Imhotep's Guide to Black events: May 15-21, 2014

Imhotep Gary Byrd | 5/15/2014, 1:04 p.m.
Our birthday greetings to my brother, co-writing partner and Grammy Award-winning legend, the Wonderman, Steveland Morris, aka Stevie Wonder, who ...
Sharif Atkins

Greetings! Our birthday greetings to my brother, co-writing partner and Grammy Award-winning legend, the Wonderman, Steveland Morris, aka Stevie Wonder, who turned 64 on May 13. Stevie, you are an inspiration to us all. Happy birthday to you.


“After Midnight” will feature Fantasia through June 8 in her return to the stage to this Tony-nominated musical. The music is by select Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars. Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. Fourth St. For information, call 212-719-4099 or visit

“Holler If Ya Hear Me,” directed by Kenny Leon (“Fences,” “A Raisin in the Sun”), is a musical inspired by the late rapper Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics. It officially opens June 19 at the Palace Theatre, one of Broadway’s largest venues. The cast will be led by performance artist, poet and musician Saul Williams. Performance previews begin May 29.

Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre and the Classical Theatre of Harlem are co-presenting “Dutchman” by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka). It is directed by Carl Cofield and stars Hollywood actor Sharif Atkins. It will be playing at the National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Ave., Harlem. The tribute to the late, great poet and playwright (who died on Jan. 9) will run through May 23. Tickets are available at the NBT box office or by calling 212-722-3800. Visit

“Alive!” is a celebration of a generation in song, featuring a company of performers ages 55 and over. It was conceived and written by the first lady of WBLS, legendary producers Vy Higgensen and Ken Wydro. It’s now playing in repertory at the Dempsey Theater in Harlem, 227 W. 127th St. For more information, call 212-280-1067 or visit

The historic 2014 revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry’s heart-wrenching family drama, stars Academy and Tony Award winner Denzel Washington and LaTanya Richardson. It is directed by Kenny Leon (“Fences”). It is currently in a limited run through June 15 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., where it originally opened in 1959. To order tickets, call 800-901-4092 or visit

Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre and the Castillo Theatre present Ed Bullins’ “The Fabulous Miss Marie,” which some call Bullins’ greatest work. The setting is the early 1960s in the Wilshire section of Los Angeles, just before the Watts rebellion. Miss Marie is having a three-day holiday party in her home. Her guests somehow ignore the reality of the outside world. It’s playing now through May 18 at the Castillo Theater, 543 W. 42nd St. Call 866-811-4111 or visit

“Motown: The Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr. and featuring 2013 Tony nominee Charl Brown, Brandon Dixon and Felicia Roswell, is now playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St., between Eighth Avenue and Broadway. For tickets, visit or

“Lady Day,” a tribute to jazz legend Billie Holiday, features multi-Tony Award winner Audra McDonald performing Holiday’s classic moods and melodies. The show takes place at Emerson’s Bar and Grill Circle in the Square Theater, 1633 Broadway. Call 212-239-6200 for more details or visit

“Satchmo at the Waldorf” is an absorbing and uplifting new play about the music, struggles and triumphs of Louis Armstrong, the man who invented jazz. The show stars Obie and Lucille Lortel Award winner John Douglas Thompson (“Othello,” “The Emperor Jones”) as both Armstrong and Glaser in a tour de force performance. Appropriate for ages 14 and up due to strong language. Westside Theatre Upstairs, 407 W. 43rd St., between Ninth and 10th avenues. For more information, call 212-239-6200 or visit


B.B. King Blues Club in Times Square presents Troublefunk on Saturday, May 17, Capleton on May 22, Chante Moore on May 23, Felix Hernandez “Rhythm Revue” on May 25, Angela Winbush on May 30 and Sheila E. on Saturday, May 31. Visit

Jaheim, hosted by WBLS’ Shaila, comes Sunday, May 25 to Stage 48, 605 W. 48th St. at 11th Avenue, at 10 p.m. For information, call 212-957-1800 or visit

Tamar Braxton’s “Love & War” tour comes to Newark Symphony Hall on Saturday, May 31 in New Jersey! Get your tickets today by calling 973-643-8014, going to any Ticketmaster outlet or visiting

Grammy Award winner and multiplatinum artist Aretha Franklin brings it to Radio City Music Hall for two amazing shows on June 14 and June 15. Don’t miss the legendary “Queen of Soul.” Tickets are available at the Radio City Music Hall box office or at


There will be an encore broadcast of “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.” Check your PBS listings (channel 13, channel 21).


The New York Chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations, in conjunction with the International African Arts Festival (IAAF), hosts the 45th annual Malcolm X Black Unity Awards Program. The 2014 award recipients are educator, writer and community activist Aminisha Black and the late Chokwe Lumumba, former mayor of Jackson, Miss. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Akinyele Omowale Umoja, department chair of African-American studies at Georgia State University. It will be held on Sunday, May 18 at 3:30 p.m. at Bed-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, 1368 Brooklyn Ave. A suggested minimum donation is requested. For more information, call 718-789-3264 or email

The Board for the Education of People of African Ancestry presents a panel discussion on “The Role of the School Guidance Counselor in Controlling and Contributing to Your Child’s Future College Admission and Career.” Panelists include Adelaide L. Sanford, vice chancellor emerita of the New York state Board of Regents, and Sister Jan McCray, retired guidance counselor in the New York City public school system. The event will take place on Sunday, May 18 at 3 p.m. at the Dr. John Henrik Clarke House, located at 286 Convent Ave. in Harlem. Call 347-907-0629 to RSVP or for further information.


Imhotep Gary Byrd

Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM daily with “Imhotep’s On-Air Guide to Black Events” and “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday evenings from 9 p.m. to midnight. The full show can be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2. IGB is also heard on WBAI-FM 99.5 with Radio GBE: The “Global Black Experience” and “Global Beat Experience,” Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. We are archived online with both shows at To contact us for bookings or to reach us about your event, email, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.