COMING SOON: (Musical) Party People at the Berkeley Rep – October 2014

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Party People
By UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, and William Ruiz, aka Ninja)
Developed and directed by Liesl Tommy

Save the date! Join the International Black Women’s Film Festival as we celebrate the Bay Area premiere of “Party People”! The festival’s founder, Adrienne Anderson, discovered this gem at the 2012 Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and can vouch for the ferocity and pure genius this musical created by the NYC theater group Universes.

Get ready for a hyperkinetic mix of live video, hip hop, jazz, rock, gospel, blues, Latin rhythms, and spoken word as the explosive theatre ensemble UNIVERSES rocks and unlocks the legacy of the Black Panthers and Young Lords. In the 1960s these activists protected their communities and provided free food and medical care—but their cries for justice were overshadowed by the radical images embedded in our mainstream history books. Based on dozens of interviews, this high-wattage fusion of story and song imagines the Panthers and Young Lords reuniting today at an art opening curated by a couple of young counterculturists—where past, present, and generations collide. Helmed by Liesl Tommy (director of our potent production of Ruined), Party People asks, what is the price of being a revolutionary, and what happens to those who come after?

Berkeley Repertory Theater

 

Catch Pippa Bennett-Warner in London’s Donmar Warehouse’s “King Lear” thru June 5th

Pippa Bennett-Warner stars as Cordelia in Donmar Warehouse's production of "King Lear."

Pippa Bennett-Warner is cast as King Lear’s youngest daughter, Cordelia, in Donmar Warehouse’s London stage-production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” The production is sold-out for most shows, but you can see if there’s a cancellation or individual seats.

“King Lear” runs through June 5 at the Harvey Theater.

Read the NY Times glowing review of “King Lear”…click here

Mother’s Day Comedy Show

Veronica Dangerfield Productions
presents

Mother’s Day Comedy Show

Winslow Center
2590 Pleasant Hill Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Saturday, May 07, 2011 at 7:00 PM (PT)

The Bay Areas funniest Comedians comes to Pleasant Hill. Truly, you know that laughter is the best medicine. So come and enjoy the hilarious Bernard Henderson, Jovelyn Richards ,Julia Jackson and Veronica Dangerfield. Come for good, clean family comedy. Don’t worry, we won’t be cussing at your Momma. This show is a benefit for Beloved Collective, creating support for girls aging out of the Foster Care system and the Pleasant Hill PTA. Give your mother the gift of laughter and make up for all that stress you caused her growing up! We love and welcome Daddy’s too! Last minute Mother’s Day gifts available. This is the funniest show in the Bay Area. PLENTY FREE PARKING and Limited seating. Last minute gifts available-Door and Raffle prizes.

More Information: http://mothersdaycomedy-efbevent.eventbrite.com/

Oh yea, Men are WELCOME!! There would be no Momma’s without the Poppa’s.

John Waters Christmas Show December 11th

The Roxie Theater is an indie theater house in the Mission District in San Francisco. The theater was later acquired by New College, which was a college that eventually shutdown in 2008.  To date, it is being run through good spirits, committed staff and donations.

[picappgallerysingle id=”10190124″]John Waters (new San Francisco resident) is a director of such cult (and hit) movies as Hairspray!, Pink Flamingos, and Cry Baby.  John is hosting a fundraiser for the theater through his “John Waters Christmas Show.” See the Roxie Theater’s invitation below.

The John Waters (Live) Christmas Show!

Time
Saturday, December 11 · 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Location

Roxie Theater
3117 16th Street
San Francisco, CA

More Info
John Waters brings his sleigh full of smut to help raise money for the new non-profit Roxie Theater.

For tickets and more details, go to www.roxie.com

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a week’s stay in Hawaii!
Hendrick’s Gin will be supplying the alcohol. Local restaurants will bring the food. Free valet parking provided.
and…
……The Roxie will stuff your stockings tight with a pre-show video mash up featuring horn ball St. Nicks, blood-thirsty elves, talking Menorahs and candy cane delirium… You better watch out!

