Usher, others, celebrate Clinton (39046)
Usher, others, celebrate Clinton (39045)
Usher, others, celebrate Clinton (39044)
Usher, others, celebrate Clinton (39043)

Trilogy: An Opera Company to Present Three Great One-Act Operas in Newark, NJ: On Saturday, Sept. 17, Trilogy: An Opera Company (TAOC) will present three newly composed one-act operas at the Science Theatre, 260 Norfolk St., Newark, N.J. Admission to all performances is free and open to the public.

The first performance to be presented will be “4,” by Trevor Weston with contributions from Amiri Baraka. “4” tells the story of one of the most abhorrent crimes of the Civil Rights Movement, the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., which resulted in the deaths of four young girls attending Sunday school. Twenty others were injured.

The second performance, “The Ballad of James Byrd,” by Michael Raphael, tells the story of James Byrd, a 49-year-old African-American man who was murdered in Jasper, Texas, on June 7, 1998. His murderers were Shawn Allen Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer and John William King.

Trilogy’s excellent one-act “ring cycle” will conclude with the much-anticipated performance of “The Three Mayors,” by Michael Raphael, libretto by Gus Heningburg. Newark is the only major metropolitan city to boast the achievement of electing three consecutive Black mayors. The opera examines the effect of the elections of Kenneth Gibson, elected in 1970 as Newark’s first African-American mayor; Sharpe James, elected in 1986 and the longest-serving mayor of Newark; and the current leader of the city, Mayor Cory Booker, elected in 2006.

Artists involved in the productions include Robert Stephens, Pam Jones, Marvin Lowe, Julius Williams, Taiwan Norris, Lady Whitker, Mark Wilson and Kevin Maynor, artistic director of TAOC.

TAOC provides opera and art related to this genre that is reflective of the world in which we live. They focus on the works of Black composers who have written on subject matter relevant to the Black community. Past TAOC productions include “Nat Turner,” “Frederick Douglass,” “Harriet: A Woman Called Moses,” “Call, Shout and Holler,” “Emmett Till: The Oratorio,” “Emmett Till: The Opera,” “Darfur, Darfur” and “Treemonisha.”

Their 2011 season will feature the TAOC Summer Festival, including dramatic presentations of the entire 14-piece repertoire. Make sure to make plans with friends and family to see and totally enjoy this mind-expanding operatic experience.

Usher to Perfomr in Concert Event Celebrating Bill Clinton: I was recently informed that singing stars Usher, Lady Gaga and U2 have been booked to perform at a forthcoming event for President Bill Clinton that will stream live over the Internet. The concert, scheduled for Oct. 15 at the Hollywood Bowl, is billed as a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the William J. Clinton Foundation, which has raised some $10 billion for the former president’s favorite causes, such as HIV/AIDS treatment and reducing hunger.

And get this: It’s also a late birthday party for Clinton, who turned 65 on Aug. 19. Details of the concert were still being configured on Tuesday, but a long list of movie and TV personalities are likely to appear, according to the Hollywood Reporter. A spokeswoman said tickets would be available to the public, unlike an invitation-only Rolling Stones concert that was organized to celebrate Clinton’s 60th birthday.

Instead of a traditional TV partner, the organizers have granted exclusive broadcast rights to the concert to Yahoo, which is expected to stream it worldwide to an audience of several million. Sponsors were still being lined up on Tuesday.

The show, a charitable event produced by Control Room, is officially titled “A Decade of Difference: A Concert Celebrating 10 Years of the William J. Clinton Foundation.” Here’s wishing them huge success.

Jamie Foxx to Host Forthcoming Michael Jackson Tribute: Next month, Oct. 8 to be exact, thousands of fans will gather at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, for a Michael Jackson remembrance event hosted by actor and singer Jamie Foxx.

“I am truly honored to be working with Global Live Events and Jackson family members to participate in this epic event,” Foxx proudly told Us Weekly. “Michael was larger than life and I have admired him, honored him and joked about him but always loved and respected him…I hope I honor his legacy in a way that would make him laugh and cry.”

And as far as Beyonce not showing up, the rumor isn’t true. The superstar is planning to be there and is said to be fully committed to the project. She’s going to record a “unique, never-before-seen performance” that will be played at the tribute.

Others to be at the tribute include Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, Smokey Robinson and many more. Truly, this sounds like it’s going to be a fantastic event. So here’s sending out much love and respect to the late, great Michael Jackson.

Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks to Star in “Sparkle” Remake: Guess what? According to the Hollywood Reporter, Whitney Houston is reportedly in final negotiations for a big-screen comeback in Sony’s remake of the hit 1976 film “Sparkle.” And get this, Jordin Sparks will make her feature film debut in the movie. Mike Epps has also been cast.

Mara Brock Akil wrote the script and her husband, Salim Akil, is directing. The latter worked with Epps on Sony’s “Jumping the Broom.” Houston, meanwhile, hasn’t been in a movie since she traveled to Portland, Maine, to make Penny Marshall’s “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996) opposite Denzel Washington.

“Sparkle” focuses on three sisters who form a musical group and have to contend with the ups and downs of stardom. Debra Martin Chase is producing the Sony project, which is scheduled to begin next October. FYI: Tri-Star Pictures is distributing the film in association with Stage 6 Films.

Here’s wishing the new “Sparkle” movie huge success.

Once again, here’s wishing you and yours a fantastic week ahead.