Greetings! We open up 2019 in our GBE with a humbling milestone: After 50 years in New York State broadcasting in 2016, we now hit our 50th year of broadcasting in NYC. Hard to believe it all began for me back in 1969 at age 19, when the late, brilliant programmer Jerry Boulding brought me to legendary radio station WWRL, home of radio legends too many to list, several from my hometown of Buffalo, N.Y. Among them, legends such as Hal Jackson, Magnificent Montague, Jocko Henderson, Tommy Smalls, Eddie O’jay, Frankie Crocker and the unforgettable Super 16 Soul Brothers, along with our radio godmother, Alma John, Bob Law and obviously many more. We’ll mark the year with a number of special events, to be announced.
“American Son,” a gripping tale about who we are as a nation and how we deal with family relationships, love, loss and identity. Starring Kerry Washington (“Scandal,” “Race”) and Steven Pasquale. Directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (“A Raisin in the Sun,” “Fences”). Marking the Broadway debut of playwright Christopher Demos-Brown. Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St. between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Show runs 90 minutes with no intermission. Call 212-239-6200 or visit www.americanson.com or telecharge.com.
“Once on This Island.” A fearless peasant girl takes a remarkable life journey for love. Circle in the Square Theatre, 235 W. 50th Street, New York, N.Y. Tony Award winner. For more information, call 800-447-7400 or visit onceonthisisland.com.
“King Kong.” He’s 20 feet tall and weighs 2,000 pounds. He’s monstrous and moving. And he is on Broadway now in a $35 million musical that has been in development for nearly a decade. Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Call 844-379-0370 or visit www.ticketoffices.com.
“Turning 15 On the Road to Freedom.” Lynda Blackmon Lowery was 14 years old when she took part in the Civil Rights Movement in Selma, Ala. and turned 15 while participating in marches such as “Bloody Sunday” (Based on Blackmon Lowery’s book “Turning 15 On the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March”). New York’s Riverside Church, Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. For information, visit https://turning1 5atriverside.eventbrite.com or call 212-870-6792.
The Nuyorican Poets Café and Ishmael Reed present a reading of “The Haunting of Lin Manuel Miranda,” a two-act play by Ishmael Reed, directed by Rome Neal. Friday, Jan. 4, to Monday, Jan. 7. Friday, Saturday and Monday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Nuyorican Poets Café, 236 E. Third St., New York, N.Y., between avenues B and C. For more information and tickets, visit nuyorican.org.
“The Day Harlem Saved Dr. King.” Written and directed by Michael Green. Presented by New Heritage Theatre Group, in association with Harlem Advocates for Seniors and Williams Institutional One Church. Did you know that Dr. King was stabbed at a book signing and saved by surgeons at Harlem Hospital? Only five performances, Jan. 15 to Jan. 21. Special opening night performance Jan. 15. For more information and to purchase tickets, call Michael at 646-458-9578 or visit shadesoftruththeatre.com.
“Amateur Night at the Apollo,” every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. World famous Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., Harlem, N.Y. For information, visit apollotheater.org.
“This Is Hip-Hop,” Friday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m., featuring Rakim, The Lox, EPMD, Black Moon and Brand Nubian. Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., New York, N.Y.
Anthony Hamilton, Saturday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m., Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. For information, visit ticketmaster.com.
“All Stars of Hip-Hop.” Naughty by Nature, Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee, Slick Rick, Whodunnit, Onyx, Nice and Smooth and Sweet Tee. Sunday, Jan. 20, at Boardwalk Hall, 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. Visit www.platinumshows.com.
Wu Tang Clan, Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m., Terminal 5, 610 W. 56th St., New York, N.Y. For information, visit Ticketmaster.com.
Brian McKnight, Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m., Sony Hall, 235 W. 46th St., New York, N.Y. For information, visit Ticketmaster.com.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. CeCe Winans, Anthony Brown and J.J. Hairston, Friday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m., New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark, N.J. For information, visit ticketmaster.com.
“Life of a Legend: Carmen de Lavallade,” Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. The Appel Room at Lincoln Center celebrates de Lavallade’s love of both dance and jazz, revisiting some of the iconic dance work she performed with jazz musicians. Visit www.lincolncenter.org/ venue/ the-appel-room.
“If Beale Street Could Talk” is about a woman in Harlem who desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child. Directed by and written for film by Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins. Based on the book by James Baldwin. Check theaters.
“Creed II” rediscovers what makes a champion in the first place and reminds that no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history, with Michael B. Jordan, Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone and Phylicia Rashad. Check theaters.
The 2019 Women’s March marks two years of resistance to the Trump presidency. Jan.19, 2019, the #Women’sWave is coming and sweeping the world forward with them. For more information, visit www.womensmarch.com/2019/.
The block where the Notorious B.I.G. grew up, located at James Place between Fulton Street and Gates Avenue in Brooklyn, will now bear his name. The street will be co-named Christopher Wallace Way. Christopher Wallace is the late rappers birth name. Mayor Bill de Blasio has to sign the bill to make it official.
Imhotep Gary Byrd’s “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and simulcast over WLIB 1190AM. The full show can also be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2 and at WBLS.com, WLIB.com and NextRadio. IGB’s “Beat Experience” is heard Fridays 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Archived online at www.wbai.org. For bookings or to reach us about your GBEvent or for comments, email co-editor Nyerere, email@example.com, find us at Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or call 212-592-3279.