Category Archives: Art

The “Color Purple” returns to Broadway with an awesome cast


Photo used with permission from The Color Purple on Broadway

If you are looking for a roaring good time, look no further than Broadway this season. There are always exciting musicals to choose from, but one of the best shows on Broadway currently is the revival of the smash hit “The Color Purple.”

The Color Purple began preview performances on Tuesday, November 10 and will officially open on Thursday, December 10, 2015. This installment of the Color Purple features Grammy, Academy Award, and Golden Globe award winner Jennifer Husdon who has been cast in the sultry role as Shug Avery. Playing opposite of Jennifer, is British actress Cynthia Erivo. Cynthia is the breakout star of John Doyle’s acclaimed Menier Chocolate Factory production. Rounding out the female cast is Danielle Brooks. Brooks might be mostly known for her role as “Taystee” in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”, and she will be playing the role that Oprah Winfrey made famous, Sophia.

This is a historic and major moment for the show since all three outstanding actresses will be making their Broadway debuts. Newcomer Joaquina Kalukango will appear on the play as Nettie. Kalukango credits include: Encores! Wild Party and Holler If Ya Hear Me. Singer/Actress Jennifer Hudson, who plays Shug Avery stated “I want the audience to be inspired and come away learning something good from the role.” Actress Cynthia Erivo who plays the main role Celie explained that she hopes the viewers can take a journey that can change their life.” Actress Danielle Brooks who was cast as Sophia, expressed as she gushed with excitement, “I am elated to play such an iconic role.” With comments such as these, this musical/play is definitely set to leave fans transformed and leaving the theater

Even the male cast members spoke about their excitement to be a part of such a great play. The male cast includes. actor Isaiah Johnson and Kyle Scaliffe. Johnson will play the role of Mister and some of his credits include: The Merchant of Venice and Peter and the Starcatcher, while Scatliffe was cast as Harpo, and has past roles in Les Misérables.

As fans and audience members know, The Color Purple is an unforgettable story of enduring sisterly love and triumph over adversity. This play presents its music with a fresh, joyous score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, as we the inspirational and heartbreaking journey of Celie, as she develops from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life.

Interested in checking out the show? Tickets are currently available for purchase at and In addition, the box office is located at (242 West 45th street) will be open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-8pm, and on Sundays from 12pm-6pm.

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DJ Aktive on tour with Janet Jackson

0417dffe7ae279ec3aa343997b6c0116As many may know, the musical icon Janet Jackson, is currently on her world tour and is probably set to be performing in a city near you. So far the show has gotten rave reviews due to it’s energetic, mind-blowing stage shows and performance! Janet does not disappoint fans with her well choreographed dance steps and hit songs. The fans will get a taste of nostalgia from her hits from the late 80’s and 90’s and will have the chance to experience something very new and fresh.

Opening the Unbreakable Tour show currently is DJ Aktive, who is the official tour DJ for all current and upcoming shows. DJ Aktive entertains the crowd and opens the show with his own unique music set and then DJs during Janet’s performance. DJ Aktive may be new to many Janet Jackson fans, but this won’t be the case for long. As he opens for her during the Unbreakable Tour, he delivers a breath-taking intro to rev fans up for more fun and the anticipation for the legendary tour.

DJ Aktive’s resume is very impressive so far and includes dj’ing for the following: Kanye West, Common, Jennifer Hudson and more! When having the opportunity to speak with him, he gushed about how much of a dream come true it was for him to work with Janet Jackson. He is indeed talent and yet very humble and truly brings his A-Game to the show along with Janet.

The combination of a 90’s musical star along with an very in demand DJ is just what the doctor ordered and is an example of what an awesome talent, Ms. Jackson is and has been for years. With this tour, Janet continue to prove her talent will last as long as she wishes for it to last, and it looks like fans are as excited about that as well.

The Unbreakable Tour is currently set to continue until June 2016. For more information on the tour visit the website. Also, for updates and news on DJ Aktive visit his website.


The Color Purple Returns To Broadway-Announces Cynthia Erivo To Star As Celie

CynthiaPurpleBroadway is definitely known for exciting stage revivals. Well, this is good news for musical theatre goers. Producers Scott Sanders, Roy Furman, Oprah Winfrey, David Babani, Tom Siracusa are proud to announce that CYNTHIA ERIVO, the breakout star of the Menier Chocolate Factory production ofTHE COLOR PURPLE, will make her Broadway debut this fall when she reprises her acclaimed performance as Celie in John Doyle’s critically heralded production. THE COLOR PURPLE will begin preview performances on Monday, November 9th at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th street) and will officially open on Thursday, December 3.

