Greetings! We sadly announce the passing of William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke, brilliant lead singer of the classic, iconic reggae group Third World. Clarke passed at the age of 65 from cancer in Orlando, Fla. He will truly be missed. Third World is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Theater

  • The National Black Touring Circuit’s 2014 Black History Month Play Festival will hold poetic, musical and theatrical performances in Harlem that will celebrate acclaimed poet Amiri Baraka, legendary singer Billie Holiday, the Great Divas of Gospel and Ossie Davis’ renowned play “The People of Clarendon County” from Feb. 7-March 2. For more information, call 212-353-1176.
  • “Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington,” written by Clare Coss and presented by the New Federal Theatre in association with the Castillo Theatre, is playing now through Feb. 16. The Castillo Theatre is located at 543 W. 42 St. For more information, call 212-941-1234 or 212-353-1176 or visit www.castillo.org.
  • “Black Wall Street” was written by Celeste Bedford Walker, directed by Pat Floyd and produced by Michael Green. The year was 1921 in Greenwood, Tulsa, Okla., in the heartland of America, where there was a Black community paradise—more than 600 businesses strong, with 21 churches, 30 restaurants, 41 grocery stores, law offices, a hospital, a bank, a post office, six privately owned airplanes and much more! See our history come alive.
  • It’s now playing at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Community Center, located at 34 W. 134th St. (The entrance is on 135th Street, between Fifth and Lenox Avenues.) For more information, call 212-690-0797 or visit shadesoftruththeatre.com.
  • The award-winning WorkShop Theater Company presents “The Simple Stories,” adapted by Sandy Moore and Charles E. Gerber from the timeless stories of Langston Hughes. It is playing in the Jewel Box Theatre, 312 W. 36th St., fourth floor. For more information and tickets, call 866-811-4111 or visit workshoptheater.org.
  • “The Kitchen,” a thrilling drama presented by the H.A.D.L.E.Y. Players in association with Voza Rivers’ New Heritage Theatre Group, is now playing at the Poet’s Den, 309 E. 108th St. in East Harlem. For more information and tickets, call 646-502-6562 or visit hadleyplayers.org.
  • “Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds,” a jammin’ musical based on a story by Cedella Marley and featuring the timeless music and lyrics of Bob Marley, will be running through Feb. 23 at the New Victory Theater. For tickets and information, visit newvictory.org.
  • “Motown the Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr. and featuring Felicia Boswell 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.
  • “After Midnight” celebrates the glamour and exuberance of Harlem’s Golden Age, with the timeless songs of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Harold Arlen woven around the prose of Langston Hughes. The production stars Grammy Award winner k.d. lang and Emmy Award nominee Dulé Hill (“The West Wing”). The music was selected by the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars. For more information, call 800-982-2787 or visit ticketmaster.com.

Music

  • It’s a “‘70s Soul Jam Valentine’s Weekend Concert” at the Beacon Theatre (2124 Broadway, between West 74th and 75th streets). Enjoy five classic soul acts on one bill: the Stylistics, the Dramatics, the Emotions, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes and New Birth. The show will take place on Saturday, Feb. 15 with 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows and in Westbury at the NYCB Theatre (960 Brush Hollow Road) on Sunday, Feb. 16, with shows at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. For more information, visit marqueeconcerts.com.
  • Fantasia and friends present a Valentine’s Day concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark, on Friday, Feb 14. Enjoy the night and find your love. Call 1-888-GO-NJPAC or visit njpac.org.
  • B.B. King Blues Club presents the following: Tamia (Friday, Feb. 14); Tower of Power (Saturday, Feb. 15); Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra (Wednesday, Feb. 19); Grammy winner Regina Belle (Saturday, Feb. 22); and South Africa’s cultural ambassadors Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Tuesday, Feb. 25). For information, call 212-997-4144 or visit bbkingblues.com.
  • The brilliant Rachelle Ferrell takes the stage on Thurs., Feb. 13-Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 W. Fourth St. She will be followed by the great Les McCann with the Javon Jackson Band on Feb. 16-20. Look for the legendary Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth with Ron Carter on Feb. 25-26. For information, call 212-475-8592 or visit bluenotejazz.com.
  • Exhibitions
  • The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture announces its first exhibition of 2014, “Motown: The Truth is a Hit.” Featuring items highlighting Motown’s Berry Gordy and the institution’s beloved musical acts, the multimedia showcase is on display now until July 26 at the Schomburg Center, 515 Malcolm X Blvd. at 135th Street.

Community

  • Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James will lecture on the contents of his best-selling book “Political Prisoner” at the CEMOTAP Center, located at 135-05 Rockaway Blvd., S. Ozone Park, N.Y., on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. The book exposes how he was framed by Gov. Chris Christie, as well as how intractable corruption continues to cripple Newark.  Admission is free. Call 347-907-0629 for information.
  • Vy Higgensen’s Gospel for Teens Choir is holding auditions for males and females between the ages of 13 and 19. Auditions are friendly and fun! For information, call 212-280-1045 or visit mamafoundation.org.
  • The world-famous Apollo Theater hosts a series of artistic and community programs to celebrate Black History Month. The Apollo’s 2014 Black History Month includes the return of the 1930s/1940s nightclubstyle show “Apollo Club Harlem”; the return of the popular independent emerging artist concert series “Apollo Music Café”; and Apollo “Live Wire” discussion series “Black Style on Stage”. For more info, visit apollotheatre.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 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. IGB 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 igbexp@gmail.com, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.