I actually went to the CVS today to buy some peeps to decorate the top of a coconut cake. But it looks like they’re all out and are probably sitting in these dioramas for the Washington Post annual Peep Show (VI). The winning diorama was “OccuPeep DC” by Cori Wright of Falls Church, VA. And the Post jumped right on the “Power to the Peeps” subject line. How could you resist. Click on HERE to go to the Peep Show slide show. I also enjoyed the “Peepville” a parody of the Facebook “Farmville.” The cake will just have to stand on its own.
I was in NYC a few weeks ago, and there was definitely something in the March air. Children were playing on playgrounds, the hustle didn’t seem as brutal as it had been just before fall when I last showed up on the scene. However my last visit was the day before the Occupy protestors took to the park on Wall Street. After protestors were cleared out by police from Wall Street they took up a new occupancy in Union Square. It was only a few hours after I left the Union Square area the NYPD took charge again. The following evening it was the 1 million Hoodie march for Trayvon Martin. Seems like a good time for a Bill Cunningham distraction just for the sake of life balance.
GRAND OPENING OF THE HOWARD THEATRE Today was opening day for the Howard Theatre. This was my first time ever in the space. The Howard closed before I was able to buy a ticket for a show. Some people have seen this movie before. The historic venue had two re-openings in the past. The last hurrah may have been in 1980. The venue remained closed or more like in waiting until someone with the vision, connections, and financial backing could breath life back into it. Location made it a challenge. A subway helps. A combination of committed public and private efforts (Visit Howard Theatre Restoration – http://www.howardtheatre.org.) The Howard Theatre has a grand old history in Washington, D.C.
Built in 1910 as one of the few if not first African American professional performance venues in the United States, it hosted vaudeville artists and minstrels, big band and jazz from native son Edward Kennedy Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, comedians, soul brother #1 James Brown, Otis Redding, the Supremes. In its hey day, the Howard wasn’t an audition venue for the big time. The Howard was the big time. Before there was an Apollo, there was the Howard Theatre. It’s going to be an interesting reawakening for the Howard. There were lots of hopes waiting outside to see the new space. Hope to relive the sweetest memories of youth. Hope it will bring employment opportunities to residents. Hope it will never close its doors again. Hope that this will be more than a spring fling.
The Washington Post’s Peeps Show/Contest has become one of my favorite spring traditions. And this year is no exception in terms of creativity and talent. I never thought Peeps were food in the first place. Always left them in my Easter basket. My favorites were the chocolate anything and the colored eggs. This year the winning Peeps diorama went to an Arlington pair (girlfriend and boyfriend) for their rendition of the 2009 animated film “Up.” Check out the full story on the Washington Post.com.
My “Copyright Criminals” screening community partners The Future of Music Coalition and Words Beats & Life Inc. have teamed up to present “If I Ruled the Blogesphere” Saturday, April 3 from 4 to 7 PM at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th Street, NW). The event will feature prominent hip-hop bloggers in a dynamic conversation about how artists are gaining traction online, the impact of technology on music promotion and how bloggers and artists can raise awareness about important issues in the hip-hop community and beyond. It’s free for WBL Cipher members; $10 for non-members. Register or get more information here.
And the “Copyright Criminals” documentary now has a “Classroom” version available for FREE from ITVS. Check it out here. TREME premieres on HBO April 11th
Unfortunately, I don’t have HBO. I’m not crying about most of the other offerings on cable. But I’ll have to be patient, or depend on the kindness of Undercover Black Man and his colleagues on the team for the new David Simon series “Treme” which premieres in April. Great write up in The New York Times Magazine March 21st. I cringe thinking HBO programming executives had to be sold on Mardi Gras Indians with the woo-woo-woo thing. (sigh!) But buzz is generating. “Treme” is a new drama set three months after Katrina in a community just outside New Orleans proper, primarily populated by musicians.
Next FOOD & FOLKLORE – April 19 at Eatonville Restaurant – “Sophisticated Ladies and Food of the Harlem Renaissance”
I believe I’m introducing A’Lelia Bundles Monday, April 19th at 6:30 PM for Food and Folklore at Eatonville Restaurant (2121 14th Street, NW). A’Lelia is the great-great grand daughter of the pioneering hair care entrepreneur and African American millionaire Madame C.J. Walker; and the great grand daughter and namesake of A’Lelia Walker, a socialite, hostess and “It Girl” of the Harlem Renaissance. (Zora Neale Hurston was one of A’Lelia Walker’s artistic guests and admirers.)
The theme for the Food and Folklore event is food and parties of the Renaissance and a nod to the Arena Stage production of “Sophisticated Ladies” starring and choreographed by Maurice Hines opening April 9 (two tickets will be given away as a doorprize). The cost is $45 (plus tax and gratuity). The price includes a prix fixe 4 course “rent party” menu served “family style” and thematic drink specials. Reservations required. Call 202-332-6432 or email foodandfolklore[at]eatonvillerestaurant.com for more information. Don’t you just love the graphic by Michael Chan?