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Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group (CTG) announced its block party casting and lineup recently – Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre.  According to a write-up at, CTG will revisit: Coeurage Theatre Company’s production of Failure: A Love Story, Fountain Theatre’s production of Citizen: An American Lyric, and Echo Theater Company’s Dry Land. All will be staged at the Kirk Douglas Theatre from April 14–May 21.

From Playbill:

“As we celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50 years of creating theatre in Los Angeles, we want to turn the spotlight on some of the remarkable work being done on other stages,”

said Center Theatre Group’s artistic director, Michael Ritchie.

“Coeurage Theatre, Echo Theater and Fountain Theatre, as well as others throughout L.A., regularly produce excellent, boundary-pushing work and we’re so glad they are sharing some of that work with us.”

Playbill’s article continued:

Coeurage Theatre Company’s Failure: A Love Story by Philip Dawkins opens the celebration April 14–23. The piece is set in Chicago of the 1920s and focuses on the three Fail sisters. It’s a chronicle of their lives together and the man who fell in love with all of them. The cast features Joe Calarco, June Carryl, Cristina Gerla, Kristina Johnson, Margaret Katch, Denver Milord, Gregory Nabours, Theodore Perkins, Kurt Quinn, Brandon Ruiter, Nicole Shalhoub, Gina Torrecilla, and Brittney S. Wheeler.

The Fountain Theatre’s production of Citizen: An American Lyric (April 28–May 7) was adapted for the stage by Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs. The production, based on Claudia Rankine’s poetry, merges multiple art forms to meditate on the struggle against racism in America. The cast features Bernard K. Addison, Leith Burke, Tony Maggio, Simone Missick, Monnae Michaell, and Lisa Pescia. Directed by Shirley Jo Finney.

Echo Theater Company’s Dry Land by Ruby Spiegel is the last in the series of remounted shows, running May 14–21. Set in the locker room of a central Florida high school, it’s a hauntingly truthful portrait of hope, fear, abortion, and the strong bond between teenage girls. The cast features Daniel Hagen, Ben Horwitz, Connor Kelly-Eiding, Teagan Rose, Jenny Soo, Jacqueline Besson, and Alexandra Freeman, as well as USC School of Dramatic Arts students Francesca O’Hern, Bukola Ogunmola, Sidne Phillips, and Tessa Hope Slovis. Alana Dietze directs.

There are “pay what you can” performances for Failure, April 14; Citizen, April 28; and Dry Land, May 12.

For more information, visit



A birthday message from writer/producer/director Stephen Sachs on April 1:

Deborah Lawlor and I founded the Fountain Theatre 27 years ago today. Launched on April Fools Day, the journey has been anything but foolish. For more than two decades, hundreds of artists have expertly and passionately performed their craft here and hundreds of thousands of patrons have shared in the magic of live intimate theatre. All of this happening in this cozy building on Fountain Avenue. My respect, admiration and gratitude to all the actors, designers, and production teams over the years who have made, and continue to make, the Fountain Theatre the success it is today, to our loyal audiences who travel with us on this glorious ride, our donors who make it possible, and our extraordinary Board of Directors who guide our way. And my love to our staff, most of us together for so many years, who work so hard, give so much, and care so deeply: Simon Levy, Scott Tuomey, James Bennett, Barbara Goodhill, Licia Jaccard, Lucy Pollak, Jose Lomeli, Marisela Hughes, Baltazar D. Gaytan, Nora King. Happy Birthday to this miracle on Fountain Avenue. Onward!

More theatre and Forever Flamenco at



The Compton rapper (or is he an MC?) released a video, ‘Humble,’ and a single, ‘The Heart Part 4,’ presumably from his upcoming album, last week.  Peeking from behind his cryptic Instagram message earlier – a simple, single Roman numeral IV – many believe it to be the lead-in for his anticipated fourth studio album. NPR’s Andrew Flanagan writes:

The song, less exploration of contrition on the part of Lamar than an instruction to his peers, picks up a thread NPR Music first examined following that album teaser: how the “best rapper alive” might explore the theme of God, religion and personal growth. (In the previous non-album single, “The Heart Part 4,” Lamar stuck to a similar narrative: “Tell ’em that God is comin’.”)Lamar opens with ‘Wicked or weakness, you got to see this.”And what do you say to God?