Ms. Erivo will make her Broadway debut opposite the previously announced Grammy, Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award winner JENNIFER HUDSON, who is also making her Broadway debut in the role of Shug Avery. This production will mark Ms. Hudson’s first musical theatre role since winning every major film award for her indelible performance in Dreamgirls.

“What John Doyle has done with THE COLOR PURPLE is a revelation – he was able to maintain the show’s epic sweep and sense of history while also ensuring that Celie’s journey be an intimate, emotionally profound theatrical experience,” said Producer Scott Sanders. “Celie is the heart of THE COLOR PURPLE and Cynthia Erivo, an astonishingly talented young actress who will be making her Broadway debut, is thrilling in the role. She breaks the audience’s heart and heals it by the show’s finale, all while blowing the roof off the theatre with her remarkable voice. And having her joined onstage by an acclaimed actress and recording star like Jennifer Hudson – who will also be making her Broadway debut – all but guarantees some legendary musical theatre fireworks.”

CYNTHIA ERIVO is appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production. For now audiences can find out what they are in store for watching the following YouTube videos.

For more information on updates and tickets, visit the website:

The Mischka Velasco Collection for NYFW September 2014

64bcbd71694de7591c7bb3f4476d9e53New York Fashion Week was in full swing with various designers displaying their new collections all over the city and the fabulous Mischka Velacso was one of the designers among them. On Sunday, September 7th, 2014 at 7pm at the Last Rites Tattoo Theatre at 325 W 38th Street New York, NY 10018 (between 8th/9th avenues), she unveiled her latest collection.

Bob Marley Messenger Exhibition at History Miami through January 5, 2014

610847dc74ddbf357897eb6b8664919dWith the weather in New York City starting to get a little colder, it might be a good time to travel to Miami for some fun in the sun and visit Miami. Another reason to visit the new Bob Marley exhibit. On Thursday, October 10, the Bob Marley Messenger show at HistoryMiami opened to a packed house. Even more special was that several members of Bob Marley’s family were on hand including his daughter Karen and his youngest, Ky-Mani. Ky-Mani performed “Is This Love” and “Three Little Birds”, his father would have been proud. The exhibition is opennow thru January 5, 2014. General admission for adults is $8, seniors and students with ID are $7, children ages six – 12 are $5 and children under six free. The exhibition is Curated by the GRAMMY Museum™ at L.A. LIVE, endorsed by the Marley family. Miami is the last stop of the traveling exhibition before ittravels to the birthplace of Bob Marley, Nine Mile in Jamaica.

Bob Marley Messenger explores Marley as a private, spiritual man, as a powerful performer whose lyrics gave voice to the disenfranchised and as a legend who continues to inspire legions of fans since his death more than 30 years ago. The exhibition brings together diverse artifacts, rare photographs and more from the private collection of the Marley family. On display, visitors will see a broad array of items, including: Marley’s famous Les Paul guitar; photographs of Marley both on and off stage; ticket stubs, concert posters, tour books and fan memorabilia and interactive items such as a drumming station that allows visitors to learn how to play reggae beat.

“What an honor to host this exhibition. Bob Marley once said, ‘In this bright future, you can’t forget the past.’ When we open the doors to this exhibition on Thursday, October 10, I think Robert Nesta Marley would be happy to see his legacy and message still alive and thriving in Miami,” said Stuart Chase, museum director.

For more information about HistoryMiami and a schedule of events, call 305-375-1492, visit us the website, like us on Facebook and follow us at Twitter.

Luxury Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Toasts Designer Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier

It’s always exciting when the world of fashion meets the world of art. It is even more exciting when a luxury beverage is added into the mix. Three exciting industries coming together to celebrate the work of a legend creates such an atmosphere that many want to be a part of the experience. The good news is now art and fashion lovers can be with a new exhibit coming to NYC.

Melvin Van Peebles at Strivers Gardens Gallery in NYC

ded61067a664b1c519230826031906b0On Sunday October 6, 2013 from 3-4 pm, Melvin Van Peebles was available for an intimate conversation as part of the exhibition, eMerge 2.0: Melvin Van Peebles & Artists on the Cusp.