We know this is a pricey event, but every cent goes back to the theater. The Roxie is San Francisco’s oldest operating film house. It is crucial for San Francisco’s future not to lose another one of its theaters.
We also want to remind you to join us the following night for Drunk and Alone, another amazing holiday party with a ticket price everyone can enjoy.
If you can’t make it to either of these fine evenings, please consider making a donation to the theater by going to http://roxie.com/support/ . Please note: keeping the theater open and operating is a labor of love and even donating a single dollar can make a difference!

Thank you for your support and good cheer!
-The Roxie

sponsored by:
Luna Park
Andalu
The Monk’s Kettle
BarBambino
SFBay Guardian
Mr. Archer
Hendrick’s Gin

Oliver Stone Wants to Film Tony Award Nominated Musical “Memphis”

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

(Take the Poll at the end of this post!)

The New York Times reported that Justin Timberlake –who’s from Memphis, Tennessee– wants to make a film version of the Tony Award® nominated Broadway musical “Memphis,” starring singer/actress Montego Glover. Legendary director Oliver Stone has also shown interest in turning the musical into a film.

For those who aren’t into musicals, you’ll be surprised to know that Broadway is getting “souled” up lately, with such successes as “Fela!” and a revival of August Wilson’s “Fences,” starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington.

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Timberlake is said to be interested in the lead role, but a leading lady hasn’t yet been discussed.In true Stage/Book/Television-to-Film style, they may just go the usual route and cast someone who isn’t necessarily an actress or a  stage singer. (It won’t be the first time.)

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Or, Oliver Stone may decide to “keep it real” and cast someone with a stage background to bring the miscegenation storyline to life.

Who Would You Cast?

Whitney Performs; Fences Opens; Tribeca Premieres; and More!

April has been a busy month for film premieres, events and glam gatherings! From the opening of the late-August Wilson’s drama “Fences,” starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington, to Whitney’s shaky comeback, we have the latest photos of the latest glam gatherings!

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March 11, 2010 @ 7 pm and 9:30 pm: T’Keyah Crystal Keymah in the CJP’s “Ella to Mandela”

T’Keyah says, “Just in case you haven’t heard, I am part of the CJP concert you will not want to miss! I hope you can make.”

Event: T’Keyah Crystal Keymah in the CJP’s “Ella to Mandela”

“The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Concert”
What: Concert
Start Time: Tomorrow, March 11 at 7:00pm
End Time: Tomorrow, March 11 at 9:30pm
Where: Auditorium Theater

More Info: http://auditoriumtheatre.org/wb/pages/home/performances-events/performances.php?event_id=284

Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen presents Back to Our Roots!

Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen (MHHK) is a multifaceted hip hop event designed to showcase women artists, especially women of color. MHHK serves as a social justice community-organizing platform that educates and empowers women of color on issues that impact their lives, including HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice. Our mission is to create a dynamic interactive exchange and safe space for all women of color to express themselves through their art.

Invitation From the Event Organizers:

MHHK Volume 3, Back to Our Roots, will be honoring International Women’s Month by bringing together educators, students, environmentalists, djs, emcees, b-girls, poets, visual artists, dancers, healers, pastors, organizers and activists to collectively express our solidarity with women’s rights!
We hope that you can join us at this free and family-friendly event. Local organizations and businesses focused on these and/or related issues are encouraged to participate by tabling or simply attending.
When: Saturday, March 6th, 2010 @ the Hostos Center for Arts and Culture 450 Grand Concourse (at 149th St.) Bronx, NY (Main Theater)

Time: 2-5pm

This event is FREE and open to all ages.