More from NPR Music on Kendrick Lamar:


Arinze Stanley:

The Nigerian artist works with graphite and charcoal pencils on large sheets of cartridge paper, creating larger-than-life portraits. According to Colossal ( writer Christopher Jobson,

Stanley can devote up to 200 hours on a single illustration, painstakingly deliberating over minute details to capture reflections of light, droplets of sweat, or tangles of hair. Where some hyperrealistic artists lean towards idealized perfection, Stanley instead focuses on pure realism, infusing portraits with a raw sense of emotion and drama. The scale of each piece, always slightly larger than life, adds an uncanny three-dimensional aspect.

Stanley recently exhibited work at Omenka Gallery and you can see more of his works (and pieces in progress) on Facebook ( (via ARTNAU, juxtapoz)

Article at

Video of work as it progresses:

Written by: Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor



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Photo Credit: Derrick Lemont

These two members of the exceptionally talented team from behind and in front of the camera for the breakaway digital series, Compersion, stopped in Atlanta, Georgia last week to meet with supporters from the Black & Poly (polyamory) Facebook group ( and its local Meetup chapter, along with two secret, black polyamory groups based there. Compersion, the first project of Jackie J. Stone’s year-old Enchant TV network, is about a family’s struggles in opening its marriage to outside love interests. Open relationships have been on the media radar for the last few years with ‘Big Love’ and ‘Polyamory: Married and Dating’ introducing audiences en masse to polygamy (Big Love) and polyamory (the latter) as representatives of consensual non-monogamy. Ms. Stone shared these thoughts with RM Entertainment exclusively:

It was an amazing experience meeting the fans and friends of Enchant TV & Compersion.  We couldn’t have asked for more gracious hosts nor a more supportive community. As the series creator, it was a very rewarding experience to see how the series has impacted our viewers, and that our audience is eager for a Season 2. I hope to engage with our audience more and hope to do a Compersion tour.

Jackie J. Stone and Derrick LeMont talk Season 2 of Compersion:

Here’s Season I, episode 1 of Compersion, featuring stars Derrick LeMont and Jammie Patton:

Jackie J. Stone IMDb:

Derrick LeMont’s demo reel (2014, so it excludes his appearances in 2016’s made-for-television Anita Hill movie, ‘Confirmation,’ and in this year’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’):

Derrick LeMont:



Photo Credit: Facebook, Arghavan Agida

The Iranian-Swedish singer, womanist, author, and U

nited Nations Goodwill Ambassador to Sweden released her newest single, Zan, coinciding with International Women’s Month and the publication of her book Zan (Woman). On March 9th, Agida posted this message to her Facebook page (and I have a special thank you to Dr. Nina Ansary for highlighting inspirational Iranian women, which introduced me to Arghavan):  

From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this project! It took 9 months to collect videos from strong and inspirational women from all around the world! Unfortunately, everyone could not be in the video but you are all equally valuable. It involves a couple of my favorite artists from Sweden to my heroes from oppressed countries fighting each day for their goals and dreams. I made this video to represent strength, empowerment, love and courage and with that we can all make a change!