During the talk, Van Peebles was discussed his legendary career, visual art debut and his private art collection including paintings by George Helton. He also treated the audience to his love of verse as well.

With the visual art debut of pioneering director, novelist, journalist, playwright, actor, rapper and musician Melvin Van Peebles as its centerpiece, the showcase series, now in its second year, will feature Peebles’ “Ex-Voto Monochrome (A Ghetto Mother’s Prayer),” – mixed media meditation exploring the intersection between violence, economic disenfranchisement, womanhood and faith – and also boast noteworthy pieces from Van Peebles’ private collection, including two rarely-seen paintings by George Helton, deceased husband of Isabel Taylor.

Helton, designer of Van Peebles’ museum-like Manhattan apartment, which is home to the paintings, illustrations, and sculptures he’s completed over the years.

eMerge celebrates the future of contemporary art with some of today’s most exciting and evolving visual artists. Dynamic creations from 11 early-career artmakers, produced by re-imagining such everyday objects as thumbtacks, clothing buttons and vinyl records, will display alongside the items from the revered “master of artistic reinvention.”

This event was co-curated by Souleo of Souleo Universe & Lisa D. Hayes, ESQ.

Apollo Theater to Induct Chaka Kahn Into Legends Hall of Fame

55cd19a29d25b1b8fe876ec806702478The Apollo Theater does it again by announcing that its 8th Annual Spring Gala Concert will induct Chaka Khan into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame on Monday, June 10, 2013 in celebration of Ms. Khan’s 40th anniversary in the music business. This year’s program will include special tribute performances to the legendary singer by Apollo Legend Patti LaBelle and the incomparable Mary J. Blige.

Proceeds from the Spring Gala support the Apollo’s year-round world-class performing arts events, innovative education initiatives, and meaningful community programs, which honor the influence and advance the contributions of African-American artists and emerging creative voices.

Chaka Khan joins past Apollo Legends Hall of Fame inductees—all legendary musicians, artists, and entertainers whose paths to fame included the Apollo—Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard, and Ella Fitzgerald. Each Apollo Legends Hall of Fame inductee is honored with a plaque in the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street.

“I am honored that the Apollo is inducting me into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame,” says Khan. “The Apollo Theater is an American institution and is world-renowned for developing, nurturing, and creating talent for decades. The Apollo Theater has supported my career and now they are a part of honoring my legacy. I am looking forward to the celebration.”

Additionally, each year at the Spring Gala, the Apollo recognizes a corporation whose support enables the Theater to grow and expand its artistic, community, and education programs. The Apollo will present Time Warner Inc. with its 2013 Corporate Award, in recognition of the company’s outstanding philanthropy and community leadership. Time Warner Inc. Chairman & CEO Jeff Bewkes will accept on behalf of Time Warner Inc. with actress Sarah Jessica Parker presenting the award.

Jeff Bewkes, Chairman & CEO Time Warner Inc. remarks, “The Apollo shares Time Warner Inc.’s commitment to championing diverse voices, engaging new audiences, and nurturing emerging talent. Time Warner Inc. is proud to have supported the Apollo for more than a decade and we are delighted to be recognized with the 2013 Corporate Award.”

Carol’s Daughter Founder & President Lisa Price will receive The Percy E. Sutton Civic Leadership Award, named in honor of one of New York City’s legendary leaders and a champion of Harlem and its cultural institutions. This award is given to an individual or group who has demonstrated extraordinary support for and understanding of the value of the arts. In August of 1994, Price established Carol’s Daughter and almost overnight, celebrities from Jada Pinkett-Smith to Halle Berry became loyal customers. Today, Carol’s Daughter sells millions of dollars worth of products and boasts nine stores across the country, with a flagship store in Harlem. Price is an active philanthropist and is dedicated to giving back to the community through both her business and her personal life.

“Carol’s Daughter and the Apollo Theater are both part of the unique fabric of Harlem and New York City,” says Price. “Our commitment to diversity and beauty mirrors the Apollo’s commitment to amplifying diverse voices and celebrating the creativity in each of us. I am honored to be recognized with this award.”

