Greetings! This past weekend's Hurricane Irene washed away the energy of the anniversary of Michael Jackson's passing, with cancellations of special events here in the tristate, and the King Memorial celebration in Washington, D.C., also cancelled and rescheduled for September or October.
Meanwhile, a homegoing service at Abbysinnian Baptist Church was officiated by the Rev. Calvin Butts for the late Nick Ashford, mourned by his partner of over four decades and wife of 37 years,Valerie Simpson. The service was filled to capacity, standing room only, and attended by family and a celebrity-studded crowd of friends and fans.
Let's hope "Labor Day on De Parkway" Sept. 5 can lift our spirits.
- Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett and Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson star in the Broadway debut of "The Mountaintop," Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning drama, directed by Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon ("Fences," "A Raisin in the Sun"). Performances begin Sept. 22, with the official opening on Oct. 13. Featuring original music by Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and Tony Award nominee Branford Marsalis. At the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St. For tickets, visit Telecharge.com.
- "Mama, I Want to Sing: The Next Generation," by Vy Higginsen, with original music by Wesley Naylor. Now playing at the Dempsey Theater, 127 W. 127th St. between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcolm X boulevards. For more information and tickets, visit www.mamafoundation.org.
- "Baby It's You" follows the creation and rise of the independent record company that gave us the popular girl group the Shirelles, the Isley Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Chuck Jackson and more. At the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 44th St. For more information, visit www.babyitsyouonbroadway.com.
- "The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith." Now running on Broadway at St. Luke's Theatre, 308 W. 46th St. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200 or visit www.stlukestheatre.com.
- Whoopi Goldberg's "Sister Act," the stage musical based on the 1992 movie of the same name, features funky, soulful songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater and presents the dynamic debut of Patina Miller. At the Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway. For more information, visit www.sisteractbroadway.com.
- The Riverside Theatre, Voza Rivers, New Heritage Theatre Group and the City College of New York present Daniel Beaty in "Emergency," Fri., Sept. 23 and Sat., Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. The following weekend it's Beaty in "Through the Night," Fri., Sept. 30 and Sat., Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 2 at 3 p.m. Two weekends and six performances only at Aaron Davis Hall on the City College campus, 150 Convent Ave. at 135th Street.
- At the Big Yard Calypso Tent on Thurs., Sept. 1, it's "Clash of the Islands" and on Sat., Sept. 3, it's "Move the Chairs," an all-night soca party. Music by Swinging Stars, emceed by Tommy Joeseph. Outdoors at the Executive Lounge, 957 Utica Ave. between Snyder and Tilden avenues. To purchase tickets, visit DeckPromotions.com. For more information, call (917) 477-9926 or (347)-228-0822.
- Gospel diva Lady Peachena will sing songs from her new inspirational CD, "I'll Never Let Go of My Faith" (Tate Music Group), in a free, hour-long outdoor concert on Sept. 6 in front of the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building at 163 W. 125th St. at the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.
- Reggae Rhythm and Blues Festival featuring Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, David "Movado" Brooks, Monica, Tarrus Riley and Beenie Man, Sun., Sept. 4 at Roy Wilkens Park at Marrick and Baisley boulevards in Queens. Gates open at noon, show goes til 8 p.m. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free.
- La Boom presents George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Wed., Sept. 7, hosted by Dr. Bob Lee and Dahved "Caribbean Feva" Levy of WBLS-FM. Doors open at 7 p.m., showtime is at 10 p.m. At La Boom, 57th Street and Northern Boulevard in Woodside, Queens.