ABOVE PHOTO: Aunjanue Ellis (Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock)
By Flo Anthony
The children of Michael Jackson showed their support for “MJ: The Musical” when all three of them — Paris, Prince and Blanket, now known as Bigi — stepped out for the opening of the play on February 1 at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre in New York City. According to multiple reports, Paris opted for a paisley printed midi dress and ankle boots for the big night. The 23 year-old singer and actress posed alongside her 24 year-old brother Prince, who rocked a suit and tie. As for Bigi, whose real name is Michael Joseph Jackson III, the 19 year-old dressed nattily in a suit jacket, but declined walking the red carpet with his siblings. Other celebs on-hand for the play’s debut included Spike Lee, Joel Grey, Rev. Al Sharpton, Dapper Dan, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Tamron Hall. Yours Truly wants to go on the record that this may be the best play ever to grace the Great White Way. The performances, musical numbers, costumes and staging are magnificent. And a special thumbs up to two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, who penned a fabulous book that captured the true essence of Michael Jackson………
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced nominations for the 94th annual Academy Awards on February 7. The ceremony is set to air live from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on ABC Sunday, March 27. Will Packer is producing the broadcast this year. “King Richard,” the Will Smith produced biopic about Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, picked up seven nominations which include Best Picture, Will Smith for Best Actor, Aunjanue Ellis for Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Beyonce’ Knowles-Carter for Best Original Song, “Be Alive,” and Best Editing. Denzel Washington was also nominated for Best Actor for “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” Twenty years ago, he and Smith were also up against each other for Best Actor in “Training Day” and “Ali.. “Coming 2 America” also received a nomination for Best Makeup & Hairstyling………
Greg Bell, former NFL Pro Bowl running back and founder of Athletes for Life presents “Art ‘N’ The Bowl,” — “Where Art Meets Sports” — the official Super Bowl Alumni Association party. Join Bell and fellow hosts, National Football League Hall of Famers Andre Reed, Terrell Davis, Jerome Bettis and many others at the party and fundraiser on Thursday, February 10, 7:30 p.m. at E.K. Gallery, 1125 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, California. A portion of the proceeds raised at “Art ‘N’ The Bowl” will go to support programs for youth at the Athletes For Life Foundation……….
Bounce will premiere the highly-anticipated 23rd Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration on February 12 at 8 p.m. ET. The debut telecast will be followed by an encore on Bounce’s Sister network ION on February 13 at 12 a.m. ET, and will continue to be available to stream on Prime Video and on IMDB TV throughout February in celebration of Black History Month. Themed “Catch The Light,” the groundbreaking praise and worship extravaganza is an annual highlight of Super Bowl weekend hosted this season by inspirational figure Sarah Jakes Roberts and funnyman DC Young Fly……..
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