The Day It Snowed In April: A Trbute to Prince

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April 21, 2016, The world received the unexpected news that shocked the fans of Prince Nelson Rogers. As a Prince fan, I was in denial that he was no longer among the living. I still needed more time to see him in concert. It was a devastating blow to the world of music and left fans bewildered. How could this be? We wanted more time.

Following his death, there were countless tributes to honor the legacy of music Prince left us with. Sitting with Grammy Award-Winning Rory Darvel, I learned that of all the tributes he attended following the unexpected death of Prince, he felt they all fell short in providing the closure he sought. The result of all the concerts Rory was invited to helped him create a unique show that he spent a year developing, a show that would bring him closure and hopefully closure for local fans.

April 22, 2017, Rory’s new production company, Attention To Details, hosted its first Prince concert featuring not only music The Purple One recorded but the music he wrote and produced for acts including Sheila E, Apollonia 6, and The Time. The two hour show opened with comedian and host Geoff Brown, whom I can’t say.enough about. He was hilarious and had the audience in stitches. Word to the wise, don’t heckle a comedian unless you are ready to have your *** handed to you, served up on a platter, which is exactly what happened on this night. Geoff Brown was on time with the comebacks while keeping the audience well entertained. It is best to have tissue on hand when you see this man in action.

The catalogue of songs performed included Sheila E’s “The Glamorous Life” as the first song performed followed by sexy performances of “Sex Shooter” and “Nasty Girl’,” and The Time hits “Cool,” “The Bird,” got the house warmed up for the main attraction. In true Rory fashion, the presentation of 21 Prince songs all performed by Rory included “Delirious,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Nothing Compares to You,” “Insatiable,” “Do Me, Baby,” with “Diamonds and Pearls” performed as one of several duets, were accompanied by a live band and very accomplished backup singers.

The evening closed with a screen dropped from the ceiling showing a montage of Prince pictures while his song, “Sometimes it Snows in April,” played and an interpretive dance was performed. This final moment of honor had concert goers crying in their seats. We watched as many of the pics we had seen time and again, as well as new ones we had not, pass in front of us bringing home the reality that could no longer be denied. This was truly a fitting end to the night that was meant to help bring closure to diehard Prince fans including this one who is finally accepting in her heart what was denied for the last year. The evening was filled with old favorites as well as a few that some had never heard before, as Rory, his backup imagesingers, the live band and the fantastic comedian kept us thoroughly entertained and I know Prince was looking down with that sexy smile we all love and approval in his eyes. I look forward to this being an annual event.

 

Life Stories by Don B. Welch

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Have you ever seen a Don B. Welch stage play? If you have not, you are truly missing out. The first adjective I wrote down when I started making my notes is talented. Talented writer, director and talented actors. Life Stories takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster ride with real stories about real life situations that relate to everyone. Anyone coming away from this play saying they cannot relate has not truly lived. Even if you stage plays are not your thing, this play is a must see. There was not one bad scene and all the actors were phenomenal. Don’s talent as a director is amazing. He truly brings out the best of his team and with such a large ensemble and that is no small task. Sitting in the back of the theater, this reviewer was able to observe the high energy of the audience and how well the cast engaged and interacted with their audience.

The ticket price does not include tissue so be sure to bring your own as you may find yourself shedding a few tears. They could be tears because you laugh so hard or are moved by the stories played out before you, or could it be both?

Meet the cast: Donna Walker Crockett, Delores Lakey Stewart, Stephen Slates Theresa Ford, Marvin Gay, Daryl Brown, Kevin John Peters, Petal d’Avril, Malika Perkins Blessing, Gina Harris, Shawn McDonald, Shannon Mosley, Syr Law, Lauren Elliott, King Orr, Lorenzo Hunt, Tobyus Green, and Jensen Jimerson. Look for this amazing group of actors as they grace the stage in future stage productions, pop up on your television, appear in feature films, or stream in your computer in the ever growing medium of web series.

There are only two shows left, Saturday July 26th & Sunday July 27th at Stage 52 Playhouse, 5299 W. Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. This is the last performance at Stage 52 before it closes its doors for good. To get tickets to the remaining shows, call 310 671 6400. The remaining shows are almost sold out so call now.

Walking By Faith by Donald B. Welch

This past weekend, I had the privilege of seeing an encore performance of Walking By Faith, a stage play written, directed and produced by Don B. Welch. This play is an experience that should not be missed. It tells stories we all have seen at some point in our lives. The acting in this play was phenomenal and the singing was inspirational. It will make you laugh and shock you but most of all you will be inspired. Don B. Welch has created hit that takes you to church and one that I hope he brings back soon.

Chocolate Storm’s “There I Said It”

Comedian, Chocolate Storm has led a life that many of us have and has chosen to share that life with us on stage. She shares her ups and downs and allows the audience to share the pain and confusion of a little girl who did not understand why. She brings the audience through many emotions in this one hour play.

The show was opened by Tasha Auset with her stirring poem “Mommy Dearest”. This spoken word artist is very talented and set the stage for Storm’s tale of abuse and coming out the other side a better person.

Karen Malina White’s directorial debut was a resounding success with the play ending in a standing ovation for Chocolate Storm and the team that helped her bring her story to life.

There are only two more shows left to see this show:
Stage 52
5299 Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Tickets are $20
http://www.inglewoodtickets.com or purchase them at the door.

Welcome to the L.A. Black Theater Experience

The L.A. Black Theater Experience is a blog that will feature upcoming or in progress plays in Southern California.  All plays recommended on this site have been reviewed by Lisa Tucker who is not a journalist but someone who loves the stage.  The reason this is important is because we want to provide real people reviews that speaks to other theater goers.  We feel this offers more personalized reviews.

Please note that if a local play is not reviewed on this blog, it can mean two things:  We have not see or heard of the play or we reviewed the play but did not feel the play is a good recommendation.  We want to support all productions which is why we will offer a local listing page for other projects in the near future.  The listing page will not note which plays we may have seen and we will not place any personalized notes.

We hope you will visit often and find this blog very informative and useful.