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Lapacazo Sandoval

Stories by Lapacazo

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‘Widows’—Viola Davis rules!

Steve McQueen’s powerful heist movie gives Viola Davis a strong role as a crime widow who is forced to command an operation. It’s life or death.

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Cuba Gooding Jr. is Billy Flynn in ‘Chicago’ and director of ‘Bayou Caviar’

Cuba Gooding Jr. has a larger-than-life personality, so it’s not a stretch that he was cast as Billy Flynn, the smooth-talking lawyer in the prohibition-era musical, “Chicago,” with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse.

Joyce Theater hosts world premiere of ‘The Tenant’

Dance, it’s said, is the hidden language of the soul. Celebrating the pure joy of it, the Joyce Theater will debut James Whiteside’s newest work, “The Tenant.” Considered ballet’s most daring principal artist and known for his theatrical and technical versatility, Whiteside created his newest work from the novel by Roland Topor.

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Barry Jenkins confesses about ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

On a muggy day that felt more like August than October, Oscar winner Barry Jenkins took to the stage for New York Film Festival’s free talk to give details about his highly anticipated film, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” based on James Baldwin’s novel of the same name. The film was screening at the 2018 NYFF, with its world premiere in Harlem at the famed Apollo Theater.

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Baldwin would approve of Jenkins’ ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

One of Harlem’s most beloved sons, James Baldwin, I think, would approve of the film adaption of his 1974 novel “If Beale Street Could Talk” that “Moonlight” writer-director Barry Jenkins has lovingly crafted.

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‘Night School’—critic-proof comedy with an evergreen shelf life

Here’s the good news: the success of “Night School” by director Malcolm D. Lee does not live or die by the whim of any critic because Lee understands what’s funny to the collective “us” and by “us” I mean folks, and by “folks” I mean Black folks.

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‘Nappily Ever After’ comes to Netflix

“Nappily Ever After,” the new romantic comedy produced by Tracey Bing and based on the novel of the same name by Trisha R. Thomas is now playing on Netflix.

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‘BlacKkKlansman’—a Spike Lee masterpiece

In the old days, before Spike Lee was a legend—when he first stepped out with “She’s Gotta Have It,” in 1986, the Hollywood system didn’t think very much of Mr. Lee or anyone who looked like him.

Free public forum: ‘We Rise: A Celebration of Resistance’ at the Delacorte Aug. 13

Great artists have combined their efforts to call attention to the growing feeling (hallejah!) of resistance, and you are free to join the Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, Executive Director Patrick Willingham) and the Resistance Revival Chorus, Monday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m.

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‘Christopher Robin’ is a family must this summer!

The uber bright executives at Disney know how to please kids, and in the new family comedy “Christopher Robin,” directed by Marc Forster, they have collaborated beautifully to make a great kids’ film that is perfectly suited for adults.

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Judy Reyes’ Quiet Ann swings a very big bat on ‘Claws’

There is so much to love about actress Judy Reyes, and frankly it’s a challenge to condense those attributes into a bite-sized article.

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Sherri Shepherd—a veteran in the game of comedy

I have great respect for the comedienne turned actress turned producer, Sheri Shepherd. No one can argue that, at this point in her career, she is a well-loved and seasoned veteran in the world of stand-up comedy and television.

Food, culture, Broadway and more

There are a few sure things in life, and a lot of those actually come from the world of Disney. It’s the summer holiday season and if you are like most New Yorkers, you have a slew of visitors clamoring to stay at your apartment to save on those hefty hotel prices.

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‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is surreal fun!

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is surreal fun.

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‘Sorry to Bother You’ is trippy—Take that trip!

“Sorry to Bother You” is written and directed by Boots Riley.

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‘Blindspotting’—hip-hop-flavored comedy with truth

Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal’s “Blindspotting,” directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada, blends comedy with drama, adding a hip-hop flavor.

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A romantic drama with a tree as the main character

One of the central and unexpected characters in Donja R. Love’s “Sugar in Our Wounds”—directed by Saheem Ali—is a mystical tree with roots that are buried deep into the Southern soil.

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Striking a ‘Pose’ at the Tonys

Fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra walked actress Indya Moore, from the upcoming show “Pose,” down the Tony carpet.

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“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

“Solo: A Star Wars Story,” directed by Ron Howard after directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller departed several months into the shooting, is a Ron Howard film, except with African-American characters, courtesy of the original Lucasfilm, which chose to be inclusive long before the entire galaxy knew the terms “hashtag” and “diversity”—So thank you, Mr. George Lucas.

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Free first previews at Public Theater with ‘Cyprus Avenue’

Ronke Adekoluejo joins Stephen Rea in “Cyprus Avenue,” which begins previews Saturday, June 2, at The Public Theater. The new play is written by David Ireland and directed by Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone. Rea last performed at The Public in 2008 in Sam Shepard’s “Kicking a Dead Horse.”

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Film Society of Lincoln Center, MoMA host 47th New Directors/New Films fest series

Festival celebrates filmmakers who represent the present and anticipate the future of cinema, showcasing the daring artists whose work pushes the envelope in unexpected ways.

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Kobe Bryant, Jordan Peele: Historic Oscar wins

Our team was invited to cover Oscar’s 90th celebration with host Jimmy Kimmel whose hilarious performance had the assembled press laughing throughout the evening.

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Kobe Bryant, Jordan Peele: Historic Oscar wins

Our team was invited to cover Oscar’s 90th celebration with host Jimmy Kimmel, whose hilarious performance had the assembled press laughing throughout the evening.