For more information about the event, please visit our website @ http://www.mhhk.org or email hiphopkitchen[at] gmail.com. Organizations interested in tabling can register at http://mhhk.org/vol32010/tablingapplicatipr/

T’Keyah Crystal Keymah stars in “Crowns” February 27, 2010

T’Keyah Crystal Keymah is best known for her role on the ground-breaking sketch series, “In Living Color,” with the Wayans Brothers. She’s worked in a number of other television, stage and film roles since then.

On February 27, 2010, Ms. Keymah will return to the stage in the role of Mother Shaw in “Crowns,” at Florida A & M University.
[picappgallerysingle id=”6283783″ align=”center”] The Florida A & M University Essential Theatre and the FAMU Lyceum Series Present Crowns by Regina Taylor based on the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. This production features FAMU students, faculty and graduates of its music and theater programs including famed alum T’Keyah Crystal Keymah who plays Mother Elsie Shaw. The show is a family friendly, vibrant and moving gospel-infused musical about faith, family, fellowship… and hats!

T'Keyah Stars in Crowns at Florida A & MFriday, February 26 at 7:30PM; Saturday, February 27 at 2PM and 7:30PM and Sunday, February 28 at 2PM – Lee Hall Auditorium, 1601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. on FAMU’s campus. Shuttle buses will run from the east side of the Bragg stadium parking lot to Lee Hall every 15 minutes starting at 6PM on Friday and Saturday and at 12:30PM on Saturday and Sunday.

The first 450 FAMU student tickets per show are free (tickets must be reserved in advance), Thereafter FAMU students: $5.00, Non-FAMU Students: $7.00, Seniors: $12.00, General Admission: $15.00, Preferred Seating: $25.00. To purchase tickets or for more information, go to www.famu.edu/lyceum or call (850) 561-2425 or (850) 599-3413.

The Business of Show Biz: Career Intensive for Actors

Only a very small portion of an actor’s time is spent acting.

The successful actor spends the majority of his or her time pursuing work. The business of acting is this pursuit.

While there exists a dizzying array of acting classes, it is difficult to find a class or workshop that covers the work getting, marketing tips and techniques that are the tools for building a career.

Without these tools it is possible to continue acting every now and then as a hobby indefinitely. However, if building a career is your goal this workshop is for you. In this class you will:

*Create an effective Picture and Resume
*Organize your life around your goals
*Avoid industry scams
*Meet with a SAG/AFTRA franchised Talent Agent
*Learn to market yourself and more

When:
8 Wednesdays, March 3 – April 28

Where:
The Phoenix Theater Annex
414 Mason Street, San Francisco

Time:
11am – 2pm

Fee:

  • Before 2/17/10 $250. per month Early Bird Special!
  • After 2/17/10 $275 per month
  • Register early, class size is limited
Velina Brown is a busy stage, screen, and voice over actor, with credits at the Tony and Obie award winning San Francisco Mime Troupe, ACT, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and the Magic Theater among others. Recent screen credits include Trauma, Bee Season, Maladaptive, and Milk.

For the past two years she has also been a career advice columnist for Theater Bay Area Magazine.

Velina@nullbusinessofshowbiz.com
(415) 928-0592

www.BusinessofShowbiz.com

Alvin Ailey’s Judith Jamison Preparing to Move On

For all of you danceophiles and balletomanes, you’ve watched that quintessentially American modern dance company, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (click link for videos and more!), flourish, wane, and then flourish again over its 40 year history. The company started in 1969, under the leadership and artistic vision of dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey. His company was revolutionary for its time because: 1) there were virtually no modern dance companies with Black dancers, 2) he used Black dancers in his company and 3) though the dance vocabulary was strictly from the modern genre, he infused the dances and the body language with Black vernacular themes and movements.

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From his company, Judith Jamison became the Ailley’s version of a prima ballerina. She was not the usual dance type of that time (or this), which was short, waif-like, and, invariably, white –or passably white. Ms. Jamison was tall and lithe, curvy, and dark-hued. She was also a strong, aggressive dancer who attacked each movement. Audience members seemed to understand that her dance was speaking to a much larger issue than just movements.

