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buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...


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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Broadway’s Award-Winning Producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey Join as Producers for Romeo and Juliet

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(New York, NY) -- Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey of Front Row Productions have joined the team of producers for the Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet, which is set to open at the Richard Rodgers Theatre this fall. The award-winning producers will join Susan Bristow in presenting this star-studded retelling of one of William Shakespeare’s best known and most beloved plays.

International film star Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings) and two-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad (Stick FlyThe Trip to Bountiful) will play the star-crossed lovers in this new production of Romeo and Juliet, which will be directed by five-time Tony Award nominee David Leveaux (Arcadia, Cyrano de Bergerac, Nine, The Glass Menagerie, Jumpers). The production also features Tony Award nominees Jayne Houdyshell (FolliesDead Accounts) as the Nurse and Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper (The Life, Chicago, Finian’s Rainbow) as Lord Capulet. Romeo and Juliet will begin previews August 24, 2013; opening night is September 19, 2013. In keeping with their effort to reach broader audiences for their theater productions, the producers have announced that 100 tickets per performance will be set aside at $20 for purchase by students and educators.

The new production will mark the first time in 36 years that Romeo and Juliet will be produced on Broadway. This version of the classic tale will retain Shakespeare's original language but have a modern setting that features Romeo and Juliet as an interracial couple at the center of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy. It has also been conceived with the Capulets as an all-black family and the Montagues as an all-white household.

Reimagining theatrical classics with African Americans or multiracial casts is a specialty for Byrd, Jones-Harvey and Front Row Productions. The company is dedicated to producing quality theatrical productions, and Byrd and Jones-Harvey are bringing shows to Broadway that are meeting with both critical acclaim and financial success.  The only African American lead producers on Broadway, Byrd and Jones-Harvey have brought a unique brand of diversity to New York Theater by mounting new productions of beloved classic plays with racially diverse casts. The company also strives to employ a diverse staff for its productions.

“We have had great success in bringing mainstream projects to Broadway with nontraditional casting because it works on so many levels,” says Byrd. “It reinforces the universality of the themes in great theatrical works; it allows actors of color to take on great roles; and it brings new audiences into the theater.”

“We want to breathe new life into classic works and into Broadway itself,” added Jones-Harvey. “Our goal is to mount excellent productions of great plays and musicals in a way that makes them accessible to the broadest possible audience, and it’s working better than we imagined it could.”

Byrd and Jones-Harvey are among the producers of Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, currently on Broadway and featuring African Americans in the lead roles. They also produced a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, with African Americans in the lead roles, and they mounted the first African American Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

The Trip to Bountiful is currently enjoying a successful run on Broadway, where it has also met with critical acclaim. Directed by Michael Wilson and featuring celebrated actress Cicely Tyson, Oscar winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., and Tony-nominated actress Vanessa Williams, the production was nominated for four Tony Awards.  Tyson took home the award for Best Actress for her soul-stirring performance in the leading role. Tyson also won an Outer Critic’s Circle Award and Drama Desk Award for her performance in the play. The production has extended its run to October 9, 2013.

In 2012, Byrd and Jones-Harvey brought a multiracial production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Broadway for another successful run. The play, which received rave reviews and a Tony-nomination, was also successful at attracting large, diverse audiences to its performances. A Streetcar Named Desire featured two-time Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood in his Broadway debut as Stanley, Nicole Ari Parker (“Soul Food”) as Blanche DuBois, Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent) as Stella and Wood Harris (“The Wire”) as Mitch. Directed by Emily Mann (Artistic Director of Princeton’s esteemed McCarter Theatre), it featured an original score by five-time Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof garnered praise from critics and audiences alike, and was the biggest grossing play on Broadway in Spring, 2008.  The Broadway production’s all-start cast featured award-winning entertainment industry icon James Earl Jones, Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, Academy Award-winning actor Terrence Howard, who made his Broadway debut in the role of Brick, and Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose, with Debbie Allen as director. The play was transferred to London’s West End in the 2009-2010 season, where Adrian Lester and Sanaa Lathan joined the cast. The West End observed record new audiences for the production, and it received the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play.

Front Row Productions also has a slate of new major theatrical projects in the works.

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A royal name has been given to Britain's new born prince

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When Duke William and Duchess Kate gave the world a glimpse of their new son on Tuesday, he didn't have a name. Well today he does -- George Alexander Lewis, the Prince of Cambridge.  Here's a shot of the young prince at a day old.



