Legendary Comedy Act Theatre to Re-open in Los Angeles Historic home to entertainment industry’s best known Black comedians
What do comedians Sinbad, Tommy Davidson, Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, Monique, Damon Wayans, D.L. Hughley, Myra J and the late Robin Harris and a multitude of black comedians have in common? They were all regulars at the legendary Comedy Act Theatre, the acclaimed venue known as the premier comedy club for Black comedians in Los Angeles during the late 80’s and early 90’s. The famed C.A.T. gained national laughter recognition and began to open comedy clubs in major cities like Atlanta and Chicago to extend a launching pad for the careers of many of today’s Black superstar comedians. Founder, Michael Williams will re-open the doors as Michael Williams presents a ‘Reunion’ for the Comedy Act Planet on Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 7:30 pm at the club’s original location, the famed Regency West, 3339 W. 43rd Street in Los Angeles historical district of Leimert Park.
Known for it’s down home ambiance, C.A.T. founder and visionary, Michael Williams promises the club will stay true to what made it a huge success. “Not only did the Comedy Act Theatre give Black comedians from across the country a stage to sharpen their skills, it was also known as a hip showcase for the stars and our regular audience of 300 patrons always knew they would get good comedy from a wealth of refreshing Black comics,” says Williams.
A number of well-known Black comics will be on hand for the re-opening, pay special tribute to legendary comic and C.A.T. emcee, Robin Harris and host shows each Thursday night featuring the next wave of Black comedians. “I made a promise to myself to bring back a quality institution that provides opportunities to black comedians and build upon the Comedy Act Theatre’s reputation to support the dreams of future comedians who now see the possibilities of a career in entertainment,” adds Williams.
Sponsors include K-DAY radio, Warner Brother Records, and eBiz Marketing. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $25.00.
HBFF 2008 to Open with World Premiere of “Two Turntables and a Microphone”
Jam Master Jay Documentary Stars Russell Simmons, Reverend Run, Jay-Z, LL Cool J and 50 Cent
The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) has announced that “Two Turntables and a Microphone,” a music documentary about the life and untimely death of Jam Master Jay with guest appearances by Russell Simmons, Reverend Run, Jay-Z, LL Cool J and 50 Cent, will have its world premiere as the opening night film of the 2008 Hollywood Black Film Festival. The premiere, sponsored by One Village Entertainment, will take place on Tuesday, June 3, 8:00 pm at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, California; the festival runs June 3-8.
“This is an amazing time for us. Two Turntables and a Microphone is an outstanding film that not only celebrates the life and career of one of hip-hop’s pioneers but it also gives us a history lesson as to how this worldwide phenomenon came about. We, at One Village, are extremely proud to offer this film to the public.” says Brett Dismuke, Vice President of Acquisitions & Urban Programming for Image Entertainment & head of its One Village Entertainment division, the film’s distributor.
On October 30, 2002 - Legendary hip-hop DJ Jason Mizell, aka Jam Master Jay, is gunned down in his Queens studio. Security tapes of the incident mysteriously disappear, the five witnesses are uncooperative and no one is talking...until now. 2 TURNTABLES AND A MICROPHONE documents the investigation of the unsolved murder of Jam Master Jay, RUN DMC’s groundbreaking DJ and producer, deftly revealing the history of hip-hop and mainstream rap along the way. Exclusive, candid interviews with Jay-Z, Russell Simmons, RUN DMC, Method Man and more offer insight into Jam Master Jay’s life - including information that could finally help police solve the murder that shook the music world to its core.
The star-studded cast of hip-hop heavyweights includes 50 Cent, Swizz Beats, Russell Simmons, Rev. Run, LL Cool J, Ja Rule, Fredro Starr, Stick Fingaz, DJ Hurricane, Jermaine Dupri, Jayo Felony, Bill Adler, Kid Rock, Ice-T and Stephon “Phonz” Watford. “Two Turntables and a Microphone” is directed by Guy Logan and produced by Stephon “Phonz” Watford and Lemel Humes.
Marvin Gaye Documentary Starts on PBS
For a PBS “American Masters” documentary on the late Motown legend Marvin Gaye, which premieried this week, Sam Pollard, the show’s writer and director, assembled the following for interviews:
Nick Ashford, Janie Bradford, Mos Def, Lamont Dozier, Michael Eric Dyson, Nelson George, Berry Gordy, Mabel John, Gladys Knight, David Ritz, Martha Reeves, Smokey Robinson, Valerie Simpson, Elgie Stover, Bobby Taylor, Leon Ware, Bishop West, Kim Weston, Otis Williams and Mary Wilson.
To snare them, Pollard used means familiar to any reporter: buying tickets to an Ashford & Simpson show to be able to reach the writer-performers backstage; for others, making multiple calls and sending numerous e-mails; and going through people who knew people. Even so, there were still some, such as Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross, who couldn’t make it work.
The list of on-camera interviewees includes authors - Ritz, George and Dyson - who have written about Gaye; performers and writers who were his contemporaries, and even an actor from a succeeding generation, Mos Def.
Pollard, 58, who grew up in New York’s East Harlem, said he wants viewers to take away two things from “Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On.” “For that 52 minutes . . . to be reacquainted with all that wonderful music that was so fabulous, from Marvin and Tammi to “Pride and Joy” to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Just fall back in love with all that music.”
Secondly, “I want people to have a window into how complicated every life is: No matter what you do in life, it’s always some kind of struggle. He was able to use those struggles to create great works.” Gaye was shot to death by his father on April 1, 1984, the day before his 45th birthday.
Rihanna Makes History Her Platinum CD Celebrates One-Year On Charts
Thought you’d been hearing a lot about and from Rihanna this past year, well here’s the confirmation. The multi-platinum MTV VMA, Grammy, and American Music Award winning artist - and CoverGirl spokesperson - Rihanna raises the curtain on the upcoming new CD+DVD re-release of her worldwide multi-platinum GOOD GIRL GONE BAD:RELOADED. The CD/DVD package arrives in stores on June 17th - the week after the album officially marks its historic 52nd week on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Rihanna christens the deluxe new GOOD GIRL GONE BAD:RELOADED two-disc package with a new single, “Take A Bow.” The number one most requested song on the internet, is available on I-Tunes now. “Take A Bow” was written by fellow Def Jam artist Ne-Yo, the same artist who was responsible for Rihanna’s “Unfaithful,” her #1 smash of 2006; and “Hate That I Love You,” her Top 10 duet with Ne-Yo released late last year.
Rihanna’s new DVD will contain 75-minute live concert from Manchester, England in December 2007; 17-minute documentary; and four-minute “Umbrella” home movie created by Rihanna’s band.