“Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (“Macbeth,” Act V, Scene V). Does that get you in the mood for a little Shakespeare?
The producers at the Harlem School of the Arts Alliance certainly hope so, as the theater group presents “Macbeth.” Written by William Shakespeare, the production is directed and designed by Alfred Preisser, with assistant direction by Josiah Fluker-McInnis. The cast, consisting of Dane Clarke II, Adia Jefferson, Miles Cuffie Archer, Mia Brito, Naija DeLong, Sumaiya Dickens, Josiah Fluker-McInnis, Geneva Foster-Narvaez, Otto Grimwood, Jayden Hairston, Lucia Herndon, Reese Kwabi, Kyara Mahlen, Malik Middleton, Aaliyah Miller, Naeemah Miller, Ariyanna Munford, Maysanne Murad, Depre Owens, Cody Serulle, Stephano Sullo and Danielle Touba, will appear at the HAS Theater, 649 Saint Nicholas Ave., March 9 to March 18, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Speaking of Shakespeare, did you know many of the expressions we use in our everyday conversations originated from Shakespeare plays. How many times have you heard “To be or not to be, that is the question?” If you are intrigued and really want to get into the Shakespearean groove, don’t be shy about Googling the Macbeth Cliffs Notes, the study guide that translates the story into modern language, and then go see the play.
Had enough of this up and down, dreary weather? Unbeknown to many, March can be the best month to travel. It’s in-between season, not the winter and not the spring, and the days are long enough for you to slip away, relax and come back before month’s end. Once upon a time, I traveled every March for two weeks away with my mother. We would go to Mazatlán, Mexico, where she had a timeshare at the El Cid resort. It wasn’t quite two weeks, but because there were no direct flights, we always had to tag on two days for travel both coming and going. The weather was always hot and sunny. Although I wasn’t a big fan of the Pacific Ocean—there is nothing like the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea as far as the beach is concerned—it is vast and beautiful to gaze upon, which I did often from our penthouse suite. We would meet up there with friends, the late Evan Gordon, M.D., who schooled me by saying, “If you really want to know someone, go out to dinner where you can sit across from them at the table, look them in the eye and have a conversation. You can’t do that on the dance floor or at the club.”
Also part of the crew was Walter Fleary, who would make tequila shakes every morning for breakfast. Walter was great. He loved to make breakfast and lunch, and if that wasn’t enough, he’d serve you as well. However, when it came time for me to clean up (he cooked, I cleaned), the kitchen was a mess! Walter was the kind of cook who would use every utensil, dish and pot, and then leave them exactly where he put them down. Definitely not a clean up as you go kind of guy. No matter. He was fun just the same, great to play tennis with.
The other traveling buddy was the late George Fleary (Walter’s brother), who kept everyone laughing with his stories.
Mazatlán is known as one of the shrimp capitals of the world. There are shrimp bars everywhere, prepared in a variety of ways. The shopping was great, as was the sightseeing. I won’t bore you with our blow-by-blow itinerary, but suffice to say Mazatlán, located on the Southwest coast of Mexico, approximately 1,000 miles south of Los Angeles, is a fun place to go.
If you are looking for someplace a little more exotic, a place I haven’t been to but would love to go is Ethiopia. Located on the Horn of Africa, along the Northeast region of the continent, Ethiopia is known as the Cradle of Mankind, home to the oldest humanoid on Earth, the ancient Aksumite Empire and the Ark of the Covenant. It is no wonder that some of the world’s fastest Olympic runners are from that country. The region has more than 70 percent of Africa’s mountains. Known as “The only African country to withstand European colonization during the ‘Scramble for Africa,’” Ethiopia is a founding member of the United Nations and is often referred to as the “Political Capital of Africa.” Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, which means “New Flower,” offers a variety of authentic restaurants, theaters, historical museums, the beautiful castles of Gondar and churches, including Debre Birhan Selassie I Church. The city also is home to the burial site of Emperor Haile Selassie I.
Back on this side of the pond, designers Tory Burch and Dennis Basso attended the annual Boys’ Club of New York Winter Luncheon, which raised more than $675,000 to support the Boys’ Club’s ongoing services and activities, which include music and arts programs, mentoring and social and recreational activities. Among the young men in attendance were Xavier Balzthar Villaran, Anthony Ray and Nathaniel Gonzales.
Dance ballerina dance! Did William Shakespeare say that or was it the late Nate King Cole, who put the lyrics to tune? Either way, the Youth American Grand Prix, the world’s largest ballet scholarship audition program, recently held their first New York Semi-Finals. Selected competitors will continue on to the finals, which again will be held in New York City in April. Awarded is more than $250,000 a year in scholarships, enabling young dancers to attend leading schools and join dance companies where they are able to continue their training. Past winners have gone on to join the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet and many others. Everything is beautiful at the ballet.
Until next week…kisses.