Lyric: @padide_neishaboori

arrangement/production: Johan Moberg

music: Erwin Khachikian
Video: me💙








The celebrated author glides up from his 2015 PEN American Center Prize for the autobiographical ‘Filthy,’ written under his legal name, Isiko Cooks, and the critical success of his novel, ‘Domina: Submission Is A Privilege,’ based on the sessions of real-life dominatrix, Regina Bolton, known professionally as Goddess Jay. Mack, a prolific writer, released his 18th novel last week. Reprising a recurring, popular character in previous novels, ‘Ayana: The Return’ packs sizzle unbound and unrestrained. Immediate reviews are typical…and encouraging. The 47-year-old wordsmith promises to return respect to the art of urban literature. See for yourself:




Photo Credit: Google Images

The vivacious life coach, author, motivational speaker, and featured teacher on the bestselling ‘The Secret,’ made a startling revelation from the stage recently. Lisa’s unexpected phone call at the close of her presentation, with over 600 people in the live audience and another 400 or so watching online, brought both audiences to cheers amid complete surprise with the disclosure that was over 20 years in coming. Feast:

Written by: Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor


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Photo Credit: Amanda Seales nywici dot org

Formerly known by her stage name Amanda Diva, the recording artist, actress, disc jockey and radio personality, has been promoted to a series regular in the breakout hit, Insecure, for season two. Seale appeared in several season one episodes as Tiffany in the HBO hit created by former YouTube phenomenon Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl, remember?). Seales, along with her solo career, was also a touring member of the musical group Floetry. And we saw her name on the marquee last week in Hollywood at the Laugh Factory. Also a content creator, reports that her comedy competition show has been greenlighted for pilot presentations:

Get Your Life, episode 1:


Photo Credit: Cristela Alonzo by Pinterest

The star rises for this popular comedian and has burst into the Netflix universe. After appearances all across the world of television, this is an expected stop along her path. Anyone who has experienced her show will agree. As with many comedians, she uses her life to inform her comedy. An example: I’m so excited to be here today because it means that I haven’t been deported. Yet.” And “First time (my mother) saw Girl Scouts, she thought they were border patrol agents … in training.” Yeah…funny, but SO serious.

From NPR:


Photo Credit: Robert_schenkkan_rachel.zein Daily Texan

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter takes  on a current maelstrom in his  Building The Wall, a searing, topical play premiering at Hollywood, California’s multi-award winning Fountain Theatre. Directed by Michael Michetti and produced by the team of Simon Levy, Stephen Sachs, and Deborah Lawlor, the play pulls from the energy and emotions behind today’s headlines in addressing one of the most contentious topics on the political and social landscapes. The Fountain Theatre, always in front, is known for premiering probing, thoughtful art. This is no exception. It stars Bo Foxworth and Judith Moreland.

Director Michael Michetti on Building The Wall:

Actress Judith Moreland on Building The Wall:

Robert Schenkkan on Building The Wall:

From The Daily Texan:

“MUST SEE! Local legend Fountain Theatre scores the official opening of this world premiere rollout written by a national legend: Pulitzer Prize–and Tony Award–winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way).” – Time Out Los Angeles

Fountain Theatre Box Office contact & hours

(323) 663-1525

Monday-Wednesday 11 – 6pm

Thursday-Saturday 11 – 9pm

Sunday 11 – 5pm

or until showtime on

performance days.


Photo Credit:Grace Jones by Pinterest

The smoldering documentary on model, singer, and actress – Diva – Grace Jones is slated to debut this year. Jones, a cultural icon in every field she entered, will have her journey presented in ‘The Musical of My Life,’ in production since 2005. Directed by Sophie Fiennes, the film creates a mixed-media presentation comprised of personal and live show footage. Grace Jones folded and ruptured the envelopes – categories – meant to contain her.  No dates or venues for the release are as yet available.


Photo Credit: Sunshine Press

Finger painting extraordinaire

Written by Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor

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Photo Credit: Mi Westside Comedy Theater

Comedian Matthew Nouriel invites us all to a Persian New Year’s celebration on March 15. JQ International, in partnership with Cross Cultural Expressions, is hosting LA’s biggest LGBTQ Norooz Party at the swanky STK at the W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills!

All tickets include one FREE drink and feature delicious small bites, outdoor patio hookah bar, traditional Persian sweets, a night of “ghering” (dancing) with DJ David, and special guest appearances! Tickets are $30 now and will go up to $40 after pre-sale and at the door, so get them quick!

