Imhotep's Guide To Black Events 02/19-02/25

Imhotep Gary Byrd | 2/19/2015, 11:52 a.m.
Imhotep's weekly guide to Black events.
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas (see MUSIC) (Photo courtesy of TD Toronto Jazz Festival)

Greetings! Congratulations once again to my long-time friend and writing partner Stevie Wonder on his recent CBS television special “Songs in the Key of Life: An All-Star Grammy Salute.” The two-hour special was recorded at the Nokia Theatre and broadcast in HDTV and 5.1-surround sound on CBS. Two-time Grammy winner LL Cool J hosted the primetime special, presented by the Recording Academy, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS, paying homage to Wonder's career with superstar Grammy performers celebrating the incomparable Wonder songbook.

Also, join me on WBAI as we are in fund-drive mode all month-long with Radio GBE.

THEATER

Woodie King’s National Black Touring Circuit’s 2015 Black History Month play series will feature “Adam,” the story of legendary Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, and a reading of Ossie Davis’ play “The People of Clarendon County” Friday, Feb. 20, Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. (“Adam” will be performed Feb. 20 through Feb. 22. A special celebrity reading of “People of Clarendon County” featuring Trezana Beverley occurs Feb. 20.) For more information and tickets, call 212-353-1176.

“Motown: The Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr., 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.

“Kinky Boots,” featuring 2013 Tony Award winner Billy Porter, is at the Al Hirschfield Theatre, 302 W. 45th St. Visit broadway.com/ shows/kinky-boots.

“Aladdin,” featuring James Monroe Igleheart, the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actor, as the uniquely modern genie, is now playing at the New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 W. 42nd St. Visit broadway.com/shows/aladdin-broadway.

“The Lion King,” featuring actors dressed as wild animals, encompassing their characters in spectacular, goose bump-giving performances, keeps audiences coming back time and again to the Miniskoff Theatre, 1515 Broadway. Call 212-869-0550 or visit minskofftheatre.com.

MUSIC

B.B. Kings Blues Club in Times Square presents Motown legend Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Saturday, Feb. 21. Showtime is 8 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Red-hot band DATFunK presents “Because of You: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder abd Songs in the Key of Life” Saturday, Feb. 28. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.  Doors open at 6 p.m.. 237 W. 42nd St. Call 212-997-4144 for information on tickets and prices or visit bbkingblues.com and wbls.com.

Celebrate Black History Month with five-time Grammy Award winning singer Dionne Warwick and the Grammy Award winning choir Rev, Stef and Jubilation in “From the Middle Passage: An African0American Journey,” Friday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater, One Center St., in Newark, N.J. Bring the family!

Through song and narration, this uplifting program about the Black experience travels from Africa to the horrific sea voyages known as the Middle Passage, the Civil Rights Movement and present day. Call 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722) or visit njpac.org.

DANCE

The innovative, provocative Lula Washington Dance Theatre of Los Angeles thrills audiences with its powerful, high-energy dancing, using dance to explore social and humanitarian issues, including aspects of African-American history and culture. A jazz-flavored program has been specially planned for NJPAC’s Victoria Theater, One Center St., Newark N.J., Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

FILM

“Selma,” the heralded Oprah Winfrey-produced civil rights film, chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s SCLC campaign to secure equal voting rights via a racially dangerous, epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965. It is nominated for Best Picture and Best Song.

“Timbuktu,” an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language film, is now playing at Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., west of Sixth Avenue. Call 212-727-8110 for more information. It is also showing at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas Broadway, between 62nd and 63rd streets. For Information, call 212-757-2280.

COMMUNITY

“New York City Is Now the USA Capital of Inequality: Is it Ethnic Cleansing?” Join a special edition of “Night Talk Live” with Bob Law, broadcast live from MIST Harlem, 46 W. 116th St., between Malcolm X Boulevard and Fifth Avenue, Thursday, Feb. 19, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The community is invited to participate. Free admission.

The event will be broadcast live on WBAI 99.5 FM. Guest panelists include entrepreneur and activist Dorothy Pitman Hughes; the Rev. Calvin Butts, pastor at the Abyssinian Baptist Church; Jim Clingman of the Cincinnati Black United Front; Walter Edwards of the Harlem Business Alliance; and Damon K. Jones of Blacks in Law Enforcement. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.. The show will be on air at 6 p.m. sharp. For travel and seating information, call 646-688-5886.

The Organization of African American Unity presents “We Rise in Fire: Defying the Continued Assassination of Malcolm X,” Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.. Observe the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X with co-hosts professor James Small and Zayid Muhammad. Admission is free. Donations will be acknowledged. The evening takes place at John Henrik Clarke House, 286 Convent Ave.,  Harlem, N.Y. For information, call 718-512-5008 or 973-202-0745.

For Saviors Day 2015, Minister Louis Farrakhan teaches on the theme “the Universal Cry For Justice” Sunday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. EST at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago. For more information and local area video-webcast presentation information, visit noi.org.

The BEPAA Black History Great Debate: “Who Is Greater, John Brown or Harriet Tubman?” The event will be held Sunday, Feb. 15 at the Dr. John Henrik Clarke House, located at 286 Convent Ave. in Harlem. Admission is free. For information, call 347-907-0629.

CEMOTAP presents “From Selma to Bedford-Stuyvesant: Reflections on the Legacy of Disfranchisement in American History.” Back by popular demand, it’s Hugh Hamilton, journalist, author and activist. Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. at the CEMOTAP Center, 135-05 Rockaway Blvd., So. Ozone Park, N.Y. Admission is free.  For further information, call 347-907-0629.

Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM daily with “Imhotep’s On-Air Guide to Black Events” and “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday 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,” Fridays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. We are archived online with both shows at www.wbai.org. To contact us for bookings or to reach us about your event, email igbexp@gmail.com, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.