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'42nd Street' Taps Its Way Into San Bernardino

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The non-stop fun is contagious in one of Broadway’s most loved musicals, “42nd Street,” on stage March 16-18 at the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts, 562 W. Fourth St.

A presentation of Theatrical Arts International, performances are at 8 p.m. March 16-17, 2 p.m. March 17-18 and 7 p.m. March 18. Tickets are $38.50- $77.50, available at www. ticketmaster.com, www. livenation.com, or theater box office at (09) 885-5152.

Mounting a Great White Way show in the middle of the Great Depression is no easy task, but producer Julian Marsh is not about to let that happen, even when his leading lady is injured and a young, budding chorus girl has to take her place. But the show must go on.

The award-winning musical features such songs as “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” “You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Young and Healthy,” and, of course, the title song, “42nd Street.”

“42nd Street,’ a toetapping extravaganza that is sure to entertain the whole family, won the 1980 Tony Award for Best Musical. It became a long running hit on Broadway.

An Evening at the 43rd NAACP Image Awards

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By Lea Michelle Cash –

The winners of the 43rd NAACP Image Awards were recently announced during a live two-hour (tape-delayed) broadcast at the historical Shrine Auditorium. The entire auditorium was packed with a rainbow colored people to honor our nation’s premier multi-cultural award show that celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the field of television, music, literature, film and promoters of social injustice through creative endeavors.

The special affair filled with glitter and sparkle, created an atmosphere so beautiful that happiness was radiating everywhere. What made this so very special—is that the NAACP is on a strict budget, hit by hard economic times like many organizations in our country. Therefore, the grandiose tinsel and glam was gone—but the grandstand of intimacy and uniqueness of Black people gathering to celebrate their own with joy and love was present and priceless—it dazzled the eyes and warmed the heart.

Many of the greatest names in film, television, and music appeared as presenters, or provided a musical performance. The Image Award nominees and winners were gracious and allowed the media like a cyclone, in full force to tug at them, pull them in a million directions, to take countless photos, and answer a thousand questions that never seemed to end. Just imagine.

The glorious chaos—it was beautiful.

There were several highlighting events during the telecast and behind the scene. First, when the Tuskegee Airmen walked down the red carpet, the entire carpet exploded. The aviators came with a large entourage of family members, and they all walked -- some with canes or rolled in wheelchairs down the red carpet—gloriously! This era is truly the moment in time for America’s first all-Black aerial combat unit. During the telecast, the Airmen (all elderly) struggled to stand, yet they did with honor, and received their standing ovation.

George Lucas, received one of the highest honors of the evening—the Vanguard Award, for perseverance making a film inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen’s historic and heroic acts.

Samuel L. Jackson did Lucas’ presentation. The Black Stuntmen’s Association was honored with the President’s Award. They were introduced and presented their awards by Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte. On June 24, 2010, the California Legislature honored them at the State Capital. San Bernardino County’s own, 62nd District Assembly member Wilmer Amina Carter was present. Her picture with the stuntmen and other representatives is featured in the 43rd Image Award souvenir journal.

Then there was the highest of all honors—the Chairman’s Award. This prestigious award was presented to Cathy Hughes, the Founder and Chairman of Radio One, Inc., the nation’s largest African American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation. It is also the parent corporation of TV One. Radio One is now a public company, making Hughes the first and only African American woman to chair a publicly held corporation.

On stage, Yolanda Adams lit up the auditorium with her gospel musical performance of “I Love the Lord” in tribute to Whitney Houston. People backstage and in the audience began to drop tears. Time stood still, and all you could hear was Adam’s powerful voice and the gospel choir that backed her. Backstage, standing shoulder to shoulder were Laurence Fishburne and LL Cool J watching the TV monitor as Adams sang her heart out. When Adams concluded, the noise in the room returned to its high pitch levels—with praise to God, endless applause (coupled with the applause) filling the historic Shrine Auditorium.

Other honorees to receive awards were Nick Cannon, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Keisha Knight Pulliam, Regina King, James Pickens Jr., Archie Panjabi, Emerson Brooks, Diggy Simmons, George Benson, Sounds of Blackness, Jennifer Hudson, Hill Harper, Harry Belafonte, T. D. Jakes, Jeff Burlingame, and Mike Epps. The Movie “The Help” won Outstanding Motion Picture and “Pariah” won “Outstanding Independent Motion Picture”. “Oprah’s Life Class” won Outstanding Talk Series, and “Dancing with the Stars” won Outstanding Reality Series. “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” won Outstanding Comedy Series, and “Law & Order: Special Victims Units” won Outstanding Drama Series.

