Named earlier this year by Variety magazine as one of their “Top 10 Documakers to Watch,” Deborah Riley Draper is driven by passion to tell the stories of the numerous unsung African American trailblazers and heroes whose achievements and lives have been either ignored or buried in our collective history.
Set in New York City, Don’t Think Twice is a warm, funny, engaging and insightful look into the lives of six improv performers — Jack (Keegan-Michael Key of “Key & Peele”), Sam (Gillian Jacobs from HBO’s “Girls”), Allison (Kate Micucci of the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates); Lindsay (Tami Sagher, writer/producer on “Inside Amy Schumer”); Bill (Chris Gethard, host and star of Fusion’s "The Chris Gethard Show”); and Miles (Mike Birbiglia, “Trainwreck” and “Orange is the New Black”) — who after 11 years of hitting the stage together nightly in hopes of making it big, are faced with the realization that not all of them will be able to make their dreams come true.
Gray spoke to the Banner about her role as elementary school teacher Kate in If/Then, being on American Idol and how discovering Prince helped her grow up.
Yoba spoke with the Banner about “Bad Dad Rehab,” his entrepreneurial spirit, and the lifestyle company and innovation studio he co-founded called iconic 32.
Kurios is a magical universe set in the Victorian era where the imagination has no boundaries, and all is possible.
RIFF will screen approximately 54 films, shorts and documentaries from across the globe in a wide array of genres. The current slate of films reflect and explore a broad range of topics from racism and diversity, to bullying, family dramas and relationships, to living one’s dream and fatherless homes.
The actress tackles the title role of Miki Howard in TV One’s first ever bio-pic “Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story” airing this Sunday and starred in Spike Lee’s film “Chi-Raq” last October. She spoke to the Banner about prepping to play Howard, filming Chi-Raq in Chicago and what #BlackGirlMagic means to her.
‘Matilda The Musical’ comes to the Boston Opera House
Esther M. Antoine spoke to the Banner about her path to musical theater and her role in “Matilda the Musical,” a production based on a book from popular children’s writer Roald Dahl.
In a career that includes print, radio, television, and digital, Roland S. Martin has continually pushed the envelope for excellence in journalism by asking the tough questions and pushing for answers, doing the research, and challenging those who simply throw out facts without being able to back them up. Named Journalist of the Year in 2013 by the National Association of Black Journalists, Martin is host and managing editor of TV One’s first national daily news program, News One Now. The program presents issues and stories from the world of politics, entertainment, sports and culture that have an impact on the African American community.
Josh Kriegman talks about the making of his documentary
Josh Kriegman, who served as Anthony Weiner’s chief of staff for two years when he was in Congress, knew that the former U.S. Representative would be a great subject for a documentary.
Jensen Jacobs was in Boston for the screening of “TRI,” the drama she stars in, at the Boston International Film Festival. She spoke to the Banner about tackling the role of Natalie, training for the film and why she’s inspired by The Rock.
Shot in Dublin, Ireland and inspired by Carney’s life and love of music, “Sing Street” tells the story of 14 year-old Conor in 1980s Dublin who’s looking for a way to break free of his strained family life, while trying to adjust to a new and tough inner-city public school.
Exhibit depicts South and Fannie Lou Hamer
Painter and collage artist, Ekua Holmes has long championed the beauty, the uniqueness, and the history of Roxbury and its residents through her collages and paintings. In her latest exhibit titled, “Deeply Rooted,” the Roxbury native includes collages of civil rights activist/leader Fannie Lou Hamer, her grandfather, Comado Hendrix, as well as her father’s family members.
Urban Improv’s major fundraiser “Banned in Boston” was a resounding success, with laughter taking place both on and off the stage.
Authenticity and owning your power were two of the central messages at this year’s 37th Annual Simmons Leadership Conference. The conference’s official theme was Women Leading Change.
Hailing from Milton, Mass., actor Elimu Nelson has been steadily making his mark in Hollywood for the past 10 years. He spoke with the banner on his latest film projects.
Since the fall of 2015, Blanchard has been a visiting scholar at Berklee College of Music; he took time to speak to the Banner about the progress of the students and what he’s learned from them over the course of the year.
Carla Harris to speak at Simmons Women’s Leadership Conference
Named to Fortune Magazine’s list of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America,” Carla Harris has been blazing trails for more than 30 years. The financial powerhouse is the vice chairman of Wealth Management and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley.