2013 Apollo Spring Gala co-chairs include: Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET; Tamara Mellon, OBE; Anna Chapman and Ronald O. Perelman;
Richard Plepler, CEO of Home Box Office, Inc.,
and Marcus Samuelsson, celebrity chef and Apollo board member. Gala Vice Chairs include: Marcella and Terry Jones, Sonia and Paul T. Jones, and Dick and Laura Parsons,

The evening includes the gala concert and awards ceremony, produced by Ron Weisner for Ron Weisner Entertainment, and a post performance party featuring a stylish lounge created by celebrityevent planner Bronson van Wyck.

Tickets for the 2013 Spring Gala are now on sale. To purchase Gala tickets or to make a donation to the Apollo Theater, call 212-531-5347. For more information, visit

Mirrors Of The Soula by Leah Poller opens at Knox Gallery in NY on April 11, 2013

9b94c2351113b4729a79591d795de2b6Knox Gallery is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition by acclaimed sculptor Leah Poller, entitled “Mirrors of the Soul.” Ms. Poller offers the following description of the inspiration for the upcoming exhibition from April 11 through May 11, 2013.

“The portrait has endured throughout history. However, the radical experimentation that figurative arthas undergone has barely affected the portrait which tends to adhere stubbornly to academic canons. Yet one has only to think of the portraits by Rodin, Brancusi and even the sculptures of Picasso to appreciate the success of this form of modern art. The idea that the portrait should be the “mirror of the soul” was not original to Titian…Giorgione, the most shadowed and inward looking of the Venetian Quattro cento painters had as an ambition to paint people in the act of thinking, to invent signs for internal reflection as well as external show
Recently Knox LaSister of Knox Gallery sat down with Fred Ho, the subject of one of Leah Poller’s portraits, & gallery owner Charles Knox LaSister one afternoon at Knox Gallery on 129th Street in Harlem and found myself in the presence of two dynamic individuals.

Fred is a legendary jazz composer, internationally renowned baritone saxophonist, arranger, band-leader, writer, producer and political activist. As he was sharing tidbits of his artistic endeavors he stated “If I could design my own planet I would.” And this is believable! Fred is friend, mentor, and inspiration to many. This exhibit is an opportunity to see into Fred’s life and spirit through his sculptural portrait by Poller, his books, and a first-time-ever exhibited collection of his finely designed and crafted clothing.

Fred’s portrait named ”Double-Dare” represents the mutuality of both the visual artist and the musical artist to “only wanting to do what no one else dares.” Poller recounts, “In the long process of sharing stories and getting to the inner depths of Fred, he shared with me the meaning of his life, a theme which rings true to both my own processes and my artistic creation.” Ho adds, “As someone highly self-conscious about my legacy due to the reality of stage 4b metastatic cancer, I have been thrilled with Leah’s imagination and desire to imbue and radiate my spirit and energy as the subject of her sculpture. The sittings at her studio townhouse in Harlem have been fun, engaging and challenging”

Michelle Ange, portrait of a young girl, from the Woman Warrior Series. Michelle is a young woman vested with unique powers … strong enough to fly. Yet the feathers of her wings remain in pubescent carapaces, tightly furled to protect her burgeoning beauty.

Poller’s unique approach to the bronze portrait is an amalgam of figurative, and non-figurative, real and sur-real, portraying both the subject and his/her thoughts. The over-arching result as presented in “Mirrors of the Soul” is a series of sensitive and powerful portraits that emanate from a unique subject while expressing the universal.

“I believe that the portrait is not only the likeness of the physical being, but also a spatial positioning of the soul.” – Leah Poller

Paris trained sculptor Poller is known for her internationally exhibited 101 Bed Collection and for her sur-realized portraits. As artist, arts-activist, writer and content editor of New Observations, Poller brings a lifetime career in the arts to Harlem where she lives and works. For information on Leah Poller, visit her website.

RSVP to Mirrors Of The Soul
Portraits by Leah Poller with a special tribute to Fred Ho
Opening Reception: April 11, 6:00-9:00pm
Location: Knox Gallery, 129 W. 129th Street, NY NY 10027
Tel: 855-ART-KNOX (278-5669)
About Knox LaSister

Knox is an urban planner, real estate transactions lawyer, intrepid traveler & gentleman. His work has integrated affordable housing development with job creation, education and training, health and nutrition, art appreciation and education, and sustainable environmental live-ability. “In order for this community to thrive it’s vital that the arts are maintained as an integral part of development. Through the gallery and other community programs I hope to contribute to this mission.”