In remembering a statement that director Steven Spielberg said at the 2000 NAACP Image Awards, “there’s a lot to be done in the world we share. We still must acknowledge the painful absence of racial diversity within our own industry,” this evening telecast in front of the camera and behind the cameras did reflect that the process is growing and evolving.

Review: The 84th Annual Academy Awards

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By Lea Michelle Cash –

Hollywood — I was raised in Brighton, Massachusetts, a small predominantly White suburban neighborhood located in the northwest corner of Boston, which did not have much shenanigans for tinsel, glitter or glam, because it is centered on culture, proper English and academics. Therefore, at a young age, I started reading entertainment magazines to get my dose of Hollywood excitement and all its royal glory. My father painted my bedroom walls with fluorescent sparkles that illuminated and shined. In my bedroom, I dreamed of becoming an entertainment reporter, and one day meeting a man named Oscar, who lived in Hollywood—this magical place nearly three thousand miles away from me.

On February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Blvd, my childhood dream came true. I arrived on the 84th Academy Awards Red Carpet at 10:30 AM. Hundreds of people were already seated in the viewing bleachers that lined the Red Carpet. On the carpet were hundreds of media professionals, outlets from every corner of the globe. Many in their native dress, most could not speak English, but all collectively understood these two words—Hollywood and Oscar. I was elated and over the moon finding it hard to breathe at times—these are my people—media folks. All shapes, sizes, and colors, I was living my dream.

Morgan Freeman opened the celebration of magic in movies. The stage setting was breathtaking. It was decorated as a historic movie palace and costumed hostesses handed out popcorn and candy to the audience. Freeman introduced the host, an actor, writer, producer, film director, and comedian Billy Crystal. This is his ninth Academy Awards as Oscar host. Crystal does his spoofs on the five movies nominated for Best Movie. The Academy Awards with America’s most loved Hollywood stars moves at a quick pace and the controversy and speculation of who will win begins to intensify and unfold.

The big winners for the star-studded night were “The Artist” and “Hugo” that each swept up five golden Oscar trophies. Natalie Portman presented the male actors in a leading role. She commented about each individual character and what made their performances very different. Jean Dujardin took the Oscar for his leading role in the film “The Artist”. He is overjoyed as the first Frenchman to win best actor. The nostalgia creative brilliance of “The Artist” won best picture, best director, best costume and best score. Visionary filmmaker, Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” won awards for art direction, visual effects and cinematography.

Colin Firth on stage presents the best actress in a leading role. On stage and backstage there is silence. Beating out Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) and Viola Davis (The Help), Meryl Streep wins the Oscar for her leading role in the movie “The Iron Lady.” This is Streep’s third Oscar win. I dropped some tears for Viola Davis. Soon wiped them away greeting Streep, who was gracious, absolutely radiant, and very happy to have received the prestigious award.

During his acceptance speech, T. J. Martin one of “Undefeated’s” directors used inappropriate language. Backstage, completely overjoyed at winning an Oscar, he apologized. “First and foremost I want to apologize for that," Martin told the press. "I don't think that was the classiest thing in the world, however, with that said it did come from the heart. It was absolutely spontaneous and there's no way in the world I thought this would happen. This is the most insane thing that's ever happened." The movie, “Undefeated” won best documentary feature. Sean P. Diddy Combs was an executive director on this film.

The night belonged to an emotional Octavia Spencer, who received an Academy Award for her role as best supporting actress in the movie “The Help”. She wept and was the first to receive a heartfelt standing ovation, before her feet landed on the beautiful stage.

Backstage in the interview room, where I was given the opportunity to meet all the winners, I asked her a question about her experience and what she would like to say to any young women who desired to be like her one day. She replied, “This is the one of those evenings in my life that I’ll never forget. I hope it is the hallmark of more for young aspiring actresses of color, and by color, I don’t just mean African Americans. I mean Indian, Native Americans, Latin Americans, and Asian Americans. I hope that in some way that I can be some sort of beacon of hope, especially because I am not the typical Hollywood beauty.”

Other Awards included Best supporting actor—Christopher Plummer, Best song—Man or Muppet, Best animated—“Rango”, Best adapted screenplay—“The Descendants” and best original screenplay—Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris.”

Now, I must dream a bigger dream as Oprah Winfrey often says. It was a night of dreams come true for many, and a time to celebrate. The 84th Academy Awards was definitely an amazing night to remember—when media folks from around the globe, happily united for movie magic and a man named Oscar, who lived in Hollywood over three thousand miles from me.