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An interview with Douriean, Wakanda’s metalsmith

“Black Panther” costume designer Ruth E. Carter found Douriean. As the costume designer on the groundbreaking “Black Panther” movie, directed by Ryan Coogler, Carter’s already legendary status might reach another level altogether.

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'Black Panther’—long live the king

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” is the story of T’Challa, a young African prince who takes on the mantle of king and superhero, and the centuries-old legacy that comes with it.

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Live on MLK Day: 49th NAACP Image Awards

Leonard James III has a voice that is as comforting as running water. It’s low, resonating, authoritative—and it lingers in the mind.

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‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!’ starring Oscar winner John Legend

While covering the Oscars on behalf of the New York Amsterdam News, I asked John Legend what he loved about being a “storyteller” after he, and Common, won for Best Song, “Glory,” from the film “Selma,” which chronicled the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala.

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A holiday treat in BK: OWN Network’s ‘Checked Inn’

One of the best holiday gifts could be a weekend getaway at one of the best bed-and-breakfasts in the city, which is owned by an African-American family.

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Film Society of Lincoln Center announces The Non-Actor Nov. 23 through Dec. 10

What is a non-actor? It’s a question that’s being asked and answered by The Film Society of Lincoln Center in their brand-new series, beginning Nov. 24.

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Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat’

New York City is my home and has been since the 80s.

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Tommy Davidson brings families together in ABC’s ‘Vacation Creation’

My Google calendar gave me an alert that my presence was expected at the Viceroy Hotel. I was scheduled to interview iconic comedic actor Tommy Davidson—of “In Living Color” fame—about season two of his new show, ABC’s “Vacation Creation,” which premieres Sept. 30.

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Film celebrates superhero Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall said it elegantly and honestly when he said that “sometimes history takes things into its own hands.” The more brutal assessment is that history is told by the victors, not the victims, so the truth is rarely part of what really happened, and therefore history is flimsy and, mostly, false.

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‘Leap!’ into the mind of a tiny dancer with heart

Dreams of being a famous ballet dancer dressed in bright pink tutus and a life filled with dazzling pirouettes, all viewed under the spotlights is what makes this sweet new animated story “Leap!” such a charming cinematic family viewing experience.

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Tabay Atkins: The youngest certified yoga instructor in America

Tabay Atkins is the youngest certified yoga teacher in America and he’s been practicing yoga since he was just 6 years old.

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First look: ‘Detroit’ from the Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow

Aug. 4, the nation will get another major wake-up call about our lack of civil rights in American in the form of the new movie “Detroit,” directed by Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, who is best known for her visceral and hard-hitting work in “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

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‘The Defiant Ones’ documentary airs on HBO July 9

Allen Hughes has made a lasting imprint in the documentary world with HBO’s “The Defiant Ones.”

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Silly summer fun with ‘Despicable Me 3’

I’m confident that the minions would gleefully follow Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy and Chris Renaud anywhere this dazzlingly creative group would go!

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‘Wonder Woman’ is bulletproof

The Amazonian lives! All hail our female warrior, our super-heroine, “Wonder Woman.”

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Writing On It All offers free fun on Governors Island

If you want to leave your mark, it’s time to write on the wall. Writing On It All is a participatory writing project open to all interested members of the public.

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“Alien: Covenant” doesn’t disappoint

Terror is back, the alien type of terror. Do you remember the terrifying image of a larva alien exploding out of a bloody human body—ravenous—and moving like a bullet in search of a new host?

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Javier Bardem bent on revenge in ‘Pirates’

There are some actors who could—literally—read anything and make it exciting.

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‘Guardians 2’ serves up more of the same—fun, laughs and plenty of action

In Hollywood, big-budget, sci-fi films that have the universal “geek” stamp of approval—i.e., Marvel—don’t require a strong script.

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Academy focuses spotlight on music and sound

There is a notion that all the work that’s done by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is aimed at producing the speculator Oscar celebration, but there is much, much more to know about the Academy than just the pursuit of the famed gold man, Oscar.

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Treat Mom to free theater at the Public

Treat your mother—hey, your whole family—to a free performance of the Mobile Unit’s “Twelfth Night,” directed by Saheem Ali at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater.

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‘The Get Down’ is still getting down

Brother Nelson George has a wide-open smile that, at first glance, gives the appearance that you are staring into the eyes of a gentleman who’s been slumbering away.

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J.D. Dillard’s ‘Sleight’ opens April 28

“Sleight,” J.D. Dillard’s strong directorial debut, a film that he co-wrote with Alex Theurer stars up and coming actor, Jacob Latimore, Dulé Hill and ingenue Seychelle Gabriel.

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Leguizamo’s ‘Latin History for Morons’ now at Public Theater

Four stars has become the industry standard for excellence, but like John Leguizamo—the inventive one-man unstoppable force of entertaining truths—I break those stupid rules and I offer the canopy of the stars above to rate his most recent one-man show, “Latin History for Morons.”

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‘Ghost in the Shell’ re-boot makes casting misstep

The film based on Masamune Shirow’s cult manga series of the same name, “Ghost in the Shell,” has taken big hits for the casting of white woman Scarlett Johansson instead of casting a Japanese woman in the lead role.

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‘Underground’ director Salli Richardson-Whitfield

While acting in one of Ava DuVernay’s first films the striking actress, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, got the first clue that working behind the camera might be in her future.

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Misha Green, ‘Underground’ co-creator and executive producer, is woke

Misha Green is co-creator of WGN’s hit series “Underground,” which she also executive produces along with co-series creator, Joe Pokaski, and executive producer and Academy Award-winner John Legend.

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