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25th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards Announces Nominations Online



 NAACP Theatre Awards

25th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards Announces Nominations Online

*Beverly Hills, CA — The NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch’s Theatre Viewing Committee announces nominations for the 25th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards.

The awards include 32 categories, which encompass local and equity nominations. This year’s nominees will be announced online via press releases and social media sites with the winners announced in the first quarter of 2016.

This year’s Equity Theatre nominations include an array of phenomenal productions including “Porgy and Bess” with an outstanding nine nominations – Best Choreography, Best Lead Female and Male, Best Supporting Female and Male, Best Director, Best Musical Director and lastly Best Costumes.

Securing seven nominations including recent OBIE award winner Trip Cullman in the category of “Best Director of a Musical – Equity” along with nominations for Best Lead Male and Best Supporting Male. “Above the Fold” ties with seven nominations of its’ own produced by The Pasadena Playhouse with “Best Lead Female nomination for multi-Award winner Taraji P. Henson.

Locking in five nominations are both “Maurice Hines is Tappin Thru Life”attaining a Best Choreographer nom for Maurice Hines and “The Tallest Tree in the Forest” with Moises Kaufman up for Best Director.

In the category of Local Theatre nominations “Knock Me A Kiss” based on the story of Yolande Du Bois, the pampered and only daughter of scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois takes the lead with six nominations including Ashlee Olivia and Rosie Lee Hooks as Best Lead Female-Local. “Bag Lady”, “The Magic Flute” and “Sassy Mamas” all received five nominations including a Best One-Person Show and Best Playwright to Tammi Mac, Best Director of a Musical for Mark Dornford-May and Best Producer collectively to Vanessa Paul & Alex Morris.

Rounding out the local category all with four nominations each include “The Brother’s Size” and “Low Hanging Fruit” for Best Ensemble Cast plus “Bus Stops” with a first time nomination for Jaimyon Parker in the Best Producer and Best Supporting Male category.

The goal of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP’s Board of Directors is to take the star-studded NAACP Theatre Awards Gala to the next level by merging the awards show and festival into one entity. The 2015 live show was changed to an online format to give the creative/production team time to develop the platform to merge festivities inclusive of live theatre, as well as awards honoring excellence in theatre, into a four day event to be held Fall 2016.

Branch President of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Ron Hasson states:

“I am excited about combining the awards show and the festival because this platform will bring thespians and theatre lovers from across the country to the City of Los Angeles to enjoy the art that is theatre. The NAACP Theatre Awards Show represents an ever growing theatre community in Los Angeles and we want to elevate this already highly recognized event in Los Angeles and heighten its visibility nationwide.”

The Theatre Viewing Committee considers all candidates who submit their production from January 2014 through December 2014 for possible nomination. All productions must have a five consecutive week production run in Southern California (San Diego to Bakersfield included) to be considered. Productions who meet all eligibility requirements before the deadline are considered eligible for a 2015 NAACP Theatre Award.

Eligibility for this year’s edition was limited to theatre productions opening in January 2014 through December 2014. Nominees have been notified by the NAACP Theatre viewing committee co-chairs Martha Pruden-Hamiter and Barbara Bass.

Nominations and winners will be posted online and circulated nationally via press releases and social media.

For more information on the NAACP Theatre Awards, please visit or email:[email protected].

2015 NAACP Theatre Awards Show Nominees 

Best Choreography Equity
Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life – Maurice Hines
The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess – Ronald K. Brown
Kiss Me Kate – Jeffrey Polk

Best Choreography Local
The Brothers Size – Ameenah Kaplan
The Magic Flute – Lungelo Ngamlana
Visionary Man – Ali North

Best Costumes Equity
The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess – Emilio Sosa
Choir Boy – E.B. Brooks
Othello – Katherine Roth

Best Costumes Local
Low Hanging Fruit – Wendell C. Carmichael
The Magic Flute – Leigh Bishop
Knock Me A Kiss – Naila Aladdin Sanders

Best Director Equity
Stop Kiss – Seema Sueko
Choir Boy – Trip Cullman
The Tallest Tree in the Forest – Moises Kaufman

Best Director Local
Sassy Mamas – Iona Morris
The Brothers Size – Shirley Jo Finney
Secrets – Wallace Demarria

Best Director of a Musical Equity
The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess – Diane Paulus
Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life – Jeff Calhoun
Kiss me Kate – Sheldon Epps

Best Director of a Musical Local
The Magic Flute – Mark Dornford-May
Visionary Man – Tom Coleman
The Gondoliers – Alison Eliel-Kalmus

Best Ensemble Cast Equity
Stop Kiss
Flyin’ West

Best Ensemble Cast Local
Sassy Mamas
The Brothers Size
Low Hanging Fruit

Best Lead Female – Equity
Above The Fold – Taraji P. Henson
The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess – Alicia Hall Moran
Race – DeWanda Wise

Best Lead Female Local
Knock Me a Kiss – Toyin Moses
Closely Related Keys – Diarra Kilpatrick
Going to St. Ives – Inger Tudor

Best Lead Male Equity
Choir Boy – Jeremy Pope
The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess – Nathaniel Stampley
Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life – Maurice Hines

