Insight News

Thursday
Oct 23rd

Martin Lawrence back in drag for cross-dressing crime comedy

Martin Lawrence back in drag for cross-dressing crime comedy  Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

It’s been said that there comes a critical moment in every African American comedian’s career when he's asked to put on a dress. Among those who’ve succumbed to that subtle pressure over the years are Flip Wilson (TV’s Geraldine), Jaime Foxx (TV’s Wanda), Marlon and Shawn Wayans (“White Chicks”), Eddie Murphy (“Norbit” and “The Nutty Professor” 1 & 2), Tyler Perry (Madea), and of course, Martin Lawrence (The Big Momma trilogy).

Paradoxically, this controversial sub-genre has frequently been the subject of debate, with pundits disagreeing on whether or not the films are politically-incorrect. On the one hand, you hear blowback from naysayers complaining about the stereotypical portrayal of Black women as overweight and obnoxious. On the other, the proponents point out the fact that many of these mistaken identity adventures feature Black-on-Black romance, a rarity in Hollywood, even if between a chocolate chubby chaser and a terrified transvestite trying to fend off advances while keeping up appearances.
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Sumlin headlines Robert Johnson Tribute

Sumlin headlines Robert Johnson TributeIn a century’s time it has been said that American Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for becoming a master guitar player. While this exchange has been debunked as a myth, Johnson’s legendary song, voice and style have captivated musicians ranging in generations and culture. The 100th anniversary of Robert Johnson’s birth will be celebrated on stage at Minnesota Orchestra Hall, Sunday, March 6, 8 pm, with the special presentation of the nationwide tour, “Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concert” featuring: Big Head Todd & The Monsters, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, and Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm.
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Stellar cast delivers Rainey


Stellar cast delivers Rainey
It’s inevitable that “life” happens, but sometimes what’s going on underneath the surface is where our real attention should lie when there’s still a chance to purge our problems. For Cutler, Toledo, Slow Drag, and Levee of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a play written by the late August Wilson, the veil of unconscious hurts becomes as harkening a reality as an overcast sky, especially while trying to exist in the 1920s.

It’s no surprise that Penumbra Theater’s production of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is being presented at the Guthrie Theater; bypassing the walls of their cozy St. Paul home altogether. The bravado of this piece sweeps audiences up into the internal prison that is the struggles within these characters. Even in as large a room as the Guthrie boasts, you can still feel the claustrophobia; you're pinned against the corner of your seat— dying inside, as you suffer the struggles of these characters in the plays journey, as told through the brilliant direction of Lou Bellamy, and from the mouths of an extraordinary cast.
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“Fierce Love” returns


“Fierce Love” returns
Last July, “a few good men” took the stage by storm at the Pillsbury House Theater with a play entitled “Fierce Love: Stories of Gay Black Life.” The production was put on by Twin Cities Black Pride (TCBP) and directed by Harry Waters Jr.

“Twin Cities Black Pride exists to create space for the Black LGBT community, because currently there is none. The production of Fierce Love was a way in which we could, for a limited time, bring the LGBT community to a space free of alcohol in order to meet each other and learn along the way,” TCBP committee member and Fierce Love cast member Jason Jackson shared.
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Celebrating the work of J. California Cooper

Celebrating the work of J. California CooperThe Givens Foundation for African American Literature has launched Givens Black Books, a community reading campaign celebrating the work of acclaimed African American playwright and author, J. California Cooper. On Thursday, February 17, 2011 7:00pm, Givens Black Books, in partnership with The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, will host a Black History Month celebration at Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale Street, Saint Paul, MN 55103.
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FASHION is ART/ART is FASHION @ Bloomingdale's Soho

FASHION is ART/ART is FASHION @ Bloomingdale's SohoStraight out of the Los Angeles Art Walk Scene, the FASHION is ART/ART is FASHION Gallery has landed in New York to set roots with a Bloomingdale's Soho collaboration.

FASHION is ART/ART is FASHION Gallery's Founder & Creative Director David F. Zambrana has partnered with the iconic retailer to exhibit the irreverent series "Packing List of a Jet-setter" by Austrian artist Fawni Pschill as part of their window campaign that coincides with Bloomingdale's Soho presentation of MARC BY MARC JACOBS Spring/Summer 2011 Collection.
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Former Obama Green Czar Opines on the State of the “Carbon Nation”

Former Obama Green Czar Opines on the State of the “Carbon Nation”  Anthony “Van” Jones and his twin sister, Angela, were born on September 20, 1968 in Jackson, Tennessee to Loretta and the late Willie Jones, a teacher and principal, respectively. Van graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science, before earning a Juris Doctor at Yale Law School.

A clean energy pioneer and author of the eco-employment best-seller “The Green-Collar Economy,” he was invited by the Obama Administration to serve as Green Czar. But Van decided to resign from the post in the wake of a relentless, right-wing smear campaign which accused him of everything from being a Communist to signing a petition suggesting that the Bush Administration had knowingly permitted the terrorist attacks on 9/11 to transpire.
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