Greetings! In the aftermath of the annual King Day celebration comes the story that King Day advocate Stevie Wonder is working with NBC on a Broadway miniseries and musical about the Underground Railroad. Time magazine says the miniseries will run for eight hours and will be based on literature such ass “Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner Betty DeRamus. The book is based on the stories of men and women who risked their lives (and even their limbs) in order to be together.
Wonder will serve as the executive producer of the miniseries and Broadway show. We’ll be speaking to the Wonder-Man personally about this to confirm, especially after the “triplet” rumor went viral without validity. Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” tour, which began here in New York City, returns to the Big Apple with a wrap-up performance at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn Sunday, April 12.
Join us Sunday night on the “GBE Mind Flight” on 1190 WLIB for part two of our interview with Charles Steele Jr., president and CEO of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is the Tony Award-winning musical with a contemporary take on the classic tale. Rediscover Rodgers and Hammerstein’s memorable songs such as “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago.” Starring KeKe Palmer as “Ella” and NeNe Leakes (from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”) as Madame. Broadway Theater, 1681 Broadway, between West 52nd and 53rd streets. For ticket information, go to www.telecharge.com.
“Motown: The Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr., 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 at the Al Hirschfield Theatre, 302 W. 45th St. Visit broadway.com/ shows/kinky-boots.
“Aladdin,” featuring James Monroe Igleheart, the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actor, as the uniquely modern genie, is now playing at the New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 W. 42nd St. Visit broadway.com/shows/aladdin-broadway.
“The Lion King,” featuring actors dressed as wild animals, encompassing their characters in spectacular, goose bump-giving performances, keeps audiences coming back time and again to the Miniskoff Theatre, 1515 Broadway. Call 212-869-0550 or visit miniskofftheatre.com.
BB Kings Blues Club in Times Square presents the Robert Cray Band Friday, Jan. 30 and the “Bob Marley Birthday Bash” Saturday, Feb. 7 with the Cannabis Cup Reggae Band. For information on tickets and prices, call 212-997-4144 or visit www.bbkingblues.com or wbls.com.
Brooklyn Center presents Ladysmith Black Mambozo Saturday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. With four Grammy Awards, including 2013’s “Best World Music” CD, the group presents rich a cappella arrangements and joyously energetic performances. Walt Whitman Theatre, 2900 Campus Road, Brooklyn, N.Y. For ticket information, call 718-951-4500 or visit brooklyncenter.org.
The Blue Note Jazz Club presents Kirk Whalum Feb. 3 to 6 and Valentine’s Week with Nicole Henry Feb. 10 and 11 and Rachelle Farrell Feb.12 to 15. The Blue Note is located at 131 W. Third St. Call 212-675-8592 or visit bluenotejazzclub.com.
The Apollo Theater presents renowned musician D’Angelo and the Vanguard in an epic one-night-only concert Saturday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. In 2014, D’Angelo’s first studio album in 14 years, “Black Messiah,” is a critical hit. This special evening is the singer’s only U.S. engagement since the album’s release. Visit apollotheater.org.
The ’70s Soul Jam Valentine’s Concert will be held Feb. 14 at the Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway at 74th Street, featuring the Stylistics, the Dramatics, the Manhattans, the Delphonics and Blue Magic. For ticket information, visit www.beacontheater.com.
Carnegie Hall presents Jessye Norman and Mark Markham in “Hooray For Love!” in a Stern Auditorium Perelman Stage Performance Saturday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. The show is a special program of classics from musical theater and the Great American Songbook, with selections featuring Arlen, Bernstein, Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers and Hart, and Ellington, plus songs by Satie, Weill, Poulenc, Bizet and others. 881 Seventh Ave. at 57th Street. For information, call 212-247-7800 or visit www.carnegiehall.org.
“Selma,” a chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign in a racially dangerous climate to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965, stars David Oyewolo as King, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Common as James Bevel and Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper, with a soundtrack featuring Common and John Legend. Check theaters for listings.
Yvette L. Campbell, president and CEO of the Harlem School of the Arts at the Herb Alpert Center, announced earlier this month a full program of classes for children and young adults interested in exploring the world of music, dance, theater and the visual arts. Spring 2015 classes are designed for students ages 2 to 18 from all backgrounds in the New York City metropolitan area. For detailed information about HSA, classes, schedules, FAQs and how to register, visit www.hsanyc.org or contact Tyeesha Jones, HSA registration manager, at 212-926-4100 ext. 324 or tjones@HSAnyc.org.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Saturday, Feb. 7 is a chance to get more involved in getting the word out that HIV is preventable and treatable. With greater awareness about how the disease is spread and how to avoid risky behaviors, people can reduce their chance of infection. With appropriate treatment and medication, people living with HIV can live long and productive lives, and manage their disease like other chronic illnesses. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to get screened for HIV and to know their HIV status. For event listings and locations in the local area, visit nblca.org/meet-our-affiliates/new-york-city.
Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM daily with “Imhotep’s On-Air Guide to Black Events” and “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday 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,” Fridays from 6 p.m. to 8 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.