Greetings! We are entering “The Motown Zone.” After much anticipation, previews are beginning for “Motown: The Musical.” “My Brother Marvin” is coming right behind and “Standing in the Shadows of Motown: Live” is on tour. Also, our condolences to family, friends and fans of the Temptations and the Miracles on the loss of members Damon Harris, Richard Street and Bobby Rogers. Sadly, Detroit faces a seemingly imminent management “takeover” of “The Motor City.”
“Motown: The Musical,” based on the book by Berry Gordy Jr. and directed by Charles Randolph Wright, is the real story of “Hitsville USA,” which developed the soulful sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed national and international pop culture forever. The show features legendary Motown founder Berry Gordy’s incredible journey from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul. Gordy launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more. Broadway previews began March 11 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St. (between Eighth Avenue and Broadway); the official opening is April 14. For group sales, call 212-339-6262 or 800-432-7780; regular tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com and at www.MotownTheMusical.com.
“My Brother Marvin” stars Emmy Award-winning actress Lynn Whitfield, Image Award-winning actor Clinton Powell, R&B sensation Keith Washington, vocal powerhouse Tony Grant and platinum-selling R&B group Az Yet. “My Brother Marvin” tells the story of musical genius Marvin Gaye, exposing “the man behind the music.” Told by his sister Zeola through the eyes of his mother’s “hidden” journals. It’s a riveting ride through the life and times of one of the most intriguing and mysterious musical legends the world has ever known. The official opening is April 11 at the Beacon Theater. Go to www.beacontheatre.com/events or www.ticketmaster.com.
“Mama, I Want to Sing: The Next Generation” celebrates its 30th anniversary season on Saturdays (March 16-May 11) at the Dempsey Theatre, 127 W. 127th St., between Lenox and Seventh avenues in Harlem. Call 212-868-4444 or visit smartix.com.
“Motown Comes to Westbury” with the Temptations and the 4 Tops on Friday, March 15 at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Road, Westbury, N.Y. Tickets are available now at Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Visit www.theatreatwestbury.com/event-calendar.
The Apollo Theater’s March 2013 programming highlights include a celebration of Women’s History Month featuring Apollo legend Leslie Uggams’ one-woman show, which chronicles her historic career from Harlem to Broadway in “Uptown/Downtown” on March 18; the Apollo’s signature show “Amateur Night” on Wednesday, March 20, which will be a special tribute to Broadway; and soprano Jessye Norman and Nnenna Freelon join the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Sinfonia and conductor George Manahan for “Ask Your Mama” on Saturday, March 23. Visit www.apollotheater.org.
Celebrate Women’s History Month at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, located at 515 Malcolm X Blvd. in Harlem. The talented, nationally renowned, all-female Spelman College Jazz Ensemble will perform live on Monday, March 18, 7 to 9 p.m. There is an admission charge for this event. To purchase tickets, call 888-718-4253 or visit www.showclix.com.
Take 6 and Hezekiah Walker are coming to the NJPAC on Friday, March 29. One Center St., Newark, N.J. For more info, call 1-888 GO-NJPAC or 888-466-5722 or visit njpac.org.
Coming: Alicia Keyes’ “Set the World on Fire Tour,” with Grammy Award winner Miguel at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on April 8 at 7:30 p.m., and Madison Square Garden on April 11 at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.ticketmaster.com or www.wbls.com.
The International Working Women’s Day Coalition, a coalition of community-based women’s organizations, celebrates Women’s History Month with a major focus on Harriet Tubman and the 100th anniversary of her death. This weekend’s events include videos and readings on Harriet Tubman, along with artwork and poetry, followed by a communal meal. The program is co-sponsored by the CARE Center, a youth program at Boys and Girls High School at 1700 Fulton St. in Brooklyn. The event will happen on Saturday, March 16. Also, you can hear vignettes focusing on Tubman in Spanish and English, along with artwork and more on Sunday, March 24 in the Bronx at the Bronx Art Space Gallery at 305 E. 140 St. at Alexander Avenue. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEMOTAP’s 26th anniversary luncheon will be held at Majority Baptist Church, located at 115-21 Farmers Blvd., St. Albans, N.Y. on Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. The topic is “What We Need the President to do at Home and Abroad.” Dr. Molefi Asante, world-renowned historian and prolific scholar author and activist, will address U.S. policy in Africa and the Diaspora. Dr. Gloria Browne-Marshall, a nationally respected legal scholar, will address national issues. Brother Jazz Hayden, a Harlem activist renowned for his work against mass incarceration and stop-and-frisk, will focus on local issues that the president can impact upon. Admission is free. Doors open at 1 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more info, call 718-322-8454.
The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College presents the National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium: “A Tribute to the Life and Work of Toni Cade Bambara.” Bambara is a writer, social activist, educator, feminist and filmmaker whose contributions to the African-American literary canon have rightfully earned her a distinguished reputation. Sat., March 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Founders Auditorium, Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn. Invited panelists include keynote speaker Farah Jasmine Griffin with Malaika Adero, Keith Gilyard, Linda Janet Holmes, Louis Massiah, Eugene Redmond, Sonia Sanchez and Cheryl Wall. For schedule and more info, call 718-804-8883 or visit www.centerforliterature.org.
Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM daily with “Imhotep’s On-Air Guide to Black Events” and “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to midnight (simulcast on WLIB-AM/WBLSFM from 7 to 8 p.m.). The full show can be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2. IGB is also heard on WBAIFM 99.5 with the GBE 2.0 “Global Black Experience” and “Global Beat Experience,” Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. We are archived online with both shows at www.wbai.org. To reach us about your event, email email@example.com, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.