to be that way in order to gain respect from others, especially artists who are ego centric. But I had a chance to meet Ms. Dunham on several occassion when I was member of the Eugene B. Redmond Writer's Club and even seranded her with poems during her birthday celebrations (The next one will be June 22 by the way at the Dunham Museum in EASt St. Louis).
I've had the pleasure to give her roses in behalf of the writers' club and kissed her gently on her cheek as well. I also had the privilege to hear her speak to many. One such instance was at the Missouri History Musuem in the mid 90s and I believe and she spoke and she was talking about women of today and she said that women who fuss about men and what they do to them she said, "Onbe day, they will get tired" meaning they will eventually give in and submit to men. I thought was a bold statement to make especially around black women.
I'm sure now that she has left this earth, there will be many to put her legacy in his riteful place, escpailly my mentor Eugene B. Redmond who was mentored by her when she came to live in East ST. Louis in the late 60s to join the SIU-Edwardsville faculty and had a center named after her in downtown East St. Louis.
There is also a Katherine Dunham Musuem that is still in existence in downtown St. Louis at Katherine Dunham Place (Pennsylvania Drive). And for those who had the privilege to learn and/or teach her Dunham Techique (like Ruby Street and Keith Tyrone), the responsiblities are now on you to carry on her legacy. She will be greatly missed. The center is accepting tax dedictible contributions to pay for the funeral services in NYC. For more info call 618-531-0403
FYI. Her last appearnce was on Oprah Winfrey's Legends TV Show this past Monday on ABC, one day after her death.
STLTIDBITZ. My girl Erica Sutherlin wiull be in the Green Show Production of Julius Caeser called, "Soothsayin' a pre-show before the Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park. It starts tomorrow, May, 26 and runs until June 18. It is free. For more information call 314-531-9800 or go to www.sfstl.com
Freedom Trails, Legacies of Hope will present a Miles Davis street change event and jazz concert with ESL native saxman Russell Gunn and other local artists, Friday, May 26 at Miles' birthplace 17th and Kansas in East St. Louis. The event commemorates Davis 80th birthday. For mor einfo, go to www.freedom-trails2legacies.org......................................................
The NETWORK GROUP PRESENTS, "COMETRY"--comedy and poetry, AT 8 P.M., SUNDAY. MAY 28, AT THE MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM AT FOREST PARK. Hosted by The Invisble Man. Comedians include Ray Lapowski, DeANdre and Eric Rivers and National Poetry Slam champ UGly from Chi-town. Admission is 20 bones. For more info, call 618-531-1360.......
Big ups to my girl Rochelle "Coco Soul Williams who was cast in the ST. Louis Black Rep's version of the Tony Award winning musical, "Dreamgirls." The play will run this week up until July 2. It is perfect timing becasue of the hoopla of the film starring Beyonce (A source told me that the film got a standing O at the Cannes Film Festival this month).
Don't forget to cop your movie ticket to the STL filmed, "Tapesty of Shadows". Its premiere will be in St. Louis May 26 and 27, 2006 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral 3633 Lindell Blvd. Tickets are only $10 Tickets go on sale Monday May 8, 2006 (Next Monday). You can reserve them by going to http://www.tapestryofshadows.com/ PEOPLE ARE RESERVING THEM ALREADY, SO DON'T DELAY!!!..............
Kudos to my boy Kameron Hopson who recently filmed a commercial for Anheuser Bush at Sportman's Bar in the STL with other models and sportscaster Joe Buck. The comemerical was in tribute to legendary sportscaster, the late Jack Buck, I will keep you posted when the commercial will air. ......................
L.A. TIDBITZ. The 7th Annual Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) will once again be the host to many groundbreaking films, celebrities, numerous industry-related panels/workshops, HBFF Filmmaker & Storyteller Awards, Opening and Closing Night Galas, live entertainment and many more festivities throughout the week. The 2006 festival takes place June 13-18, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. You can now register to attend HBFF 2006. For your optimal festival experience the Hollywood Black Film Festival offers a variety of passes. Visit our Registration page for all the details. Remember, save $$ by registering before the May 16th early-bird deadline! For ticket information, travel and hotel accommodations, and a complete schedule of films, panels and special events, visit the website at www.hbff.org.
NYTID-BITZ. My buddy singer songwriter Gordon Chambers will be performing with Grammy Award winning R&B diva Stephanie Mills at BB KIngs Bar and Grill, 237 West 42nd Street in NYC. June 2, 2006, 8:00PM Price: $69.50 Advance, $75.00 Day of Show For more info go to Stephanie Mills Website or www.bbkingblues.com
Well that is it for me.If you have anything for me to pub, hit me up firstname.lastname@example.org!