Imhotep's Guide to Black events: May 21-28, 2014
Imhotep Gary Byrd | 5/22/2014, 1:23 p.m.
Greetings! As we celebrate the climax of African Liberation Month and the birthday anniversary of Malcolm X, we note the passing of Sam Greenlee, author of the classic book “The Spook Who Sat By the Door.” We also sadly add the name of brother, colleague, esteemed Pan-African activist, journalist, broadcaster and producer Elombe Brath to the list of people who have passed. We’ll have more coverage this weekend on our GBE radio broadcasts (see schedule below). Our condolences to all.
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 www.nationalblacktheatre.org.
“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.
“After Midnight” celebrates Harlem’s golden age and the timeless songs of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Harold Arlen, all woven around the prose of Langston Hughes. Fantasia is back by popular demand! 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 brooksatkinsontheatre.com.
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 Telecharge.com.
“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 mamafoundation.org.
“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 ticketmaster.com or motownthemusical.com.
“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 ladydayonbroadway.com.
“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 Joe 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 www.satchmonyc.com.