Greetings! October is GBE’s Black Arts Month 2013, and we open with saluting the producers of “Mama, I Want to Sing” as they open Vy Higginsen’s Black American Musical Series in Harlem. The series includes “ Mama, I want to Sing,” “Sing Harlem Sing!” and two new musicals: the teen gospel musical “We Are!” and “Alive” at the Dempsey Theatre, 127 W. 127th St. For information, call 212-280-1045 or visit mamafoundation.org.
The brilliant Lorraine Hansberry play “A Raisin in the Sun” is back on Broadway featuring Tony winners Denzel Washington and Diahann Carroll. The revival begins previews at the Barrymore Theatre on March 8 and open on April 3, 2014. The production, directed by Tony nominee Kenny Leon, will play a 14-week limited engagement through June 15. Tickets are on sale now at ticketscenter.com.
In “A Time to Kill,” Rupert Holmes revisits John Grisham’s 1989 legal story on race and justice. In the story, an African-American defendant (John Douglas Thompson) is threatened with capital punishment for the murder of white rapists. He is defended by a white lawyer (Sebastian Arcelus). It’s playing now through Dec. 31 at John Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., between Seventh and Eighth avenues. For tickets and information, call 212-239-6200 or visit atimetokillonbroadway.com.
“Motown: The Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr. and featuring 2013 Tony nominee Valisia LeKae as Diana Ross, Tony nominee Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson and Brandon Dixon as Berry Gordy, is now playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St. (between Eighth Avenue and Broadway). For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or motownthemusical.com.
“Kinky Boots,” featuring 2013 Tony Award winner Billy Porter, is now playing at the Al Hirschfield Theatre, 302 W. 45th St. For more information, call 866-276-4887 or visit www.broadway.com/shows/kinky-boots.
“Platanos, Collard Greens & Callaloo” That’s right, “callaloo!” This hilarious remix of the successful play, brings the West Indian brethren in. I’ll be hosting Saturday, Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. Performances are at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave. (enter on 25th Street between Lexington and Third avenues). For more information, call TheaterMania at 212-352-3101 or visit theatermania.com or plantanosandcollardgreens.com.
“Lady Day: The Billie Holiday Musical,” featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater and written and directed by Stephen Stahl, is now playing at the Little Shubert Theatre, 422 W. 42nd St., between Ninth and Tenth avenues. For tickets, call 212-239-6200 or visit telecharge.com or ladydaythemusical.com.
Stanley Clarke & the Harlem Quartet appear on Oct. 8-13 at the Blue Note Jazz Club, located at 121 W. Third St. For more information and showtimes, call 212-475-8592 or visit bluenote.net.
Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly and with special guest rap legend Kurtis Blow, will perform at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, N.J., on Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13. For more information and tickets, call 800-745-3000 or visit wbls.com.
Multiple Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight returns to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Friday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. Also on the bill will be special guests Mint Condition. The NYCB Theatre at Westbury is located at 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury, N.Y. For more information, visit wbls.com.
“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” a six-part documentary series by Henry Louis Gates Jr., will be airing Tuesdays (Oct. 22–Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT) on PBS. The series details the history of African-Americans from the origins of slavery on the African continent and the arrival of the first Black conquistador, Juan Garrido, in Florida in 1513, through five centuries of remarkable historic events right up to today, when Barack Obama is serving his second term as president. Check your local PBS-TV stations, WNET and WLIW.
A Pan African forum on reparations focusing on Caribbean nations (CARICOM) and a demand for reparations will be presented Friday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. at Sista’s Place, 456 Nostrand Ave. (corner of Jefferson Avenue) in Brooklyn. There will be a film screening of “Durban 400,” and special guest speakers will include David Comissiong of Barbados Reparations Commission and Cikia Thomas of the Global Afrikan Congress-Canada. The event will be sponsored by the December 12th Movement International Secretariat. For more information, call 718-398-1766.
This Saturday is the fourth annual Survivorship Saturday in Harlem, a gathering that unites cancer survivors, their families, friends and health care providers to celebrate survivorship and promote early detection of cancer. The event will be presented by Wilhelmina Grant/SISTAAH Inc. (Survivors Inspiring Sisters Through Art & Advocacy for Health) and is scheduled for Oct. 12 from 2-4 p.m. It will be free of charge and open to the public. “Survivorship Saturday” will be held at New Covenant Temple, 1805 Amsterdam Ave. Complimentary refreshments will be provided. Reservations are required. To make your reservation, call 646-590-2728
The Bed-Stuy Alive! Collective presents the ninth annual Bed-Stuy Alive! festival, with the theme “Live heathy. Live well. Live green.” The event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12-19. The Gala Kickoff Festival will be held on Oct. 12 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Fulton Street at New York and Brooklyn avenues and will feature Big Daddy Kane, Maya Azucena, Chrisette Michelle, Questlove, Leon and more. For information, visit besaa.org.
Circle of Sisters, the largest expo for women of color in New York City, is back on Oct. 19-20 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Circle of Sisters will feature Steve Harvey, the Rev. Al Sharpton, life-changing seminars with Iyanla Vanzant and a special New York State of Health seminar on the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) hosted by yours truly, Imhotep Gary Byrd. Enjoy the McDonald’s Gospelfest 2014 Gospel Explosion concert, a special worship service with WLIB’s Bishop Hezekiah Walker and the MetroPCS R&B Live Concert featuring Keyshia Cole, Eric Benet, Amel Larreiux and more. For more information, visit wbls.com and wlib.com.
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 7 to 9 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday evenings from 9 p.m. to midnight. The full show can be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2. Byrd is also heard on WBAI-FM 99.5 with Radio GBE: The “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 contact us for bookings or to reach us about your event, email email@example.com, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.