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Imhotep's Guide To Black Events

Imhotep Gary Byrd | 1/2/2014, 2:41 p.m.
Imhotep Gary Byrd

Greetings! With the new year beginning, we wish a “Happy New You” to everyone as we all pursue our dreams and manifest our inner visions for 2014.

The Kwanzaa and Christmas season took an unexpected turn with the sudden death of legendary Pan-African cultural activist Brother John Watusi Branch, founder of the African Poetry Theatre in Jamaica, Queens. Our condolences go out to the Watusi family and supporters. Condolences to fellow Buffalonian the sultry “Sheila” of WBLS-FM, who lost her mom as we ended the year.

Condolences to all who lost loved ones or family in 2013.

THEATER

Ishmael Reed’s “The Final Version,” which sheds light on the African-American community and communism, is now playing at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E. Third St. It’s directed by and starring Rome Neal, with an awesome cast. Call 212-780-9386 or visit nuyorican.org org.

“After Midnight,” a new musical celebrating the glamour and exuberance of Harlem’s Golden Age and featuring the timeless songs of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Harold Arlen woven around the prose of Langston Hughes, is now playing. The production stars Grammy Award winner Fantasia and Emmy Award nominee Dulé Hill. The music is by select Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, handpicked by multi-Grammy winner Wynton Marsalis. It’s now playing at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. 47th St. (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue). For more information, call 817-502-2929 or visit aftermidnightbroadway.com.

“Motown: The Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr. and featuring Felicia Boswell as Diana Ross, Tony nominee Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson and Brandon Dixon as Berry Gordy, is now playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St. (between Eighth Avenue and Broadway). For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or motownthemusical.com.

“Platanos, Collard Greens & Callaloo”—that’s right, “callaloo!” This hilarious remix of the successful franchise brings the West Indian brethren in. It’s now playing at Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave. (enter on 25th Street, between Lexington and Third avenues). Call TheaterMania at 212-352-3101, visit theatermania.com or visit plantanosandcollardgreens.com.

“Lady Day: The Billie Holiday Musical,” featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater and written and directed by Stephen Stahl, is now playing at the Little Shubert Theatre, 422 W. 42nd St. between Ninth and 10th avenues. For tickets, call 212-239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com or ladydaythemusical.com.

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Rome Neal (see THEATER)

MUSIC

Live Nation is pleased to present Motown’s iconic Grammy winners, the Temptations and the Four Tops, in a special night of music at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale by phone at 800-745-3000, at the Westbury box office or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

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The Temptations (see MUSIC)

“The Queen of Soul,” Grammy winner Aretha Franklin, will appear at Radio City Music Hall on Friday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, Jan. 18. Visit radiocity.musichall-ny.com.

FAMILY

“Mother Africa” (“Circus Der Sinne” from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is playing now through Jan. 5 at the New Victory Theater, 209 W. 42nd St. Visit newvictory.org.

The Big Apple Circus welcomes you to its all-new show, “Luminosity” playing now through Jan. 12 at Lincoln Center! Visit bigapplecircus.org.

FILM

“Long Walk to Freedom,” starring Idris Elba, depicts Nelson Mandela’s life story. It is out in theaters now. Check your local listings.