The 43rd NAACP Image Award Luncheon

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A Review

By Lea Michelle Cash –

On the morning of February 11, 2012, celebrities, the media, event sponsor executives, family and friends gathered to honor those nominated for their outstanding achievement in television, recording, literature and motion pictures.

What I enjoyed best about this special occasion held at the Beverly Hills Hotel was something I never paid attention to before. It hit me right in the heart as I witnessed the joy of many behind the scenes African American—we call them script and movie writers.

For me, it began with Jayda Brown, an eight-year-old with a dream to become a television reporter and actress. She interviewed celebrities as they walked down the red carpet.

Her eyes were sparkling and her smile lit up the room, as she and her interviewee connected under one theme - the power of having a dream. The power of a dream grew bigger and wider as I heard the word throughout the morning perhaps over two hundred times - I stopped counting when I got to eighty.

This year’s hosts were Keegan-Michael and Jordan Peele from Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. The celebrity nominees who attended were Loretta Devine, Alfre Woodard, Anika Noni Rose, Chandra Wilson, Keke Palmer, Louis Gossett, Jr. Tatyana Ali, Craig Robinson, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Omari Hardwick, and many others.

The additional guests were the big dreamers. The executive producer and writer of “Criminal Minds,” Janine Sherman Barrois who was nominated for “Outstanding Writing on a Dramatic Series.”

Nominated for “Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture, Theatrical or Television,” were Elizabeth Hunter (Jumping the Broom), Zoanne Clack (Grey’s Anatomy), Mara Brock Akail (The Game) and Erika L. Green (The Mentalist).

An amazing special performance was provided by Tyler James Williams (Every Body Hates Chris), Coco Jones (Radio Disney N. B. T) and Trevor Jackson (Eureka), stars of the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie “Let It Shine”. This movie is a rousing modern day story set in the world of hip-hop, rap and gospel music and based on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac love triangle, expressing the importance of staying true to oneself. “Let It Shine” premieres in June 2012 on the Disney Channel.

This year the 43rd NAACP Image Awards has returned to its original broadcasting station, NBC in a two-hour live television celebration on Friday, February 17, 2012, showcasing the best achievements and performances of people of color in the arts featuring a starstudded lineup of performers, winners and presenters.

The legendary George Lucas will receive the prestigious NAACP Vanguard Award for against all odds making a movie, “Red Tails” that increases understanding and awareness of racial and social issues.

One Of Comedy's Greatest Duos, Cheech & Chong Return to San Manuel

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Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal Tour with Special Guest Shelby Chong Reunite in the I.E.

San Manuel Indian Nation – Thursday, March 15, 2012, San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino welcomes the Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal Tour with Special Guest Shelby Chong. Tickets are on sale today and available at Ticketmaster.com and the San Manuel Box Office for $25, $35 and $45.

On the short list of comedy’s all-time greatest duos, Cheech & Chong have been making people laugh until they cry since breaking out in the seventies with immortal routines like “Basketball Jones.” Thirty-plus years later, and after releasing classic films like “Up in Smoke,” the legends are back on-stage once again.

Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal tour is the follow-up to their reunion tour, Cheech & Chong: Light Up America, in which they performed together for the first time in over 25 years. Their performance in San Antonio, Texas was filmed and released as Cheech and Chong’s: Hey Watch This.

Successful beyond their wildest dreams, Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong defined an era with their hilariously irreverent, satirical, counter-culture, no-holdsbarred comedy routines. They represent a lifestyle and are the originators of the “stoner film” as a genre. Their resume includes the success of nine hit comedy albums and eight hit films, box office records, and multiple Grammy® Award nominations.

Cheech, from the barrios of East L.A., and Chong, a Canadian native, met in Vancouver, Canada at a club that Chong owned. Two years later, when the club shut down, the duo teamed up and set out on long road trips performing one-night stands, finally ending up in California because they were tired of cold weather. They performed all over L.A. and were discovered while performing at The Troubadour by a record executive and were eventually signed.

Every Thursday night with headliner entertainment, San Manuel gives away $1,000 just for seeing the show. To be eligible to win, guests only need a ticket to the show, a Club Serrano card and to be 21 or older. Guests can enter beginning at noon on such days. Three drawings will be held on those nights: $250 at 7:20 p.m., $250 at 10:00 p.m. and $500 at 11:00 p.m.

Winners must be present.

Note: Doors open at 6:30pm. Must be 21 to enter Casino. Please gamble responsibly.

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BVN National News Wire