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Finally! SNL hires Black female cast member

Florence Anthony | 1/9/2014, 11:28 a.m.
Florence Anthony

Both Wayne Brady and Chilli deny the rumors that they are dating. Brady tweeted out: “So, must clear it up @officialchilli and I are not dating. Who wouldn’t want to though, right? Don’t believe everything u read.”

Chilli’s representative issued a statement saying, “This isn’t true. Wayne was actually hosting the event in Las Vegas. Chilli and Wayne are friends, but there is nothing else going on besides friendship.” They shot that rumor down fast!

In her first starring role onscreen since her ferocious portrayal of an abusive mother in 2009’s “Precious,” which won her the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Mo’Nique has joined Isaiah Washington in the Patrick-Ian Polk-directed “Blackbird,” an adaptation of the novel by Larry Duplechan. The picture just shot in Hattiesburg, Miss. Mo’Nique is also an executive producer with her husband, Sidney Hicks, through Hicks Media.

Sasheer Zamata, a recent University of Virginia graduate who is popular on the New York City comedy circuit, has joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” making her the first African-American woman to do so since Maya Rudolph, who exited the show in 2007. “SNL” tweeted the news on Jan. 6, saying, “Join us in welcoming Sasheer Zamata (@thesheertruth) cast. Next week is going to be awesome!” to which Zamata replied, “I’m so excited!”

Last weekend, Beautiful Textures sponsored two events for an exclusive group of New York City ladies. First off, songstress Elle Varner hosted a private dinner at the popular hookah bar Pergola featuring fashion, food and female empowerment. Roc Nation recording artist Bridget Kelly was on hand for the swanky affair along with Samantha Black from “Project Runway,” Pynk magazine’s Mecca Moore and Lavish Life event planner Nema Kamar.

A few blocks away, journalist-turned-reality star Geneva Thomas held a watch party for the premiere of her highly-anticipated Bravo docuseries “Blood, Sweat and Heels” at New York hot spot Philippe Chow. Guests walked away with signature gift bags featuring Beautiful Textures’ all-new Naturally Straight Texture Managebility System, the at-home product that gives women the flexibility to go from natural hair to straight and back again without the use of harsh chemicals.

Producers Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Louise Gund are pleased to announce that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and American Repertory Theater’s production of “All the Way,” the new play from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan that stars three-time Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon B. Johnson, will play at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York City for a limited run only. The play will begin rehearsals on Tuesday, Jan. 14, with previews beginning Monday, Feb. 10 and an opening night set for Thursday, March 6.

It is directed by Bill Rauch, artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Cranston will be joined onstage by Michael McKean as J. Edgar Hoover and Brandon J. Dirden as Martin Luther King Jr. Additional casting will be announced soon.