RSVP on Facebook, but purchase tickets at this link:

The organizers note: *While this is an LGBTQ party, allies and supporters of the community are not only welcome, but encouraged to be there! We are proud to create the most vibrant and inclusive spaces possible in all of our work!



Photo Credit: San Jose State University

Luis Valdez’s landmark play reaches forward from its first opening in 1978 to educate and entertain a new generation.  This play remains one of the most important shows ever created in Los Angeles. With its searing, candid portrayals of family, conflict, and official malfeasance, it is at the same time topical, trending, and timely. Presenting for the Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary, it has extended its run for the third time since its revival, this time to April 2, 2017.

Zoot Suit became Broadway’s first Chicano play and a major motion picture, which starred now household names as Edward James Olmos, who garnered a Tony Award nomination for best featured actor in a play and a Theatre World award nod.   The music of Lalo Guerrero dominates! Actor/musician Daniel Valdez (you may know him from Richard Pryor’s Which Way Is Up?) returns as music director.

The play is presented in association with El Teatro Campesino. If you don’t speak caló, here is a glossary:

Tickets and more information: and 213.972.7231.



Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Uncle Charlie lands in Southern California on March 8 at the Microsoft Theater, with fellow superstars Fantasia and Johnnie Gill. Wilson, an eleven-time Grammy nominee brings his In It To Win It Tour to the Southland to promote his new album, In It To Win It, featuring his single, I’m Blessed, which includes music guests Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, Robin Thicke, Wiz Khalifa, and TI.

For information on presale tickets, VIP packages or to purchase tickets visit



Photo Credit: Camerata Pacifica by Santa Barbara Independent


Not so familiar with classical music but have always wanted to try it?

Not quite ready to shell out the $$$?

Never heard Camerata Pacifica before?

Join them for the first time and they will pay for your tickets.

Concerts in Pasadena, LA, Santa Barbara & Ventura, . Next shows March 14 – 19.

Simply “Like” them on Facebook, then email and they promise to set you up.


More information at:  


LUPITA NYONG’O: Lupita teaches us the African finger snap:

Written by Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor

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Aidan Park

Photo Credit: Aidan Park/Laugh Factory

Comedian Aidan Park’s next gig is at the Laugh Factory in Long Beach, California. Always a crowd favorite for his high-octane routines, Aidan’s Comedy Realness show unfolds on Wednesday, February 22   where he shares hosting duties with comic Kelsey Cook. Curtain goes up at 8 p.m. Other featured comics are Pandora Boxx, Keith Carey, Rebecca Donohue, and Jessimae Peluso.  More information at (562) 495-2844, extension 1. Location: 151 S. Pine Avenue, Long Beach CA 90802. and   Follow Aidan: @AidanParkShow.

And for a taste:

Tania Morales

Photo Credit: TeddyBoy French

And about comics, comedian/producer Tania Morales performed last week in Inglewood, California for a fundraiser at Chuco’s Legal Justice Center (see Reunification Fundraiser at . Also performing were comedians JR Redwater and Dina Leffart, and rappers Kristle Lightning and White Cloud (the rappers appearing together as Lightning Cloud). You may remember Tania’s Morales Espino Productions’ Funny First Friday shows in Santa Ana, which ran for a little over the last three years. Tania returned to the stage for a breather, but she tells us that she plans to relaunch Funny First Fridays soon. Stay tuned with us and here:

Sidney Poitier

Photo Credit: MGM

Turner Classic Movies announced recently that Academy Award-winning actor/director/diplomat Sir Sidney Poitier will attend its 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival for the 50th anniversary screening of ‘In The Heat of the Night,’ which will open the festival on April 6.  The landmark film, directed by Norman Jewison, was a Best Picture winner and starred Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. From the TMC Movie Classics website: “Poitier broke stereotypes and new ground for his leading role as a black northern cop who finds himself investigating a murder in small-town Mississippi.” See:

