Rain Pryor, Daughter of Richard Pryor Acclaimed
Actress/Comedian In Rehearsals For Her One-Woman Show
"Fried Chicken & Latkes" Opening Off-Broadway In Previews
June 2, 2015 at National Black Theater New York City
By: Gatsby Melodi'
It’s her hilarious take on growing up Black,
Jewish and the daughter of a comedy icon.
2015 marks the 10-year anniversary death of
her pop Richard Pryor. The Off-Broadway
show heads into previews on June 2nd at
National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Avenue,
NYC 10035. Directed by Kamilah Forbes.
June 2-28, 2015. Tickets $150.00 or Tables
$1,500.00/ (212) 722- 3800 box office.
The hilariously, irreverent and poignant “Fried Chicken & Latkes” is Rain Pryor's
one woman theatrical, cabaret-styled show based on her life growing up Black
and Jewish. Pryor plays the 11 characters most pivotal to her life and takes her
audience on a musical journey through the late 60s, 70s and 80s and some
little-known family history. Along the way she offers a unique perspective on
race, identity and the loss of her iconic father Richard Pryor.
Rain Pryor’s one-woman autobiographical play will have its World Premiere at
Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre (NBT) in Harlem, running
Tuesday, June 2, through Sunday, June 28. “Fried Chicken & Latkes”. It has
been in development for several years and performed in Atlanta; New York;
Winston-Salem, NC; Baltimore; and Washington, DC. Recently, the actress
joined forces with acclaimed director Kamilah Forbes (“A Raisin in the Sun,”
“Lucky Guy,” “Stick Fly,” “The Mountaintop,” “Holler If Ya Hear Me”) to completely
reimagine the work. Rain Pryor (www.rainpryor.com) is an award-winning actor,
writer, producer, standup comedian, activist, dynamic speaker and mother.
HBO Strikes Big With "BESSIE" Smith Story Starring Quality All Star
Cast With Queen Latifah In Title Role, Mo'Nique As Ma Rainey And
Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps and Tika
Sumpter - One Of The Most Must See Entertaining Films of the Year
By: Gatsby Melodi'
May 22, 2015 - Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894- September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer,
born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and nicknamed The Empress of the Blues. She became known
as the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s, and is often regarded as one of
the greatest singers of her era along with Louis Armstrong. Bessie was the daughter of Laura and
William Smith. William Smith was a laborer and part-time Baptist preacher who died before his
daughter Bessie could remember him. By the time she was nine, Bessie had lost her mother and a
brother. Her older sister Viola took charge of caring for her and her siblings. To earn money for their
impoverished household, Bessie Smith and her brother Andrew began earning money on the
streets of Chattanooga as a duet performing, with Bessie singing and dancing, and her brother
Andrew accompanying her on guitar.
In 1912, Bessie was hired as a dancer to perform chorus lines behind singer Ma Rainey. Rainey
helped Bessie Smith develop her stage presence, but by 1913 Bessie began forming her own act.
Bessie Smith made 160 recordings for Columbia Records often accompanied by the finest
musicians of the day, most notably Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Fletcher Henderson,
James P. Johnson, Joe Smith, and Charlie Gree.
Queen Latifah is extraordinary portraying Bessie Smith. It is amazing how much of her own
personal naked body Ms Latifah reveals on camera in this HBO classic film, to make it work.
Oscar® nominee Queen Latifah (“Chicago”) stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the
HBO Films drama BESSIE, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees (“Pariah”) from a screenplay
by Dee Rees and Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois. With a story by Dee Rees and Horton
Foote. The film focuses on transformation from a struggling young singer into “The Empress of the
Blues,” one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and an enduring icon today.
The film moves fast with its scene changes, and the script is excellent. The run time is less than
two hours. "Bessie" is one of those films you don't want to end because it is so entertainingly good.
"Remember what I told you about the Blues" Ma Rainey schools Bessie Smith, "The Blues is not
about people knowing you. It's about you knowing people". Mo'Nique magnificently teaches Bessie,
in an everlasting moment. The film is riddled with great strong advice, and witty lines. Bessie was a
pretty woman attracted to other pretty women for sex, romance, and friendship, but she also loved to
fight, and she loved male sex too.. Bessie Smith was attracted to violence. This film has all the
elements of success and also all the gory and guts of a feature film with excitement and comedy,
thru June 13th on HBO. Don't miss this gem. You won't be disappointed.
