By Walter Rutledge
We are back! After a month of upgrading we are now HarlemWorldMag.com. The second half of the 2013 fall season is going to leap into 2014 in a big way. Here are some of the many events happening around the city and in our community.
Urban Stages, 259 West 30th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues) celebrates their thirtieth anniversary with the thought provoking satire Honky. The production had a successful run in spring 2013, and is now back by popular demand. The story revolves around the shooting of a black teenager for his “Sky Max” basketball shoes. Are the extra urban commercials glorifying street violence to blame? When sales triple among white suburban teens the company CEO chooses racial exploitation for profit.
Honky takes a darkly comedic look at five people, from varied racial, social and ecomonic backgrounds as they navigate the urban landscape of target marketing, advertising, race, romance and popular culture. For some the solution is a pill that has the slogan, “If you don’t think you need it, you’re probably a racist”. This is the final week of the production. Honky will make you laugh, and think and definitely explore your inner racist. Tickets can be purchased at the box office and on line at www.urbanstages.org/. Due to the intimate size of the venue we suggest purchasing tickets in advance.
Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley debuts on HBO Monday, November 18 at 9 pm. The documentary features recently unearthed photographs, rediscovered performance footage, commentary and personal antidotes from historians and fellow entertainers including Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Joan Rivers, Bill Cosby, Kathy Griffin, Eddie Murphy, Quincy Jones, Arsenio Hall and Whoopi Goldberg. This must-see documentary brings this unfortunately overlooked iconic African-American stand up comedienne to a whole new generation. Mabley broke racial and sexual boundaries, and used a self effacing “mother wit” style to take a defiant stand for civil rights.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet begins their two-week season, November 19 through December 1 at the Joyce Theater. The season will present four new works by four choreographers. Artistic Director Dwight Rhoden will present the world premieres of a full-company work entitled Innervisions, set to the music of Stevie Wonder and Associate Artistic Director Jae Man Joo’s recur set to to music by Max Richter, Nils Frahm, Zoe Keating, Keith Kenniff and Valentin Silvestrov. Additional new works include Alejandro Cerrudo’s duet Never Was (company premiere), with music by Purcell & Handel; and You Do What You Can, a new work by company member Gary W. Jeter. For tickets and a complete schedule call JoyceCharge (212) 242-0800 or online at www.joyce.org. There will be no performance on Thanksgiving, Nov 28.
Before 5: Loretta Abbott, Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 2 – 3:30 p.m at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, is the premier event of Remembering Clark Center. Join Loretta Abbott, distinguished dancer and choreographer, for an afternoon talk on her enduring career and the legacy of Black performers and dance companies. Ms. Abbott will be in conversation with Clark Center alumni, Sheila Rohan and Jill Williams. This event is free, but registration is required and space is limited. Reserve online at www.schomburgcenter.eventbrite.com.
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will hold the 42nd consecutive year at New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, December 4, 2013 through January 5, 2014. New works presented during the five-week holiday season include; the world premiere of Lift by Aszure Barton, , the company Premiere of British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, Ronald K. Brown’s Four Corners and D-Man in the Waters (Part I) by modern dance innovator Bill T. Jones.
New productions of Alvin Ailey’s The River and Pas de Duke set to music by Duke Ellington will be presented with returning favorites Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, From Before by Garth Fagan, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, Kyle Abraham’s Another Night, and Rennie Harris’ Home. A season highlight will be a special program on Tuesday, December 17th celebrating renowned guest artist Matthew Rushing. The program will feature excerpts of Pas de Duke and Home, as well as A Song for You, Grace, and Revelations. Tickets can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212 or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org.
Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night on Friday, December 27, 7:30 pm at the Apollo Theater is a joyful evening of dance and music honoring the principles of Kwanzaa—family, community, and culture. This annual event features the renowned Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and special guests who join the celebration. The evening will be hosted by award winning radio broadcaster, poet and songwriter, Imhotep Gary Byrd. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office, by phone: (800) 745- 3000 and Online at Ticketmaster.com.
As always thank you for letting me share my world with you.
In Photo: 1) Gary W. Jeter, Mark Caserta, and Edgar Anido 2) Moms Mabley 3) Kimberly Van Woesik and Mario Ismael Espinoza 4) Alvin Ailey, Lucinda Ransom and Loretta Abbott 5) Desmond Richardson 6) Yannick Lebrun 7) Catherine Foster
Photo Credit: 1) Jae Man Joo 2) Courtesy HBO 3) Paula Lobo 4) Courtesy Ailey Archives 5) Jae Man Joo 6) Andrew Eccles 7) Erin Baiano