I may be the only middle-aged Black man in Minnesota who has not seen the epic motion picture The Color Purple in its entirety. I may, in fact, be the only one in the Midwest.
However, after attending the opening night of the musical adapted from the book by Alice Walker, I feel like I was there in the place and time period, Georgia 1909-1949, that the play covered. It even took me back to the time and place portrayed in the scene titled “African Homeland.” Continue Reading →
By Dwight Hobbes
Shá Cage has emerged as one of the Twin Cities’ most powerful proponents for strengthening the image and celebrating the hearts and souls of Black women. The accomplished actor, performance artist and spoken-wordsmith began this initiative in the late ‘90s, co-founding the still regrettably unsung MaMA mOsAiC, Minnesota’s first ensemble of color projecting women’s consciousness. Cage reflects, in an MSR interview of few years back, “Signe Harriday, Jeany Park and I founded [it], which was the beginning of my professional career as one who creates theatre for, by and about women and aimed at employing women behind the scenes.”
These days, lauded by no less a personage than Cornel West as “inspiring and evocative,” there is nothing unsung about anything she does from projecting consciousness to heading up the internationally renowned Minnesota Spoken Word Association with husband e.g. bailey, a venerated artist in his own right; to acting at prestigious venues like Mixed Blood Theatre, Intermedia Arts and, currently, Park Square, where she continues her commitment in the cast of Tazewell Thompson’s Mary T. & Lizzy K.
Mary T. & Lizzy K. looks at the friendship between Abraham Lincoln’s wife and her seamstress, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly, a freed slave who, it turns out, did a great deal more in life than put pretty clothes on Mary Todd Lincoln. Shá Cage plays Elizabeth Keckly. Asked what she finds most rewarding about portraying Keckly, she says, “I appreciate that this plays makes room for [her] story to be told. Continue Reading →
Marcus Roberts Trio, with Jason Marsalis
Wed., Nov. 6, 7 and 9 pm • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis • www.dakotacooks.com or 612-332-1010
The Blind Boys of Alabama
Thurs., Nov. 7, 7 pm • The Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis • www.thecedar.org or 612-338-2674
Mary T. & Lizzy K.
Through Nov 10, various times • Park Square Theatre/Historic Hamm Building, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul • Step through the doors of the
White House dressing room and eavesdrop on a conversation between two women from very different worlds:
First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her talented seamstress,
Continue Reading →
Kool G Rap and DJ Polo
Fri., May 17, 10 pm • Cabooze, 917 Cedar Avenue S., 612-338-6425 or www.cabooze.com • Kool G Rap is regarded as a hugely influential golden age rapper. He is often cited as one of the most influential and skilled MC’s of all time • With special guest Empire Status, (Bobby Raps & Muja Messiah), and Long Doe (Tony Bones, Big Wiz, Mike the Martyr & DJ Nimo the Hooligan) and dj’s King Otto & Just Nine.
Dennis Spears & Ginger Commodore
Sat., May 18, 8 pm • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010 or www.dakotacooks.com • Spears and Commodore, both known for their contribution to Moore by Four, as well as being gems of the Midwest music and theater scenes in their own right, join forces for a night of sizzling soul and powerful vocals.
The Blu Ice Soul Session featuring. Erica West w/DJ Smoke D
Tues., May 21, 8 pm • Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave. Continue Reading →
Mother’s Day Celebrations
Pre-Mothers Day Extravaganza: I’ll Always Love My Mama /She’s My Everything
Sat., May 11, 7 pm —1 am • Double Tree Hotel, 1500 Park Place Blvd., Mpls., 612-702-9018 • Celebrating Mother’s, sisters, aunts, girl friends, and grand mothers • Live jazz by Wenso Ashby and hosted by KMOJ, Q Bear, and Ms. Pink.
Annual Mothers Day Concert
Sun., May 12, 1 pm • Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul, 651-528-6871 • Bring mom to the Landmark Center for some music this Mother’s Day • Hosted by the Saint Paul Civic Symphony, the Annual Mother’s Day Concert is free and all ages are welcome to attend.
New Orleans Mother’s Day Brunch
Sun., May 12, 10:30 am — 3 pm • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010 or www.dakotacooks.com • Celebrate Mother’s Day with a family-style brunch and New Orleans jazz by the Southside Aces.
Capri Big Band
Sun., May 12, 7 pm • Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1361 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Continue Reading →
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars
Fri., May 3, 8:30 pm • Festival of Nations, Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 175 Kellogg Blvd W., St. Paul, FestivalofNations.com • The musicians who form Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars were forced to leave at various times after violent rebel attacks. Soon, Ruben Koroma and his wife Grace joined other musicians in the Kalia refugee camp to entertain their fellow refugees, and the group was born. They are now one of Africa’s top touring and recording bands • Concert tickets are included with Friday’s regular Festival of Nations admission.
Secret Stash Soul Revue: Sonny Knight, The Valdons, Maurice Jacox, Chastity Brown
Fri., May 3, 8 pm • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010 or www.dakotacooks.com • For two nights, the Secret Stash Soul Revue will be returning to the stage for another look back into the Twin Cities Funk & Soul music. Continue Reading →
The Bar Kays
Sun., Apr. 28 7 pm • Epic, 110 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-332-3742 or epicmpls.com • Originating as the Stax Records’ house band in 1966, they played on records by Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Soul Children and Isaac Hayes and were integral to Hayes’ landmarks Hot Buttered Soul, Black Moses, and Shaft. Their music has been sampled by everyone, from Coolio to Will Smith, to old schoolers like Cameo. Expect to hear “Shake Your Rump To The Funk,” “Move Your Boogie Body,” “Sex-o-Matic,” “Anticipation,” “Freakshow On The Dance Floor,” “Hit and Run,” “She talks To Me With Her Body,” among many others.
Tues., Apr. Continue Reading →