'Puberty Rites' in its last week (39814)
'Puberty Rites' in its last week (39813)

JAMES ROSEBUD’S “DEVINE DELIGHTS” EVENT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS: Kings and presidents have dined on his scrumptious delights. As a critically acclaimed chef, he has prepared unforgettable meals from Paris to New Orleans and finally in New York, where James Rosebud created J. Rose Catering. This New York chef, by way of St. Petersburg, Fla., commands rave reviews wherever his food is served, and Saturday, Nov. 7 was no exception.

The city’s elite came out to celebrate a newly launched partnership between J. Rosebud Catering and the Harlem Commonwealth Council Inc. (HCC). Saturday was an elegant night and the room was filled with such luminaries as Tony Award-winning choreographer George Faison, such notables as Harlem State Office Building chief Willie Walker and Harlem Opera Theater Board Secretary Carol Brown.

Delicious designer drinks like the Harlem-Tini and addictive fish hors d’oeuvres kicked off the evening during the 7 to 8 p.m. cocktail hour in the festive HCC lobby. As soon as the polite and articulate waitstaff opened the dining room doors, guests gasped at its stellar decor. There were tastefully placed candles, mirrors and black-feathered centerpieces; the scene was reminiscent of a 1930s French brasserie.

While the handpicked group of invited guests finished their main courses, you could hear a pin drop. Dr. Joseph L. Tait, president and CEO of HCC, took that opportunity to explain the multifaceted agenda of the benevolent organization. He explained that HCC secures medical scholarships for needy students as well as assists fledgling Harlem businesses get their start through private donations. Tait went on to announce that HCC would be renting conference room space as well as the beautiful banquet room everyone was seated in on a per event basis.

After finishing their tasty dinners, which included baked chicken, broiled filet, fresh string beans and pasta along with Rosebud’s specialty, candied carrots, everyone indulged in a gang of awesomely rich desserts then danced through the night.

For more information, call (212) 749-0900. To contact the banquet room, call (212) 690-1361.

IN ITS LAST WEEK, WOODIE KING’S HIT PLAY “PUBERTY RITES” IS A MUST-SEE: Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s hit play “Puberty Rites,” written by gifted playwright Elaine Jackson and directed by A. Dean Irby, ends its great run on Nov. 20 at the popular Castillo Theatre, located at 543 W. 42nd St. in New York City. General admission is $25. For tickets, call the Castillo box office at (212) 941-1234 or visit www.castillo.org.

Starring Yasha Jackson and Arielle Uppaluri, “Puberty Rites” is a poignant coming-of-age drama. An elemental heritage bonds two girls to an American heritage at the beginning of the 21st century. Keesha, from her struggling Black world, and Vesna, from her white world of physical privilege, both face emotional poverty as they confront each other and their inherited past and future. Their personal secrets threaten to destroy them and their dreams.

Keesha Black (Jackson) is a thin, wiry, slightly hyper, confrontational 17-year-old. Brilliantly knowledgeable, she speaks fluent “‘hood speak” intermingled with precise King’s English. She has complete command of both languages and looks younger than her 17 years.

Vesna White (Uppaluri), 18, is a tall, blond, fierce third-generation ethnic Albanian. Although rich, an extremely dysfunctional family life has left her disdainful of her wealthy heritage and devoid of any personal security.

Make sure you, your family and friends go see and enjoy the sensational New Federal Theatre-produced “Puberty Rites” at the Castillo Theatre.

“THE DEVIL AND ELIJAH MUHAMMAD” WAS TRULY A FANTASTIC H.A.D.L.E.Y. PLAYERS PRODUCTION: Gertrude Jeannette and the H.A.D.L.E.Y. Players’ production of Yusef Salaam’s dynamic mystery drama, “The Devil and Elijah Muhammad,” directed by Ward Nixon, closed as scheduled on Sunday, Nov. 6. This show was powerful. It’s one of the best productions I have seen in a very long time. This play was informative, inspiring, entertaining and educational. The writing, directing and acting were all superb.

At the end of the show, the cast-Albert Eggleston, Ivan Goris, Ralph McCain, Tomike Ogugua, Jared Reinmuth, Valarie Tekosky, Joan Valentina and Cooki Winborn-received a well-deserved ovation. Kudos to June Terry (costumer), Derrick Minter (light and sound technician) and Joyce Pena (stage manager). Noted actress and writer Ruby Dee was in attendance and thoroughly enjoyed herself.

The remainder of the H.A.D.L.E.Y. Players’ 2011/2012 season will include “Arye” by Louise Mike, playing from Feb. 28 through March 11. Gertrude Jeannette’s “This Way Forward” will play from May 22 through June 3. All shows will take place at the Harlem School of the Arts Theatre, 647 St. Nicholas Ave. at 142nd Street. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Sunday for two consecutive weeks (12 performances in total), Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

For reservations, further information or to make a donation, please call (646) 323-0223. The H.A.D.L.E.Y. Players thank you for your continued support.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful week ahead.