ABOVE PHOTO: The Weeknd (Photo: Shutterstock)
By Florence Anthony
After the lights have been dimmed on Broadway for more than a year, the renowned Roundabout Theatre Company, which is committed to embracing its responsibility to reshape and refocus the parameters of the American theatre canon, is bringing theater back to everyone. They recently announced The Refocus Project, which will feature a robust selection of materials, available to industry professionals and the public. This will include the launch of a weekly online play reading series featuring selected plays beginning April 23. The first series of play readings presented in association with Black Theatre United will spotlight twentieth -century Black plays and their playwrights: Angelina Weld Grimke’, Shirley Graham Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Childress and Samm-Art Williams. The play series is free to the public and can be accessed at: www.roundabouttheatre.org/refocus. “The Refocus Project: Year One Readings” kicks off with “Rachel,” by Angelina Weld Grimke’, directed by Roundabout Theatre Company resident director Miranda Hayman……..
According to reports, nearly a century after her birth in East Harlem, New York, Cicely Tyson could become the namesake of her childhood block, thanks to a neighborhood campaign to honor the late actress. Tyson, who died in January at age 96, was born in 1924 and raised at 178 East 101st Street- – a five-story walkup near Lexington Avenue. Even after rising to fame onscreen and onstage, Tyson clung tightly to her Harlem roots, considering herself as sort of a neighborhood ambassador. Sources say the suggestion of renaming East 101st Street between Lexington and Third Avenues “Cicely Tyson Way” was presented at a recent community board meeting. Stay tuned………
The award wins keep piling up for “One Night In Miami” star Leslie Odom Jr. Not only is the Hamilton alumnus nominated for two Oscars — “Best Original Song” — “Speak Now,” and “Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Sam Cooke in “One Night In Miami”— but on April 7, Odom Jr and his castmates won the “Best Ensemble In A Film” award at the virtual AAFCA (African American Film Critics Association) Awards, which I attended as a guest of Nissan and Nissan Diversity. It was a fabulous evening. I almost fell out of my home seat when 98-year-old super TV producer Norman Lear came on to present the “Best Live Action Short Film” award to Dirty Robber. Nissan also provided all of us guests with a gift certificate to Door Dash so that we could enjoy dinner while watching the show. I ordered pork chops from Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem. Meanwhile, Leslie and his wife, Nicolette Robinson, welcomed their second child, son, Able Phineas on March 25, 2021……..
Word on the curb is Madonna plunked down $19.3 million to purchase The Weeknd’s estate in the upscale Hidden Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Weeknd put the house on the market back in June 2020, for $24,995,000. The multi-Grammy winning crooner bought the nine bedroom, nine and a half bathroom home in 2017 for $18.2 million. He is reportedly currently laying his head in a $25 million pad which is also in Hidden Hills. The expensive digs also boast a “jaw-dropping garage,” which, according to the Robb Report, houses the singer’s car collection, that consists of a 618 hp McLaren P1 hypercar, a Lamborghini Aventador SV roadster, a new Bentley Mulsanne and a classic 1980s Porsche 911…….