[picappgallerysingle id=”2622406″]Mr. Ailey created a dance to highlight her essence and her long limbs, and it became a standard dance for the company, and can still be seen today. She performed the solo Cry, which was supposed to be a piece within the larger dance called Revelations. Her performances brought audiences to their feet, and her fierce dancing spoke about the struggles and life of a Black woman –a topic that was never approached previously.

The Ailey company also produced such renowned dancers as Carmen De Lavallade and Masazumi Chaya, in addition to Ms. Jamison.

Unfortunately, in 1989, Mr. Ailey passed away. The company faltered while it tried to get its foothold. There were struggles regarding the direction of the company, and who should lead. During that same year, Ms. Jamison became the Artistic Director of the company.

Under her direction, the company grew, and continued Mr. Ailey’s vision, while also acquiring a new, state-of-the-art facility on West 55th Street.

According to AOL Black Voices, the company has been seriously searching for a new director for the past three years. Ms. Jamison is trying to gradually move on, while she is committed to a seamless process of knowledge transfer. From the same article, she states, “This company is about past, present and future, and I’m seriously reaching into the future,” she shared. “I am not going be around here forever. I want 50 years more for this company, and while I am here, I really want to do this process.”

Regardless of who they select, the vision of Ailey has been in capable hands for 20 years. Hopefully, the vision will continue, as will the spirit of Alvin Ailey, himself.

Actress Alaina Reed Hall Dies of Breast Cancer

Over the weekend, TV actress Samaria Graham delivered some sad news that actress Alaina Reed Hall passed away. Mrs. Hall played Ms. Graham’s TV mother on the hit television series “Blossom.”

Mrs. Reed –a stage, film and television actress– was well known for her roles on “Sesame Street” (as Gordon’s little sister, the photographer), and her recurring roles on “227” and “Cleghorne.” Mrs. Hall was 66 years old. She will be sorely missed.

(Re-post from AOL Black Voices – http://www.bvnewswire.com/2009/12/22/alaina-reed-hall-actress-dies-breast-cancer/)

Alaina Reed Hall, the beloved actress who starred on ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘227’ after appearing on Broadway, lost her battle to breast cancer on Dec. 17 at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 66.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Reed Hall was diagnosed with a terminal form of the disease in 2007.

Following her humble beginnings in the 1974 off-Broadway production ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road,’ the Springfield, Ohio, native joined ‘Sesame Street’ in 1976, where she played a professional photographer named Olivia.

In a 2004 interview, Reed Hall described the pivotal role as “the best job I ever had.”

Looking for Talent!! Conscious female rappers/artists/dancers/poets, etc…

———————–
DISCLAIMER: This event is NOT sponsored or hosted by the IBWFF. This is a re-post. As with any audition or casting call announcement, you are strongly encouraged to use your best judgment in attending an audition or casting call. It is your responsibility to contact local authorities if you suspect illegal activities, exploitation or violence from the hosts, attendees or other parties in attendance
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DEADLINES:
**PLEASE APPLY BY JANUARY 5TH, 2010 FOR SPECIAL CONSIDERATION**
**LAST DAY TO APPLY IS JAN. 12TH, 2010**

Are you a FEMALE MC with a slick flow, crazy style, and great stage presence? Or are you a FEMALE VISUAL ARTIST, SPOKEN WORD POET, or DANCER? Are you also politically conscious and inspire others through your work?

If so please apply for Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen, Vol. 3: Back To Our Roots, Environmental Justice, Education Equality

We are looking for conscious female rappers/artists/dancers/poets, etc… Who are interested in performing on:
Saturday March 6th, 2010
at Hostos Community College
in the Bronx
for
Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen, Vol. 3: Back To Our Roots, Environmental Justice, Education Equality

If interested please apply by:

  1. Going online to www.mhhk.org
  2. Click on “Vol. 3: 2010”
  3. On the left hand side of the page you will see the link “Participant Application
  4. Click that link, and apply!