Artist blends R&B, soul, jazz and hip-hop
Once called the “spiritual love child of Sade and D’Angelo” by Rolling Stone magazine, singer and songwriter Goapele (pronounced gwa-puh-lay) brings her smooth blend of R&B, soul, and jazz and hip hop music to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on March 31 as part of the RISE Music Series.
The film, out now in theaters nationwide, stars Fey, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, Margot Robbie and Billy Bob Thornton, and is based on Barker’s autobiography “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” The memoir chronicles her experiences as a first-time foreign correspondent reporting on the war in Afghanistan, beginning in 2002 for The Chicago Tribune, “shuffling” between Afghanistan and Pakistan, navigating the politics of both countries and the U.S. military — all the while learning to understand the culture and figuring out her life and her place in this new and unpredictable world.
Ron Funches stars as the loveable, sweet and happy-go-lucky character Shelly on the NBC sitcom “Undateable,” about a group of friends trying to figure out life, love and relationship. The actor, comedian and writer brings his unique delivery, quick wit and laid-back demeanor to Laugh Boston tonight through Saturday.
Pereyra, who began her formal dance training at the Boston Arts Academy, joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011, and is a featured dancer in all of the Ailey premieres this season. She is set to perform in several works when the world-renowned dance troupe returns to Boston March 17-20 at the Citi Performing Arts Center — as part of the 45th presentation by the Celebrity Series of Boston.
The Prelude connects communities to local artists and musicians
New arts and cultural organization the Boston Arts & Music Soul Collective aims to bring more visibility to the local music and arts scene for people of color. To further this, the BAMS Collective is hosting the Prelude, a traveling art and music series held around the Greater Boston area six times this year and six times in 2017.
In just three years, actress Jasmine Carmichael has gone from ensemble player in the Kwame Kwei-Armah-directed play “Dance of The Holy Ghosts” at Center Stage in Baltimore to lead actress in playwright Kirsten Greenidge’s “Milk Like Sugar” at the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End.
Fredi Walker-Browne originated the role of ‘JoAnne Jefferson’ in Jonathan Larson’s 1996 Tony Award-winning musical “Rent.” Twenty years later, Rent’s anniversary is celebrated with Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of the iconic musical and a free seminar called “Storytelling for Actors” presented by Walker-Browne.
This Saturday former Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer performs in concert at Sanders Theatre as part of the Celebrity Series of Boston. Her upcoming performance is described as “evoking the swagger of an era when a lady ruled a nightclub and an audience knew they were in for a good time.”
Known for giving a real, oftentimes raw, and a “no-holds barred” perspective on relationships in his standup, Corey Holcomb brings the truth in the battle between the sexes in his latest comedy special taping “Book Of Coreythians” on Friday at The Wilbur.
One of Gabrielle McClinton’s biggest dreams — appearing on Broadway — materialized in 2013 when McClinton starred as the Leading Player in the Tony® Award-winning musical revival “Pippin” under the direction of Tony® Award-winning director Diane Paulus. “Pippin,” which originally premiered on Broadway in 1972 with Ben Vereen as the Leading Player, tells the story of Pippin, a young prince, who’s on a journey to find meaning in his life.
In Kirsten Greenidge’s Obie Award-winning play ‘Milk Like Sugar,’ which is set to premiere on January 29 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, she once again touches upon the intersection of race and class through three teenage girls — Annie (Jasmine Carmichael), Talisha (Shazi Raja) and Margie (Carolina Sanchez) — who enter into a “pregnancy pact.”
Winner of the Europa Cinemas Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and a 2015 Golden Globe nominee in the category of Best Foreign-Language Film (it lost to Hungary’s “Son of Saul” this past Monday), “Mustang” is a captivating and beautifully written and directed film that tells the story of five modern-day teenage sisters living with their grandmother in the remote village of Inebolu in northern Turkey, who are imprisoned by their family for what they believe is sexually-illicit behavior on the part of the girls.
No stranger to playing meaty roles or tackling the Bard, Shirine Babb is set to star as Jory in the 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced, opening on Friday at the Avenue of the Arts/BU Theatre.
For comedian Deon Cole, success is all about having your own perspective or “putting your own spin on everything that you do.”
On Christmas Day, the movie-going public will see Will Poulter co-staring in the biggest film of his career to-date, The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. Poulter plays Jim Bridger, the real-life frontiersman, trapper, scout, and guide who explored and trapped in the western part of the U.S. in the 1800’s.