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Deitrick Haddon Remarries

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Deitrick Haddon has tied the knot for the second time.  Haddon  announced his July 20 nuptials on Twitter and shared a photo of himself and his new bride, Dominique.  She is the mother of
his first child, Destin Monet.  
Haddon is one of several preachers who will star in a controversial new docu-series that will air on Oxygen this fall about the lifestyles of prosperous men of the cloth.  In the promo the couple is seen having an intense conversation with his then girlfriend putting pressure on him to tie the knot. Says the new Mrs. Haddon, "If we plan on having more children we need to be married. Don't pastor me like I'm a part of your congregation.  I'm not."
At the top of 2013 the singer announced their engagement online.
Mr. Haddon made it official and tweeted his wedding day was one of the best days of his life.  
  1. Married & moving full speed ahead in God!! Yeeeeup
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bishop Paul Morton admits he may have fathered a child out of wedlock

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Bishop Paul Morton Statement on Paternity Story
Being a man of integrity and honor, Bishop Paul S. Morton is publicly addressing a story being circulated about a previous relationship that occurred prior to his marriage to Dr. Debra B. Morton.
Bishop Morton has always strived to live a life that would be pleasing to God. As most of us that have lived any length of time, he has experienced some highs and some lows and the aforementioned relationship is one of them.
“I wish I could tell you that I did right all my life, but I can’t. I have made some major mistakes and this is one of them.”
While in his early 20’s, prior to Pastoring and being married, he did have a very short-lived relationship with a Ms. Elaine Hawkins. A few months after the relationship, she informed him she was expecting a child.
Being an honorable gentleman, he never questioned paternity and provided consistent monthly financial support for the first 15 years of the child’s life without any legal filings. Subsequently, as financial demands increased from Ms. Hawkins, he requested and Ms. Hawkins supported, a legal agreement was reached through the courts establishing financial support the next 3 years of the child’s life.
As additional financial requests were made and threats of public exposure, he asked to legally establish paternity (DNA test) so he could with assurance claim paternity of the child. To his dismay, Ms. Hawkins denied the request. All contact and financial support ended at that time.
Bishop Morton has done his best to be honorable in this situation. Out of respect for Ms. Hawkins memory, who died of cancer this past January, he will continue to handle this as a private family matter as he has done for the past 40 years.
There will no further comments.
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Monday, July 22, 2013

RLJ Entertainment Appoints Nina Henderson Moore President Of Its Urban Digital Channel, OnCue

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SILVER SPRING, MD//, July  22, 2013 – RLJ Entertainment Inc., (NASDAQ: RLJE), announced today it has named media industry veteran Nina Henderson Moore as President of OnCue, its newest digital channel offering urban themed programming and original content, featuring some of today’s most recognized African American talent. Ms. Moore will lead the development and expansion of OnCue, RLJ Entertainment’s proprietary digital channel launching in 2014. OnCue will present provocative and compelling original content, including films, documentaries, and specials. Currently, OnCue is available via YouTube’s recently launched paid channels at youtube.com/oncuenetwork and features highly entertaining urban content from the existing libraries of RLJ Entertainment’s Image and One Village brands.
RLJ Entertainment, founded by Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television and The RLJ Companies, is a leading creator, owner and distributor of media content across digital, broadcast and physical platforms. RLJ Entertainment leverages its branding expertise, access to content and direct to consumer skills to optimize the value of its programs for distinct audiences. RLJ Entertainment, where Johnson serves as chairman, was formed in October 2012 through the business combination of RLJ Acquisition, Inc., Image Entertainment, Inc. and Acorn Media Group, Inc.
Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of RLJ Entertainment, said, “I am thrilled to have Nina join the RLJE team.  Several years ago she successfully launched BET Movies and BET Pictures with me at BET.  Her programming, production and business experience, skill and her creativity, will be essential to successfully expanding the OnCue Channel by attracting millions of urban subscribers who are interested in targeted online-delivered content that directly appeals to their viewing interests. I am very excited about working with Nina again and I am convinced that with Nina’s leadership, RLJE’s OnCue can do in the digital space what BET accomplished in the cable world.”
Miguel Penella, Chief Executive Officer of RLJ Entertainment, said, “Nina is an ideal person to lead this key initiative for RLJ Entertainment. With her impressive background and our success with Acorn TV, I know we’ll create an innovative Urban digital channel unlike anything else in the digital space.”
Ms. Moore recently served as President of Griot Productions, where she produced Woman Art Loosed:  On the 7th Day starring Blair Underwood and Sharon Leal; and produced TheHot Flashes starring Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, Virginia Madsen, Camryn Manheim, and Wanda Sykes, which is currently in release. Prior to Griot, she was Executive Vice President for News, Public Affairs, and Program Acquisitions at Black Entertainment Television and held the position of President and COO at BET Pictures. Prior to BET, Ms. Moore served as General Manager of cables’ first All-Black Movie Channel, Starz in Black, a joint venture between BET Holdings and Starz Encore Media Group. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and Harvard College.
Ms. Moore added, “The digital space needs a reliable destination with a distinct urban edge.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity with RLJ Entertainment to lead the effort to make OnCue that destination for consumers to enjoy compelling urban content. There is a huge pool of talented and innovative African Americans in front of and behind the camera that we look forward to working with and showcasing their stories.”
OnCue is RLJ Entertainment’s second proprietary channel. The company launched Acorn TV in 2011 as the first British TV focused streaming service in North America, at www.Acorn.TV.
About RLJ Entertainment –
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia with over 5,200 exclusive titles.  RLJE is a leader in numerous genres via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Image (stand-up comedy, feature films), One Village (urban), Acacia (fitness), Slingshot (faith), Athena (educational), Criterion (art films) and Madacy (gift sets).  These titles are distributed in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, digital streaming, broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical.
Via its majority-owned subsidiary Agatha Christie Limited, RLJE manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot.  And through its direct-to-consumer business, RLJE has direct contacts and billing relationships with millions of consumers.
RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute, and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its nascent branded digital subscription channels, and engages distinct audiences with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests.  RLJE has proprietary e-commerce web sites for the Acorn and Acacia brands, and owns the recently launched Acorn TV digital subscription service.
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GOSPEL MUSIC’S LEADING MAN EARNEST PUGH CRACKS THE BILLBOARD TOP 20 WITH “MORE OF YOU”