Please email hiphopkitchen@nullgmail.com if you have any questions

**PLEASE APPLY BY JANUARY 5TH, 2010 FOR SPECIAL CONSIDERATION**
**LAST DAY TO APPLY IS JAN. 12TH, 2010**

Description of the Event:
Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen Volume 3, Back to Our Roots, will be honoring International Women’s Month by shedding light and creating awareness on Environmental Injustices and Educational Inequalities and their impact on women of color.
Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen will bring together women of color educators, students, environmentalists, djs, emcees, b-girls, poets, visual artists, dancers, healers, pastors, organizers and activists. We will come together through a hip hop showcase to express our solidarity with women’s rights!

The South Bronx is a community that has been in constant resistance, seeking justice in education and the environment. It is a community resisting pollution, asthma, toxic wasteland, and budget cuts for art, music, and gym programs. It is a community that lacks access to healthy fruits and vegetables, adequate health care and after school programs. The South Bronx’s need for reproductive and sexual health education is highly reflected in its high levels of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections.
In place of access to healthy alternatives, the South Bronx has an over abundance of jails and prisons.

However, the South Bronx is not lost. It has experienced a period of healing through leadership guided by community organizations and collectives. This leadership has lead to the creation of new parks, food co-ops, recycling programs, and successful cultural community centers. We have won many amazing victories as a community!
Join us as we fuse our energy, our politics, our ancestry, our traditions, art, song and dance into a brew for Environmental Justice and Education Equality.

Turn Up the Heat and Let the Soul Simmer, as We Stir this Soup for the Hip Hop Soul!

SAVE THE DATE

Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen, Vol. 3: Back To Our Roots, Environmental Justice, Education Equality
When: Saturday, March 6th, 2010
Where: The Hostos Center for Arts and Culture
450 Grand Concourse (at 149th St.) Bronx, NY
(Main Theater)
Time: TBA (most likely 2-5pm)
This event is FREE and open to all ages.
for more information about the event, please
visit our website @ http://www.mhhk.org
or email hiphopkitchen@nullgmail.com

Kathleen Adams and Lah Tere, Founders of Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen

Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen (MHHK) is a multifaceted hip hop event designed to showcase women artists, especially women of color. MHHK serves as a social justice community-organizing platform that educates and empowers women of color on issues that impact their lives, including HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice. Our mission is to create a dynamic interactive exchange and safe space for all women of color to express themselves through their art.

Dreamgirls Opens at the Apollo Theater

The legendary Apollo Theater is presenting a limited engagement of the revival of “Dreamgirls.” Turned into a major motion picture starring Oscar Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce Knowles, and the voice of the upcoming Disney film “The Fairy Princess,” Anika Noni Rose.

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The musical garnered major attention in 1981 when it debuted on Broadway and starred Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday, Phylicia (Ayers-Allen) Rashad, and others, who went on to star in film and television. The musical gained even more attention from the powerhouse performance of Jennifer Holliday and the signature song, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” The opening night saw such luminaries as “Dreamgirls” alumna Sheryl Lee Ralph, director George Lucas, and others. You can still purchase tickets if you’re in Manhattan on or before December 12 (http://www.apollotheater.org/calendar.htm)!

For Colored Girls; Rumored for the big screen

Post-“Precious” there’s another rumor circulating about the dynamic duo producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry: They will be producing a screen version of radical poet Ntozake Shange’s Obie Award-winning choreopoem, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.”

Rumors are also circulating that superstars Halle Berry, Lynn Whitfield, Angela Bassett, and Jill Scott will star. There are even murmurings that the queen herself –no, not First Lady Michelle Obama– will star in the production. Oprah Winfrey is not new to the big screen, and her repertoire and film roles have only grown increasingly intense with each new film.

Who will deliver this ginormous project? Lionsgate. It would only make sense considering that the Wonder Twins jumped on the “Precious” train, and catapulted the indie-film to new heights.

