LAURENCE FISHBURNE IS EXCELLENT IN BROADWAY’S “THURGOOD”: Stage and screen icon Laurence Fishburne, star of the Broadway hit “Thurgood” (a new play by George Stevens, Jr., directed by Leonard Foglia), is simply stunning, evoking the unflappable spirit of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice. It’s playing at the Booth Theatre (222 West 45th Street in Manhattan), where it opened to rave reviews on April 30 for a limited, 16-week engagement.
“Thurgood,” a one-man show, is the remarkable and triumphant story of Marshall, a civil rights activist lawyer who rose from a childhood in the backstreets of Baltimore to, as previously mentioned, the Supreme Court of the United States. Along the way, he overcame many adversities. But through them all, he remained focused and positive to maintain the great country he wanted and did serve.
“Thurgood” brings to the stage the words, wit, tenacity and wisdom of one of American’s greatest heroes. Simply put, Fishburne powerfully channels Thurgood Marshal, taking the audience on a thrilling, funny, engaging racially historic ride that throughout electrifies the stage. At the capacity filled performance I attended, Fishburne’s performance was flawless. At its encouraging conclusion, he received a well-deserved standing ovation.
Performances are Tuesday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday, 2 p.m.; and Sunday, 3 p.m. Tickets are $70 and $95. For information and tickets, go to www.Telecharge.com, (212) 239-6200.
You don’t want to miss Laurence Fishburne in “Thurgood.”
“ALDRIDGE AND LENA” OPENS AT THE H.A.D.L.E.Y. PLAYERS JUNE 6-29: The groundbreaking H.A.D.L.E.Y. Players (Gertrude Jeannette, founder/CEO; Janice Jenkins, artistic director), will celebrate the lives and achievements of 19th century Black Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge and esteemed songstress, actress and civil rights pioneer Lena Horne in “Aldridge and Lena,” two powerful one-act presentations, running June 6 through 29.
The brilliant Ira Aldridge takes center stage in “Curtain Call, Mr. Aldridge, Sir,” one of the final plays penned by the one and only Ossie Davis. Eric Coleman portrays Aldridge and directs a stellar cast, which includes Richard Kohn, Angela Sims and Buddy Woodson.
Then legendary song stylist and civil rights titan Horne is embodied in “A Song For You…The Civil Rights Journey of a Negro Woman: Lena Calhoun Horn,” conceived, written and performed by award-winning Wendi Joy Franklin.
Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at the H.A.D.L.E.Y Players, located at North Presbyterian Church (529 West 155th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue). General admission is $20; seniors, students and groups of 10 or more, $18. There will be a “Special Opening Post-Play Reception” on Sunday, June 8 at 4:30 p.m.; admission is $26 for everyone.For more information and reservations, call (212) 368-9314 or (212) 926-0281.
“Aldridge and Lena” is live theatre at its best and is not to be missed.
REAL HIP MEN COOK AT NO.-1 FATHER’S DAY EVENT: Charlamagne (co-host of the syndicated Wendy Williams radio show), Modesto Lacen (star of “Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz”), and Capone (host of “Showtime at the Apollo”), add a hip, new spin on the Nation’s No.-1 Father’s Day celebration. They’ll be celebrity food tasters for the 19th annual Real Men Cook event on Sunday, June 15 (3-6 p.m.) at the New York City Mission Society Minisink Townhouse (646 Lenox Avenue, 142nd Street between Lenox and Fifth avenues).
Joining them are my buddy, WBLS (107.5 FM) radio icon Vaughn Harper; the Mayor of Harlem, Leslie Wyche; Johnny (“Just Got Paid”) Kemp; reggae artist Chantwell and more.
Among the talented cooks will be Dennis Williams, composer and musical director for the legendary O’Jays and chef to the stars, and Antoine Pierre (of Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar Restaurant).
Real Men Cook Charities Inc. is a national crusade co-founded by Kofi and Yvette Moyo. It will be held in 11 cities nationwide and is an ongoing movement changing the way the world views men in relationship to their families and communities. New York’s event expects 100 men all from different walks of life, who will cook and share their life stories as well as serve up their favorite dishes.
WBLS radio legend Hal Jackson and his wife, Debbie B., will broadcast live from the event, and there will be free health screenings; games, contests and face paintings for the children; live entertainment by musical artists; and delicious food for all. Its sponsors, Con Ed, The Nielsen Group, Bahamas Tourism, and Datzwhatzsup.net will offer lots of gifts and give-a-ways.
Tickets at the gate for adults are $20/$25 and for children $10/$15. For more info, go to www.RealMenCook.com or call (212) 368-8400. For cook recruitment, call John Fleming, Jr. (917) 586-1712.
CARIBBEAN AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATRE’s “JESTINA’S CALYPSO” OPENS JUNE 10: Following last week’s phenomenal staged reading of celebrated playwright Lorey Hayes’ “Haiti’s Children of God” at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Cambria Heights, Queens, the Caribbean American Repertory Theatre (Rudolph Shaw, executive artistic director), in association with Theatre of the Living Word, continues to salute Caribbean Heritage Month with “Jestina’s Calypso,” a riveting, thought-provoking play by Trinidad and Tobago native Earl Lovelace, author of several successful plays and novels, including “Salt,” which won the coveted 1997 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize.
Directed by Rudolph Shaw, “Jestina’s Calypso” runs June 10-14 (7:30 p.m.) at the Presbyterian Church of Saint Albans (190-04, 119 Avenue, St. Albans, Queens). Each performance will be followed by a discussion of the play.
The play’s stellar cast stars Shirley Parkinson Wright, Clinbertha Hercules, Jennifer Joseph, Kaye Neale, Curt Hampstead, Maac Plaise and Winston Yarde. Its talented production staff consists of Grace Chapman (stage manager), Al Hendricks (assistant stage manager), Ken Roper (technical director), Tony Davidson (set designer) and Marlon Campbell (prop designer).
The prestigious Caribbean American Repertory Theatre, in association with the Theatre of the Living Word, invites the public, press and other cultural organizations to see and enjoy this powerful production.
Admission to “Jestina’s Calypso” is $20. For reservations and more information call: (212) 963-6459 or (718) 454-4234.
“IN SEARCH OF MY FATHER…” OPENS JUNE 5: I’ve been raving about Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre presentation of playwright and star W. Allen Taylor’s “In Search of My Father…Walkin’ Talkin’ Bill Hawkins,” for weeks, and finally you, your family and friends can experience this award-winning play.
Opening at Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Arts Center/Recital Hall (466 Grand Street in Manhattan), Thursday, June 5 and running through June 29, this moving, insightful play explores the intimate story of Taylor’s lifelong search for his father, Bill Hawkins, the first Black disc jockey in Cleveland, Ohio. With the period’s rhythm and blues, gospel and jazz music serving as a backdrop, Taylor performs a wide range of richly defined characters. The search becomes a bittersweet journey of self-discovery. as well as a celebration of the rich cultural legacy of Black radio.
General admission is $20. Show times are: Wednesday-Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. Credit card orders: (212) 279-4200 or ticketcentral.org. For more information: (212) 353-1176 or www.NewFederalTheatre.org.
“In Search of My Father…Walkin’ Talkin’ Bill Hawkins” is not to be missed.