Calendar by Bo March 22, 2012

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Cast of "A Streetcar Named Desire"
Catch this Bus! Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Emily Mann (center) and starring, from left, Wood Harris (Mitch), Nicole Ari Parker (Blanche), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Stella) and Blair Underwood (Stanley). Previews start Tuesday, April 3 for a 16-week run on Broadway.

A Streetcar Named Desire: A Conversation with Cast and Artistic Team. On March 19th at The Greene Space in Manhattan, the audience was treated to a beautiful ride as the stars of the upcoming Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ award-winning play explored the playwright’s work, shared their experiences working with each other and offered generous insights into the characters they will portray. “Conversation” participants included Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood, in his Broadway debut as Stanley, Nicole Ari Parker/Blanche, Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent)/Stella Dubois, and Wood Harris (The Wire)/Mitch. The astute Terrence McKnight was “Conversation” host, director Emily Mann (Artistic Director of Princeton’s esteemed McCarter Theatre), who met Mr. Williams, provided juicy history; and the show’s executive producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones offered the background on how they closed on an option for both Streetcar and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, at the same time — three days before the death of the owner to the rights. Minireview of “Conversation”: If thought-driven acting plays any part in how dramatic roles are honored, then “Tony” is already in the driver’s seat of this star-studded production, and the passengers are Mr. Underwood, Ms. Parker, Ms. Rubin-Vega and Mr. Harris. Catch this bus! Previews begin April 3. For more information: http://streetcaronbroadway.com (Bo)

Ongoing through April 1:
BLACK WOMEN’S ARMY CORPS. Opening night for Court-Martial at Fort Devens by Jeffrey Sweet at the Castillo Theatre (543 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues), 7:30p. Performances run through April 1. Based on a true story, drama presented by Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre, documents the strike of black WACs (Women’s Army Corps) stationed in Massachusetts during World War II. The women joined the Army to be trained as nurses, only to be relegated to cleaning toilets, mopping floors and doing laundry. When they are court-martialed for refusing to follow orders during wartime, they fight a pioneering battle for racial equality in the segregated U.S. military. The WAC’s court struggle was covered extensively in the African-American newspapers during the 1940’s. Mary Beth Easley directs a cast that features Alia Shakira Chapman, Evander Duck, Gillian Glasco, Nambi E. Kelley, Frank Mayers, Emma O’Donnell, Bill Tatum, Keona Welch and Eboni Witcher. Minireview: Stellar cast comprises stars of tomorrow. Superb Acting! www.castillo.org/current-season

Fri., March 23 – April 15 – Opening: 8:oopm: Journalist/Playwright Betty Dopson’s SHARED SECRETS of ELDER SISTERS, a play about the gripping confessions of seven sisters born in the early 1900’s who fought battles against racism, disrespect, sexism and poverty and won because of the choices they made. Stars: Dr. Adelaide Sanford; Nana Camille Yarbrough; Nana Betty Dopson. Runs on weekends: Fridays and Saturday eves, 8:00pm and Sunday matinees, 4:00pm. Black Spectrum Theater, 177th St. & Baisley Blvd. (Inside Roy Wilkins Park), Jamaica, NY. Tickets, Info: 718-723-1800.

Fri., March 23, 12n-3p/Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C./ Rayburn House Office Building, The Institute of the Black World 21st Century Presents “It’s Nation Time: A National Symposium Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana.” Screening of It’s Nation Time, the official documentary film of the Gary Convention and presentation of a panel discussion on the impact of the Gary Convention and its relevanceto Black Politics today. Also, IBW will pay tribute to Congressman Donald Payne and present the IBW Legacy Award to Hon. Richard G. Hatcher. Verna Avery Brown, Pacifica Radio-Washington, D.C., to moderate. John Conyers, honorary host; Dr. Ron Daniels, convener and president, IBW; Jesse Jackson, Special Invited Guest. Panelists: Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Bill Lucy, Catalina Byrd, George Curry, Dr. E. Faye Williams, Rev.Lennox Yearwood. Email: info@ibw21.org or Call: 888.774.2921. To Register/Access Web Cast/Live Stream: visit www.ibw21.org.