Tennessee Williams

Photo Credit: Google images

California’s Pasadena Playhouse (The Playhouse) presents its Four by Tenn, beginning February 27, and each Monday for four consecutive weeks. According to its announcement, The Playhouse will bring together ‘some of the best and brightest Los Angeles theater talent in a celebration of Tennessee Williams. Hear the words of one of the most legendary playwrights come to life as staged readings at the theater that premiered two of his early works, and now welcomes Al Pacino and Judith Light in the development production God Looked Away, a study of Tennessee at the end of his career.”  For more information and reservations:

Smokey Robinson

Photo Credit:Evelyn Hockstein/Washington Post

The legendary crooner and former Motown Records vice president celebrated his 77th birthday on February 19. A Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy Living Legend, Smokey has a series of recognitions, beginning with a Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) award for songwriting early in his career, followed by Kennedy Center honoree, lifetime achievement awards from Black Entertainment Television and The Society of Singers, and he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Smokey has been inducted also into the R&B Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and most recently awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.  Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan said of Smokey, “He’s America’s greatest living poet.” The late singer Luther Vandross called Smokey the Shakespeare of Soul. It is estimated that Smokey Robinson has penned over 4,000 songs, including My Girl (The Temptations), My Guy (Mary Wells), Ain’t That Peculiar (Marvin Gaye), Don’t Mess With Bill (The Marvelettes), Here I Am Baby (Barbara McNair), and Tracks Of My Tears (The Miracles). Smokey Robinson continues to tour, write, and record with a noteworthy recent cover of his ‘Being With You’ as a duet with R&B superstar Mary J. Blige.

Written by Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor





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Entertainment News


Photo Credit:Google Images

PRINCE: The esteemed entertainment portal Shadow and Act follows up on an initial post by Screen Daily that a second Prince documentary, titled Prince: Pop Life, impends.  This documentary is said to feature exclusive footage and other extras. We’ll keep our eyes open for it as there isn’t a release date announced presently. More information:

Photo Credit: The Fountain Theatre

FOUNTAIN THEATRE: Hollywood’s acclaimed Fountain Theatre, intimate theatre at its best, ends its run of writer/director Stephen Sachs’ wonderful globetrotting smash, Bakersfield Mist, on February 26. The production stars Jenny O’Hara and Nick Ullett reprising the roles they created with the show’s premiere at the Fountain in 2011. called it, “A brilliant new play.” Information and tickets: 323-663-1525 and


Photo Credit: Compersion/EnchantTV

ENCHANT TV: Award-winning filmmaker Jackie J. Stone launched Enchant TV in May 2016 with a commitment to ‘original programming with a kick.’ The launch of its topical and trending Compersion series met with critical excitement. Now preparing for season two, the production reopened its quest for crowdfunding with a direct appeal on its web site. View the gallery for Season One at:

Photo Credit: Google Images

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS: HBO has set an April 22, 2017 release date for this film adaptation of the biography and medical practice history by Rebecca Skloot. “Doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died. They launched a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry. More than twenty years later, her children found out. Their lives would never be the same.” (from the book cover) Truth is more intriguing than fiction. Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne star. More:

Photo Credit:

CARLEASE BURKE: One of our favorite celebrities, the producer/director/actor/comedian Carlease Burke, is selling her Long Beach, California condominium “to help raise funds to care for a loved one.” We didn’t ask for details; we know Carlease and the hugeness of her heart, so here is some of what she wrote:

If you are looking for a charming spot near the ocean as your personal residence, an office or a relaxing getaway make an appointment to see it as soon as possible. You could also purchase it as an investment property since it comes with a bonus tenant! The current resident has rented from me for three years, pays his rent before it’s due and has never had a complaint.

We’ve got offers on the table so don’t hesitate if you want a piece of the action. Property is shown by appointment only.

Call Marilyn Jefreys at (949) 887-3454 to set up a time.

Click the following link to view the Listing:

Written by: Käto Cooks, RM Entertainment Senior Editor

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