Greetings, Aretha Franklin’s “Amazing Grace” film, whose soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album of all time, will finally hit theaters April 2019. The late Queen of Soul’s much-celebrated gospel film will premiere at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Detroit Film Theatre on March 25—Aretha’s birthday. The black-tie event is private, though there will be limited complimentary ticket access. The Rev. William Barber II, who spoke at Franklin’s Aug. 31 funeral is one of many expected guests. The national rollout will follow, including a 1,000-screen nationwide theatrical run that starts April 19.
Meanwhile, the Schomburg Center’s Women’s History Month series saluted the High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone.
Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre present, in association with Castillo Theatre, “Looking for Leroy” by Larry Muhammad. It’s hard to overestimate the impact of playwright LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka. What’s it like to be in his shadow? Now through March 31, Castillo Theater, 543 West 42nd Street, Manhattan. Thurs.-Sat at 8 p.m. plus Sat. and Sun. matinees at 2:30 p.m. For information call 866-811-4111 or visit castillo.org.
“Ain’t Too Proud” is the electrifying new musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Five guys—one dream with a sound that would make music history. Written by three time Obie award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two-time Tony award winner Des McAnuff (“Jersey Boys”), and featuring choreography by Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo (“Jersey Boys,” “On Your Feet”), the musical brings the untold story of this legendary quintet to irresistible life on Broadway. In previews now. Opening night set for March21. Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th St., Manhattan. For more information, call 844-379-0370 or visit www.secureboxoffice.com/
“Boesman and Lena” is a small-cast play by South African playwright Athol Fugard, set in the Swartkops mudflats outside the playwright’s native Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The play shows the effect of apartheid on a few individuals, featuring as characters a “Coloured” man and woman walking from one shanty town to another. Now through March 24, The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street, Manhattan. For ticket info call 212-244-7529 or visit: signaturesignature.org.
“White Noise” Suzan-Lori Parks’ world premiere play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract. Anspacher Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, Manhattan; Mon., March 8 through Sun., Apr 21. For info, visit: www.broadway.com/shows/white-noise.
The St. George Theatre 89th anniversary red carpet gala and benefit concert in Staten Island presents one of the most successful groups of all time, The Mighty O’Jays! Saturday, March 30, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) The O’Jays have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and the Grammy Hall of Fame. The annual red carpet gala serves as the principal fundraiser for St. George Theatre Restoration Inc. and features a pre-show cocktail reception, prime seating. The Georgie award presentation, and an after-party in the grand-mezzanine lobbies with open bar, hors d’oeuvres and dance music. The first 12 rows are reserved for gala attendees. For more information regarding the gala including purchasing gala tickets and prime seating, sponsorships and journal ads, please call 718-442-2900 x 504. For reservations visit www.stgeorgetheatre.com
Smokey Robinson, Sat., March 30 at 8 p.m., Borgata Casino Event Center, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, N.J. 08401. For info call 800-515-2171 or visit: boxofficeticketsales.com.
Apollo Music Café: Celebrates Africa Now! Featuring Tosin and Allinor, Fri, Apr 12 at 10pm
Apollo Theater, 253 West 123th Street, Manhattan. For info, visit: ticketmaster.com.
“American Soul,” BET’s dramatic TV series inspired by the Don Cornelius classic show “Soul Train.” Check Listings.
The Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films is an annual film festival. This year’s festival will introduce 24 features and 11 short films to New York audiences. Visit MoMA.org or filmlinc.org.
Veteran air traffic controller Priscilla Russell’s shocking and thought-provoking story will bring a new narrative to Black women’s fictional literature. “In Control: On a Wing and a Prayer,” is the first of a two-part series. The book is loosely based on her life story and the struggles and pains of progressing in a male-dominated industry. For more information, visit www.Authorpriscillarussell.com.
The Schomburg Center’s annual Women’s Jazz Festival, in honor of Women’s History Month, features some of the best-known and unsung female performers in jazz today. The 2019 festival is slated for each Monday, including this Monday, March 25. Join a “Salute to Women in Bebop” curated by musician, jazz composer, and Obie award winner Diedre L. Murray. Murray composed original music for Two River Theater’s production of Oo-Bla-Dee created by Golden Globe-winning actor and playwright Regina Taylor.
Community Works and New Heritage Group in partnership with the Harlem Hospital Center present “Harlem Is…Spirit of Community” featuring an eclectic mix of artwork, photography and poetry by Harlem-based artists reflecting their views on community, claiming identity and Harlem’s storied contributions. The continuing exhibition also features a 30-foot timeline of Harlem’s history and a film honoring its cultural contributions. MURAL Pavilion at Harlem Hospital. Wed-Sat. 12-5 p.m. or by appointment. Free and open to the public. Contact 917-757-2242 or email@example.com
The New York Chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO) and the International African Arts Festival (IAAFestival) in conjunction with the International Black Women’s Congress (IBWC) will host a Black History Month Part Two—Focus on Women program, entitled: “Black Woman What Are You Thirsting for in 2019?—Empowering Our Voices, Moving Beyond the Margins!” “Black Woman What Are You Thirsting For?” will take place on Sunday March 31 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 1360 Fulton Street, Suite 401 in Brooklyn.
Listen to 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 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Archived online at www.wbai.org. For bookings or to reach us about your GBEvent or for comments, email co-editor Nyerere, firstname.lastname@example.org, find us at Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or call 212-592-3279.