Sat., March 24: 5p-7p. The National Black Writers Conference and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp will host a panel discussion examining how popular culture shapes representations of Black women in the media and literature in Restoration’s Skylight Gallery, 1368 Fulton St., Bklyn. Panelists include: journalist Asha Bandele and journalism professor Pamela Newkirk. Booksigning follows.

Mon., March 26: 7:00p-9:00p. Celebrate Bernice Johnson Reagon’s Songbook at the Schomburg’s Annual Women’s Jazz Festival. Tonight, $20 Members; $25 Nonmembers – For ticket charge, call 1-888-718-4253 or 212-491-2206; visit ShowClix.com.

Tues., March 27: 3:30-5:30p. Brooklyn Theatre Arts H.S. Students bring August Wilson to life in a monologue competition sponsored by the Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (LEAP). Today’s event marks the start of citywide and national August Wilson Monologue Competitions involving seven major cities. In the New York competition, three winning schools from six will advance to the NYC competition on April 19th to compete for cash prizes and the chance to advance to the National Competition on May 7th at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway. The Brooklyn Theatre Arts H.S. is located at 6565 Flatlands Ave. in the Flatlands/Canarsie area.

Wed., March 28: 7:30pm – Premiere of Nia Productions’ Marry Me!, which tells the story of a young attractive female Haitian immigrant who is having an affair with a married older man, and then she is about to be deported. Nia theme line: Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution? Roy Arias Theatre, 300 W. 43 St., NYC, nr. 8th. Runs through Sunday, April 8. L. Earl Ford is the director. Tickets: $30. Students and seniors, $20, all shows. Information, reservations: 718-346-6591.

Thursday, March 29 to Sunday, April 1 – The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College (CUNY) will host the Eleventh National Black Writers Conference (NBWC) on the college campus at 1650 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn. Centered around the theme “The Impact of Migration, Popular Culture, and the Natural Environment in the Literature of Black Writers,” the 2012 Conference will honor literary and cultural icons Kenyan-born writer Ngig wa Thiong’o; poet, novelist, essayist, publisher Ishmael Reed; poet Nikki Giovanni; and scholar Dr. Howard Dodson, the new Director of the Howard University Libraries and its Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Hailed by best-selling author Walter Mosley as the most significant gathering of Black writers in the country,” the NBWC is the only gathering of its kind in North America. “Black writers and artists are natural cultural explorers and investigators,” said Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Director of the National Black Writers Conference and Executive Director of the Center for Black Literature. Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams, Honorary Chair of the Conference, reminds us that “Perhaps one of the most powerful things that we have as human beings is not only the spoken word, but the written word that lasts forever.”

This year’s conference highlights: a poetry presentation by South African Poet Laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile; a conversation with author and broadcaster Tavis Smiley; and a roundtable discussion and critical response to Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention with Haki Madhubuti, Herb Boyd, Ron Daniels and Michael Simanga. Also, one day will be devoted to film screenings by Black filmmakers. For information, details: call 718-804-8883 or visit www.nationalblackwritersconference.org.

Fri.,March 30 – Sharon Ahnee Freeman Trio, JAZZ966, 966 Fulton St. @ Grand Ave., 8-10pm, $15, 718.638.8910, www.jazz966.com

Fri., March 30 – Salute to Gil Scott-Heron (Abiodun Oyewole, Bilal Sunni Ali, others) presented by National Black Writers Conference & Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium, For My Sweet, 1103 Fulton St. @ Classon Ave., 9:30pm, $20 advance/$25 door, tix-1.800.838.3006, ext.1, www.brownpapertickets.com
Fri., March 30 – The New Cookers – Hip/Hard Bop Jazz, BAMcafe, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Pl., 10-11pm, No Charge, 718.636.4100, www.bam.org

Fri., March 30 – Rome Neal to host PHENOMENAL WOMEN in ENTERTAINMENT Awards and Brunch event at Von King Park Cultural Arts Center, 670 Lafayette Ave. Brooklyn, NY. Mari Toussaint, Tulivu Cumberbatch, Kim Brockington, Michelle White and Ellen Holly are among the honorees. Event is invitation-only.

Fri., March 30 – PHYLLIS YVONNE STICKNEY: Back to Brooklyn with Phyllis Yvonne Stickney’s comedy kick-off at Brown Sugar Supper Club, 433 Marcus Garvey Blvd. Two Shows at 7:30p and 10p. Ticket information: Victoria-347-658-8459. A presentation of Lauren P. Raysor and Victoria. Visit: www.phyllisyvonnestickney.com.