"I had to start from scratch. Bessie is her own character. I could have played this role at age 22, but I
didn’t have the life experience I can bring to it now. I was exhausted, frankly, after a day’s work of
being Bessie. She had a husband, a boyfriend and a girlfriend. She was fighting and singing. She’s
a lot of woman, and I was more than happy to come home from work and take a nice hot shower
and get some rest!" Queen Latifah reveals about playing the role Bessie Smith.
Being Bold Is A Big Part Of Being An Artist With Staying Power
NATALIE LA ROSE Knows Just When To Be Bold
By: JC Lee
Natalie La Rose
New York June 1, 2015 - Natalie La Rose at the age of
20, moved to Los Angeles from her native hometown
of Amsterdam in the Netherlands to pursue her
dreams of becoming a singer and dancer. Two years
later in 2010, she was signed to Blackground
Interscope records as part of the musical duo
Amsterdam with Sigourney Korper, but she says,
"The group didn’t work out, and no music was
released. It just wasn’t the right time." Now she's inked a deal with Republic
records. Stop what you're doing & listen to this gorgeous John Legend cover
Brian Wilson Biopic "Love & Mercy" to Raise Awareness for Music
Education by Supporting National Nonprofit, LITTLE KIDS ROCK
NEW YORK June 1, 2015 - In conjunction with the release of the Brian Wilson biopic,
Love & Mercy, (in theaters June 5, 2015), the Beach Boys co-founder has re-
recorded the film’s title track with local public school students who benefit from
Little Kids Rock’s free Modern Band music program. See the “Love & Mercy”
music video at Love & Mercy Video. Little Kids Rock is the nation’s leading
nonprofit provider of popular music instruction, instruments and curricula to
nearly 1,300 public schools in thirty cities, having served more than 400,000
children since 2002 with weekly music lessons rooted in popular music genres
like rock, funk, pop, reggae and others. “As the movie Love & Mercy shows,
music had a transformational impact on my life,” says Brian Wilson. “It is such an
honor and a pleasure to work with Little Kids Rock again and help them bring the
lifelong gift of music into the lives of children in schools who may otherwise not
Disney•Pixar's "Inside Out" opens in theaters on June 19, 2015
Stars Come Out For Red Carpet Affair
Kansas City June 10, 2015 - Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their
head? Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind to find out. Directed by
Academy Award® winner Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc.", "Up"), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. ("Up")
and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino ("The Incredibles," "Ratatouille," "Up"),
Disney•Pixar's "Inside Out" opens in theaters on June 19, 2015.
Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at
work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley
stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair
and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and
socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is
anyone else. Watch the trailer
On the Red Carpet in Los Angeles Premiere And Party For Disney-Pixar's
INSIDE OUT At El Capitan Theatre June 8th, 2015
New Series "BALLERS" Starring & Executive Produced By
DWAYNE JOHNSON Debuts June 21 Exclusively ON HBO
Kansas City June 10, 2015 - Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Spencer
Strassmore, retired pro football superstar trying to reinvent himself as a financial
manager for sun soaked Miami athletes. Watch the preview trailer .
His inner circle includes Ricky, a talented but volatile wide receiver who seeks to
balance his off field antics with a passion for the game; Charles, a reluctantly
retired lineman who is finding it hard to adjust to civilian life; and Vernon, a player
with a rookie contract, who promises never to forget “where he came from” and
brings hangers-on into his life, landing him in big financial trouble. Though
they're pros when it comes to playing
Created by Stephen Levinson (HBO’s “Entourage,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “In
Treatment”) and executive produced by Stephen Levinson, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Dany
Garcia, Peter Berg, Evan Reilly, Rob Weiss, Julian Farino and Denis Biggs, BALLERS explores the
whirlwind lifestyle and real life problems of a group of former and current football players.
Johnson's co-stars are: John David Washington as Ricky Jerret, Omar Miller (“CSI: Miami”) as
Charles Greane and Donovan Carter as Vernon Littlefield. The show kicks off its ten episode season
SUNDAY, JUNE 21 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT).
In the premiere episode, written by Stephen Levinson; directed by Peter Berg, after the unexpected
demise of a friend and former teammate, retired football superstar Spencer (Dwayne Johnson)
ramps up his efforts to build a post-football career in Miami, and feels pressure from Joe (Rob
Corddry), his boss at a financial firm, to “monetize his friendships.” Meanwhile, recently retired player
Charles (Omar Miller), copes with the realities of finding a new job. Talented wide receiver Ricky
(John David Washington) is forced to put his pride aside to find a new home. Vernon (Donovan
Carter), a player on the rise, finds himself in a tight spot and reaches out to Spencer for help.