Halle Berry attends Keep A Child Alive’s 6th Annual Black Ball hosted by Alicia Keys and Padma Lakshmi at Hammerstein Ballroom on October 15, 2009 in New York Cityjillscott

Can they do it for such a raw, real piece of work like “For Colored Girls”? Again, the casting seems a little off, but apparently that’s what it takes for a film to have any chance for survival. Big names, and bigger supporters.

The poem doesn’t give any wiggle room for glamor, perfect hair or guarded emotions. If you remember the poem, it deals with serious issues surrounding Black women, including infanticide, and other hot-button issues.

Hopefully, this project will come to fruition and whomever is selected to star will bring the same unpretty grittiness that the original poem demanded.

“Ragtime” is back

In case you missed the Broadway musical “Ragtime” the first time around, be sure to catch it in the 2009-2010 season in NYC! Some of you may remember the movie adaption by the same name, which starred stage and screen performer Debbie Allen (“Fame”) and the late-Howard Rollins (“A Soldier’s Story”), or it’s 1998 revival starring the multi-talented diva Audra McDonald.

Everyone’s excited by a revival of this poignant and entertaining musical that covers three families, racial strife, political machinations, the rise of Eastern European immigration, and the clash of cultures between a burgeoning Black

urban population and the white industrialists who exploited their labor.

The casting call just went out this past summer, but the cast is already hard at work in rehearsals! Check out what’s to come and here’s a little reminder of the magic of the screen version.

6 Friendliest Venues for Showing Your Film!

As the curator and founder of the International Black Women’s Film Festival, you can believe I’ve scoped, prodded, questioned and “dealt with” a whole bunch of screening venues in San Francisco and Oakland.

To save you the hassles and the headaches, here are the “friendliest” and best locations to show your film!

Rental Fees:

$ = Cheap  | $$ = Affordable |  $$$ = You May Miss a VISA Payment |  $$$$ = You May Need to Sell a Kidney

Click the venue title to link go to their page

6. Kaiser Center – Lakeside Theater (Lake Merritt – Oakland)

Kaiser Center - Lakeside Theater

300 Lakeside Drive, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA, $$$$

Great folks who will work with you. Caveat, the charges for audio-visual are separate from the charges for the rental of the venue itself, so you’re going to receive two separate invoices …which adds up. Second, you have to provide your own projection equipment. They have audio, but you’ll need a digital projector. Third, the nickel-and-dime-ing can start to add up. What may seem affordable at first can quickly balloon into the $3,000 to $5,000 range if you’re planning a full on event with a reception, live entertainment and screening. However, it’s definitely a workable space and non-video groups like theater groups and dance companies can definitely benefit.

5. Sundance Kabuki (Japantown – San Francisco)

1881 Post Street @ Fillmore, $$$$

The renovations that were done on this place are amazing! I’ve had the personal tour of seeing some of the changes, including their sustainable design, which includes bamboo flooring that simulates wood. A big plus is that they have a restaurant next door, and a bar, just in case you win the lotto and would  like a dining and dancing with your debut. (The San Francisco Film Society uses this space, so either you’ll think it’s the coolest spot ever, or just over saturated.)

4. San Francisco Main Public Library (Civic Center – San Francisco)

100 Larkin Street, $

This 235-seat gem of  a theater is tucked (or hidden) away in the basement of San Francisco’s Main Library. This site would have been my number-one choice, but the Coordinator, Amanda Hall, was sent to a different location, and replaced by a less friendlier version. The tech people are fantastic, and patient. The requirements are a bit archaic and confusing, but if you get someone who was as great as Amanda, you’ll just be slightly confused and overwhelmed. Also, remember, this is the PUBLIC library. Any and all manner of the public may just join your screening…

3.  Foreign Cinema (Mission District – San Francisco)

Between 21st and 22nd Streets, $$$$

Fine dining, wine and film… who could ask for anything more. The configuration may be a little quirky and uncomfortable, but it’s a good atmosphere for fundraising, premiere screenings and special occasions. The big plus is that they have other areas within the complex for either small, private dining, or a more lavish reception area.