Mon., April 2 – Sankofa Soulz feat. King Tut, For My Sweet, 1103 Fulton St. @ Classon Ave., 2 shows – 7:15 & 9:15pm, $10, 718.857.1427, jazzymondays@gmail.com

Tues., April 3 – A Streetcar Named Desire begins previews. http://streetcaronbroadway.com

Wed., April 4 – 1:30pm FREE Movie Screening and Artist’s Talk. ALL ME: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert at Von King Cultural Arts Center. The documentary focusing on the segregated South relives Mr. Rembert’s “turbulent life, abundantly visualized by his extensive paintings and, in a series of intimate reminiscences, shows us how even the most painful memories can be transformed into something meaningful and beautiful.” It is a glowing portrait of how an artist – and his art – is made. 670 Lafayette Ave. (btw. Marcy/Tompkins), Q&A to follow film, which was produced by Mark Urman (Monster’s Ball and the documentaries Murderball and War Dance). Mr. Rembert, in person, will introduce the film.

Wed., April 4 – Pucho and his Latin Soul Brothers, Dweck Center Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, 7pm, FREE, 718.230.2100

Fri., April 6 – Houston Person Quartet, JAZZ966, 966 Fulton St. @ Grand Ave., 8-10pm, $20, 718.638.8910, www.jazz966.com
Mon. April 9 – Bilal Sunni Ali & “The Singing Chef” Ras Chemash Lamed with Song of Life Ensemble, For My Sweet, 1103 Fulton St. @ Classon Ave., 2 shows – 7:15 & 9:15pm, $10, 718.857.1427, jazzymondays@gmail.com

Fri. April 13 – Bob Cunningham Quartet, JAZZ966, 966 Fulton St. @ Grand Ave., 8-10pm, $15, 718.638.8910, www.jazz966.com

Mon., April 16 – The Last Poets Originators of Revolutionary Poetry, For My Sweet, 1103 Fulton St. @ Classon Ave., 2 shows – 7:15 & 9:15pm, $10, 718.857.1427, jazzymondays@gmail.com

Community

Cinema
Wed., April 11 – Tues. April 17: The Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) and African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) have again joined forces to present The 19th New York African Film Festival (NYAFF). Presented under the theme “21st Century: The Homecoming,” this year’s festival will explore the modern notion of home and homeland from the legacy of music legend Miriam Makeba—subject of the Opening Night Film Mama Africa—to Diasporic visions like the New York-set Restless City. The NYAFF will also mark the 100th Anniversary of the African National Congress (ANC) and the 50th Anniversary of Independence for Algeria, Burundi, Jamaica, Rwanda and Uganda, as well as give a unique look into the life of President Obama through a film on his half-sister, The Education of Auma Obama. The NYAFF will run from April 11 through 17 at Film Society of Lincoln Center, and throughout April and May at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, Columbia University’s Institute of African Studies, Maysles Cinema Institute and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s cinematek. “This is a continuation of the discussion about the shape of Africa that has taken place since independence and that is now not being embraced by the younger generation,” said African Film Festival, Inc. Executive Director and Founder Mahen Bonetti. “Though these young people have not in many ways been thrown a lifeline as post-Independent conflict emerged, they have somehow managed, through technology, to craft their own narrative, unconsciously drawing on the past and creating something new and very modern without having disavowed the past.” Tickets: $13 General Public, $9 Students & Seniors, $8 Film Society Members. Visit www.africanfilmny.org for info.

Fund-raisers
Thurs. April 26, 8:00pm – Firefighter Leon W. Smith Foundation. Billy Holiday Theater located in Restoration Plaza, Brooklyn, N.Y. Tickets: $20.00 per person. According to Foundation rep, the organization has raised more than $75,000 and assisted ten students; three have graduated. Details: http://ffleonwsmithfoundation.com

Green Events
Listings Submissions Sponsor: Magnolia Tree Earth Center of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Inc.