Mass. Conference for Women hits milestone
Attracting nearly 10,000 women, The Massachusetts Conference for Women was held on Thursday, December 10 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The one-day event, which has grown in size and scope, since it was first held in 2005, featured 100 speakers and more than 30 workshops and seminars on the topics of leadership, career advancement and transitions, business and entrepreneurship, personal empowerment and finance, and more.
In 2014, Dashon Burton performed for the first time with Boston Baroque in Handel’s Messiah. He returns for a second year on Friday and Saturday as a guest soloist with the nationally-renowned orchestra. Under the direction of Martin Pearlman, the Boston Baroque presents its 34th annual performance of Handel's Messiah at The New England Conservatory of Music’s Jordan Hall.
Shrewsbury High School was the setting where Kira Cowan and Jared Troilo first met and musical theater was where they became partners both on-and-off the stage. The couple, who recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary, collaborate for the first time as husband and wife in Fiddlehead Theater Company’s musical adaptation of the Disney classic “The Little Mermaid.”
In typical Rocky fashion, “Creed” is much more than a boxing movie. Yes, there are the boxing matches and the grueling workouts, but more importantly the film explores a new chapter in the Rocky saga with Jordan in the starring role of Adonis Johnson, a young boxer who never knew his father, world heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed — and is struggling to define himself while living up to his father’s legacy.
An artist and arts administrator for more than 30 years both in the United States and in Greece, Pares Mallis is the founder, organizer and curator of ART 100 BOSTON — a platform featuring original and contemporary artwork from local artists. After a successful debut in December 2014 with 50 artists and 300 works of art, the exhibition returns to the Piano Craft Gallery in the South End, December 4-19, featuring more than 400 original pieces of art by 68 artists primarily from the Greater Boston area.
From October 30 to November 8, ArtsEmerson in conjunction with Future Boston Alliance presented The Obsessive Residency with acclaimed novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and artist Walter Mosley, as part of its second Public Dialogue Series titled “Naming Ourselves: Provocative Conversations on Identity and Representation.” The residency was sponsored by the Fresh Sound Foundation.
The critically-acclaimed South African company, which made its U.S. debut in 2014 with Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, wraps up its run of its two reimagined classics — “uCarmen” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — this weekend at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre.
Memphis-born playwright Katori Hall puts the focus on seven black women in a Memphis beauty parlor/ boarding house during the final days of World War II in “Saturday Night/Sunday Morning,” now playing at the Lyric Stage in Boston.
Bronx-born actress and singer Jeannette Bayardelle, who performed her one-woman play “SHIDA” last November at the American Repertory Theatre, is back in the Bay State in the role of Deloris Van Cartier in the five-time Tony®-nominated musical “Sister Act.” The musical is playing through Sunday at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly.
“I still want to bring great stories to the screen. I still want to bring great historical stories; great stories featuring African American icons. I still want to do that. It’s been my passion my whole life, my whole adult life,” says Remember the Titans award-winning screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard.
The Lizt Alfonso Dance Company makes its Boston debut with its production Cuba Vibra this Saturday and Sunday at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre. Set to Cuban music and dance from the 1950s to present-day, 18 dancers will take over the stage performing a seamless fusion of dances, including ballet, flamenco, cha-cha, rumba, conga, salsa, and more.
Ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan (“I’m Every Woman,” “Ain’t Nobody,” “Do You Love What You Feel”) performs at The Dimock Center’s annual black tie gala Steppin’ Out on Saturday, November 7 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. This year, the multicultural event celebrates and supports Dimock’s mission to restore, transform, and uplift with a goal of increasing access to substance abuse treatment.
The Haitian-born author Edwidge Danticat, who came to prominence in 1994 with the mesmerizing “Breath, Eyes, Memory,” will appear at the Boston Book Festival, which begins Oct. 23.
Actor Leon Robinson, a storyteller at heart
Actor Leon Robinson, a storyteller at heart
Born in Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, Yuna was exposed not only to Malay music but also to American pop, rock, blues, and jazz. Her musical idols also included No Doubt, Nirvana, Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah and Janet Jackson.
For actor and dancer Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva, who was born in the town of Manatí on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, the role of Bernardo in the musical “West Side Story” really resonates for a couple of reasons.
Production runs through Oct. 18 at Emerson College
“Mr. Joy,” the one-woman play written by playwright and ArtsEmerson Artist-in-Residence Daniel Beaty and starring Tangela Large brings nine different characters to life.