Recent Articles

A feast for the ears: Don’t miss Rene´ Marie and Hugh Masekela  

René Marie. I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Earth Kitt

Having your own unique sound is the prize possession in music. Smart artists know to work with what they’ve got and keep it moving — imperfections, conflicts, grittiness and all. Faithful supporters of this music get it. You never give up, and you continue to negotiate change with style. One such artist who has mastered this approach in an artful way is Virginia born and based singer-songwriter René Marie. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Actor forges friendship with Black Panther through role in Fela!



A fascinating hour in African and African American history visits the Twin Cities with the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Fela! coming to St. Paul’s Ordway theater. In 1969 Nigerian musician-composer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, visiting the U.S., encountered Sandra Smith of the Black Panther Party. Smith’s (today her last name is Isadore) fiery commitment to flying in the face of social and political oppression so inspired Kuti that on returning home, he fostered the genre Afrobeat, a fusion of African and American styles that, most significantly, incorporated political commentary. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Fairy Godmother brings holiday cheer to Ordway stage

Twin Cities theater mainstay Tonia Hughes on Cinderella’s ‘message of hope’

By Raquel Hayes

Contributing Writer


It is extremely gratifying to witness African American performers stepping outside of the expected roles that society presumes they should play. Many actors and actresses alike are taking steps towards diversifying theatrical productions all across the metro area. Tonia Hughes, currently starring in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Ordway, is a part of the groundbreaking group of talented African Americans that isn’t afraid of stepping outside of the norm and demonstrating that their talents aren’t limited to a specific area just because of skin color. Hughes has performed in numerous productions across the Twin Cities throughout her career as an actress and singer. In Cinderella, Hughes (TH) plays the role of the Fairy Godmother. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,