100 FREE TREES GIVEN AWAY IN BED-STUY, APRIL 14
Sat., April 14th: 11:00a-3:00p -PACC and Magnolia Tree Earth Center Tree Giveaway. 100 Free Trees will be given away to the public. PACC’s Affordable Housing Building- Magnolia Plaza, 686 Lafayette Avenue (Btw. Marcy & Tompkins), Reserve your Crape Myrtle, Magnolia or a Pear Tree in advance! Go to www.nyrp.org/brooklyntrees. Trees will be available to individuals, families and community groups for planting on private property only and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis until supplies run out. Simple tree planting and care instructions come with your free tree. All you need is a place to plant your tree and access to water. It is recommended that you bring a folding shopping cart to transport your tree. This event is hosted by PACC and Magnolia Tree Earth Center and is sponsored by: Toyota, plaNYC, NYC Parks Department, NYRP and the Million Trees Project. Rain or Shine.* First-come, first-served .* Arrive early as trees will run out quickly!

Health Fairs

Sat., March 31, 10a-3p – PS 138, Crown Heights Beacon Program in collaboration with NYS Assembly member Karim Camara and NYC Council member Albert Vann invite the community to the SECOND ANNUAL HEALTH FAIR, P.S. 138, 760 Prospect Place, btw. Nostrand/Rogers, FREE: Health Screenings, Mammograms, Blood Pressure Testing, Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Health & Nutrition information, Child ID, Library Card registration and Giveaways!! 718-771-3105.

Health Talk

Wednesday, March 28 – 7:00pm-8:30pm: Talks at the Schomburg: The Intersection of Health Care, History and Justie. Join Columbia Sociology Professor Alondra Nelson, who holds an appointment at Columbia’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender,;Jonathan Metzl, MD/Ph.D. (director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Medicine, Health and Society); and medical ethicist Harriet Washington (author, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present) for a conversation on race and health in America. These three noted experts on health care and distinguished authors will discuss how access to quality health care—or in far too many cases, any health care at all—often falls along racial lines and is an issue that activists, beginning with the Black Panthers, have been fighting for decades. $15 for nonmembers; $10 for members, friends and students – For ticket charge, call 1-888-71-Tickets or visit ShowClix.com.

Heritage Learning Events

2012 Dance Africa, led by Baba Chuck Davis, journeys to BAM, May 25-28 for 35th-Year performances. Special anniversary celebration will be on May 20, 2012 at 3pm. www.bam.org

Housing
Foreclosure Help and Information

Saturday, March 24, 10:00a – NACA brings its “Save The Dream Workshop” to Brooklyn, borough with largest number of pre-foreclosure notices and highest number of foreclosures. Bedford-Stuyvesant Multi-Services Calendar, 1958 Fulton Ave. A train to Ralph Ave. #25 bus to Ralph Ave; #47 bus to Ralph Ave./Fulton St. Register on line at www.naca.com

Legal
Fri. April 6 & Sat. April 7, 9a –3p, each day: SAFE SURRENDER. Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, 212 Tompkins Avenue @ DeKalb Ave. The Court and Defense Attorneys will be available to resolve any outstanding summons warrants including: ? Unlawful Possession of Marijuana ? Unlawful Possession of Alcohol under the age of 21 ? Consumption of Alcohol in Public ? Unlawful Possession of Handcuffs ? Littering ? Riding a Bicycle on the Sidewalk ? Making Unreasonable Noise ? Animal Nuisance ? Failure to have a Dog License ? Unleashed Dog ? Spitting ? Trespass ? Disorderly Conduct ? Loitering ? In the Park after Closing ? Failure to Comply with a Posted Sign in Park . For More Info Call: 718-250-3888. www.projectsafesurrender2011.org

Short Takes
Journey: Works in Progress: Our Time Press’ Bernice Elizabeth Green, Arts and Calendar Editor, and David Mark Greaves, Publisher, debuted March 10 their respective works in progress, “Ancestral Calling,” narrative-excerpt and “New Horizons” full-staged production, in readings at The Paul Robeson Theater as a tribute to the late Dr. Josephine English, the theatre’s founder. Plans are for enhanced productions to return late spring.

True Role Model: Queens Council member Leroy Comrie honored Brooklyn favorite Dr. Lindamichelle Barron, Publisher and President, Harlin Jacque Publications, at his Women’s History Month “Unsung Heroines” Awards event last week.

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