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Stellar Award Nominated Vocalist’s Highly-Anticipated CD
“The W.I.N. (Worship In Nassau) Experience” Releases 9/17/13

Stellar Award nominated balladeer, Earnest Pugh, has finished mixing and editing his highly anticipated “The W.I.N. (Worship In Nassau) Experience” CD/DVD that releases September 17, 2013 on P-Man Records. The project is anchored by the soul-stirring new anthem of praise – “More of You” – that’s now come in at #17 on next week’s Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart. P-Man Records has also just finished a typography video of the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfdoJGIKlcY and the track is also available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/more-of-you/id670426893?i=670427256

The power ballad was written by Pugh and produced by Grammy Award winner Cedric Thompson. “I wrote the song after spending some time in prayer,” Pugh says. "While in prayer I could hear - in the near background - my phone ringing and buzzing with reminders for meetings, etc. but despite the urgency of those calls and text messages, I felt compelled to stay in God's presence just a little longer. Before I knew it an entire hour had passed and so had several important meetings. My time with God empowered me beyond words. From that day on, it was evident that nothing mattered more to me than quenching the hunger and thirst for more of God."

Recorded live in Nassau, Bahamas in the Grand Ballroom of the Atlantis Hotel, the album commemorates Pugh's 20-15 Celebration - twenty years in ministry and fifteen years in the music Industry. The project includes the CD and a DVD video of the full-length concert that boasted cameos by gospel icon Shirley Caesar, Rance Allen, LeJuene Thompson and the energetic choir, Vincent Tharpe & Kenosis. Aside from “More of You,” the set will also include the studio version of Pugh’s recent Top 40 hit "I Believe You Most" that found the artist collaborating with J. Moss and the PAJAM production team.  Visit www.earnestpugh.com for more information on this exciting artist.
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R&B Sensation Joe Love is Set To Launch His Debut Release

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JULY 22, 2013 – R&B recording artist Joe Love, will bring his special mixture of sex appeal and music to Florence, SC for a Summer Release Bash featuring an electrifying performance and Joe's smooth vocals.  August, will be the launch of Joe Love's debut CD,with the lead single "Slow" currently available on iTunes.

Joe Love is known for his sexy smile, and amazing musical talent.  The writer, producer, and vocalist is ready to get on the road and start promoting his new project and introduce his music to R&B Lovers.

"I have been working on my music and trying to create that sound that always makes me feel good when I listen to my favorites.  Singing about love and my experiences is what I do best and I can't wait to get in front of people and share my sound with them," said Joe.

With a new CD on the horizon, and a knack for writing sensual and heartfelt love songs, Joe Love will treat new fans to R&B music in its purest form; from the soul.
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He's here: Prince William and Kate Middleton welcome a baby boy

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The British Monarchy announced on both Twitter and Facebook that Duchess Kate Middleton gave birth to a potential king today.  Prince will became a father as his wife Kate delivered  a baby boy at 4:24 a.m. Monday.  He weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces.
Their son is the third in line for the British throne after Prince Charles and William.

According to London AP the baby was born in a private wing at St. Mary's Hospital in central London early Monday morning with Prince William by his wife's bedside.  

The whole world was excited for the news as expressed online.  

U.S. President Barack Obama wasted not time to send well wishes from America.  He released the following statement :


Statement by the President and Mrs. Obama Congratulating Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

"Michelle and I are so pleased to congratulate The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the joyous occasion of the birth of their first child. We wish them all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings. The child enters the world at a time of promise and opportunity for our two nations. Given the special relationship between us, the American people are pleased to join with the people of the United Kingdom as they celebrate the birth of the young prince."
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