2. The Oakland Museum (Lake Merritt – Oakland, CA)

1000 Oak Street, $$$

The 2009 International Black Women’s Film Festival held it’s gala opening at the Oakland Museum of California, and the venue was absolutely beautiful. Other local groups use the museum often, including the Bay Area’s First Friday group. The only drawback is: 1) They’re closed for renovations, and 2) the air-conditioning gets turned off after 5:00 pm.  Other than that, look for their  re-opening!

1. The Delancey Street Theater (South Beach – San Francisco)

600 Embarcadero Street, $$

The absolute best kept secret in San Francisco! This clean, professionally equipped theater is hidden within the Delancey Street complex on Embarcadero. It is run by the Delancey Street Foundation, a substance abuse recovery center, and it is one of the best models I’ve seen of a social entrepreneurship in action. This is the fourth time I’ve used this venue, and it’s a gem in the yuppified South Beach crown. It’s also a great example of the what San Francisco is really about. Check them out!

Who Are the Worst?

No vendetta, but I’ve had horrible luck trying to schedule bookings at the following places. Granted people are busy, but when you’re basically giving them money, you just expect a little better service, and maybe a better attitude out of some of them. (Sorry we weren’t Pixar, but we had the money, too…) Maybe you’ll have better luck or a secret decoder ring for getting a response.

1. The Victoria Theater (SF) – Stank attitude.

2. Museum of the African Diaspora (SF) – Just unresponsive. UPDATE: They’ve improved their online information and there’s now a better response time. However –according to the website– you can only rent the salon for screenings. If that’s not true, then the website should be updated.

3. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF) – Always an excuse why the screening room is booked or scheduled for something else… no matter how early you try to book it. UPDATE: There’s a new Executive Director, so maybe you’ll do better. (Caveat, you now have to rent the screening room in conjunction with one of the other spaces, which now puts this into the $$$$ category.)

4. African American Museum and Library (Oakland) – So unresponsive I just assumed they were shut down.

5. 111 Minna Street (SF) – Talk about passive-aggressive. Emails, nothin’. Telephone call and an actual connection with the instructions, “Sure! Just email me the details!” Crickets.  I’ve tried on several occasions for several years, and they just have their own posse and their own agenda… I guess.

(This is a reminder that the arts in already in dire straights and we cannot afford to “pick and choose” which arts groups deserve to be treated with respect, or even equal treatment.  Hopefully, this list will encourage other art/film exhibitors to have a positive experience with businesses and organizations that want your business and will help you to have one less headache added onto your already stressful schedule.)

Rebecca Naomi Jones rocks “American Idiot”

Green Day’s punk musical “American Idiot” –based on their multi-platinum 2004 album of the same name– rocked the Berkeley Repertory Theater’s Roda Stage on its opening night in Berkeley, California. According to the SF Chronicle, the theater was full of energy and electricity with the creative staging, and incredible vocal chops of a brash group of singers and dancers! Rounding out the amazing cast is the beautiful and talented co-star Rebecca Naomi Jones, who also starred in “Passing Strange,” which also debuted at the Berkeley Rep.

“As seductive as Gallagher and Caplan’s voices are, it’s the women who generate the greatest rapport, particularly the beguiling and mellifluous Rebecca Naomi Jones (of “Passing Strange”) as Johnny’s passing lover”

—SF Chronicle

The musical also stars John Gallagher Jr., Michael Esper, Matt Caplan, Tony Vincent, and others. Purchase your tickets now because they’ll only be here through Nov. 1, 2009, at the Berkeley Rep’s Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St., Berkeley.

Tickets are $19-$95. Call (510) 647-2949 or go to www.berkeleyrep.org.

Read more at the: SF Chronicle