Harlem Arts Alliance Presents:  On the “A” w/Souleo

             Blair Underwood, Nicole Ari Parker and Daphne Rubin-Vega                      (Photo credit: Ken Howard)

 

 

Sometimes it takes a fake to keep it real. At least that was the impression left after the drag extravaganza, “Fabulous Fakes,” presented by Mary Flowers Entertainment and held at the Apollo Theater. In a glitter packed show, celebrity impersonators paid tribute to some of the world’s favorite legendary and upcoming divas such as Patti LaBelle, Mary J. Blige and Adele.

During the show comedian and host, Flame Monroe, revealed that the Apollo’s weekly “Amateur Night” is seeking a new host to replace current emcee, Capone. By the end of the evening, audience members were hoping that the hilarious Monroe would make a run for the position.

One person that should be a definite Tony Award candidate is Nicole Ari Parker for her captivating performance in the revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. The solid cast includes Blair Underwood, Daphne Ruben-Vega and Wood Harris performing to a thrilling jazz score by Terence Blanchard. Admittedly, Parker hasn’t had much opportunity to flex her acting muscles in previous works, but here she is a revelation of humor, vulnerability and pain.

There was a different kind of drama being served at the “Inspired in NY” event at Tian at the Riverbank. The event honored Essence magazine editor-in-chief, Constance C.R. White, TV personality, Phillip Bloch and music industry mogul, Kevin Liles. Camille Evans, founder of “Inspired In NY” proudly announced that Dionne Warwick has joined with Thuli Dumakude of the Thembalethu Beaders and legendary models Maria McDonald and Sandi Bass to launch a global campaign to bring awareness to women’s rights and the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Women and men in the entertainment industry face a different kind of fight; protecting their intellectual property. One organization that aids in resolving those issues is the Black Women in Entertainment Law Foundation, which hosted its annual fundraiser and honored Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO for BET. Prior to the event, the organization’s founder, Lisa Bonner, shared why creative talent should avoid using online legal services especially to trademark. “I don’t know anybody who used Legal Zoom successfully to do any type of trademark,” she notes. “Ninety-five percent of the trademark applications are kicked back, and at that point you have to go back to a lawyer.” If a legal representative is out of your budget, Bonner recommends the organization, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

As Bonner notes, there’s nothing like the real thing … just make sure you don’t say that to the cast of “Fabulous Fakes.”