Best Lead Male Local
Bus Stops – Leonard Thomas
Knock me a Kiss – Keir Thirus
The Whipping Man – Kirk Kellykahn

Best Lighting Equity
The Tallest Tree in the Forest – David Lander
Above The Fold – Adam Blumenthal
Race – Josh Epstein

Best Lighting – Local
Low Hanging Fruit – Rebecca Raines
Bag Lady – Tom Meleck and Iona Morris
The Magic Flute – Mannie Manim

Best Music Director Equity
Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life – Sherrie Maricle
Kiss Me Kate – Rahn Coleman
The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess – Dale Rieling

Best Music Director Local
Visionary Man – Jeffrey Bonhiver
The Gondoliers – Leonardo Sciolis
The Magic Flute – Pauline Malefane & Mandisi Dyantyis

Best One Person Show – Equity
The Tallest Tree in the Forest – Daniel Beaty
Forever – Dael Orlandersmith
Paul Robeson – Keith David

Best One Person Show – Local
Bird Lives! – Montae Russell
The Devil and Billy Markham – Tony Winters
Bag Lady – Tammi Mac

Best Playwright Equity
The Tallest Tree in the Forest – Daniel Beaty
Above The Fold – Bernard Weinraub
Stop Kiss – Diane Son

Best Playwright Local
Sassy Mamas – Celeste Bedford Walker
Bag Lady – Tammi Mac
The Brothers Size – Tarell Alvin McCraney

Best Producer Equity
Above The Fold – The Pasadena Playhouse
Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life – Willis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, Arena Stage, Alliance Theatre and Cleveland Play House
The Tallest Tree In The House – Center Theatre Group

Best Producer Local
Bus Stops – Jaimyon Parker
Sassy Mamas – Vanessa Paul & Alex Morris
Bag Lady – Tammi Mac & Jackson Brown
Sassy Mamas – Vanessa Paul & Jeff Murray

Best Set Design Equity
Choir Boy – David Zinn
Above the Fold – Jeffery P. Eisenmann
Flyin’ West – JR Bruce

Best Set Design Local
The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel – Michael D. Ricks
Knock Me a Kiss – Tom Meleck

Best Sound Equity
Othello – Acme Sound Partners with Jason Crystal
Choir Boy – Fritz Patton
Above the Fold – Cricket S. Meyers
Sumayya Ali

Best Supporting Female Equity
Above the Fold – Kristy Johnson
The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess – Danielle Lee Greaves
Knock Me A Kiss – Ashlee Olivia

Best Supporting Female Local
Closely Related Keys – Yvonne Huff
Knock Me A Kiss – Rosie Lee Hooks

Best Supporting Male Equity
The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess – Kingsley Leggs
Choir Boy – Caleb Eberhardt
Choir Boy – Grantham Coleman
Bus Stops – Jaimyon Parker

Best Supporting Male Local
The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel – Kyle Connor McDuffie
Closely Related Keys – Brent Jennings

About The NAACP Theatre Awards

The NAACP Theatre Awards is presented by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Branch in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and co-chaired by Byron K. Reed, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo-West Region Community Relations.

The mission of the Theatre Awards is to entertain, educate, inspire the community and create diversity in the arts and entertainment industry. Ron Hasson is Branch President and Tia Boyd is the Executive Producer for the NAACP Theatre Awards Show.

The prestigious star-studded gala is produced for the purpose of honoring thespians among the best in the field of entertainment. The branch also celebrates a four-day theatre festival, which provides a platform for thespians to express their craft and share their contributions with an audience of their peers, the community and other individuals who celebrate live theatre in Los Angeles.





Lisa Humphrey-Premier Concepts
[email protected]


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EUR Reviews: ‘Mangrove’ a Must and ‘The Giant’ a Bust / WATCH



Letitia Wright - Mangrove

*“Mangrove,” is one of five films from the “Small Axe” anthology by Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”).

Based on true events, the film chronicles the 50th anniversary of the day in 1970 when 150 protesters of West Indian and African heritage in Notting Hill, West London, took to the streets because of police brutality. In a reign of racist terror, the local police raid Mangrove—a  lively community base for locals, intellectuals and activists—time after time.

When nine men and women are wrongly arrested and charged with incitement to riot, a highly publicized trial ensues. his must see film follows the Nine and their road to justice. One of the Nine, Altheia Jones-LeCointe (Letitia Wright), is the leader of the British Black Panther Movement.

Ironically, Wright is the sister of T’Challa in Black Panther. During the highly publicized trial of the Mangrove Nine, tensions ran high as they fought against brutal treatment and discrimination.

Mangrove march

Letitia Wright as Altheia Jones-LeCointe (center), Malachi Kirby (Darcus Howe, center, holding megaphone) in Mangrove. Photo: Des Willie/Amazon Prime Video

“Mangrove” is not only timely, but universal in its depiction of bigotry and injustice throughout the universe. The raw emotions that spill out into the streets, and at times inside the Mangrove, are real. “Mangrove” hits its mark going for the jugular with in your face necessary narratives.

Co-written and directed by Steve McQueen, “Mangrove” also stars  Malachi Kirby, Shaun Parkes, and Malachi Kirby, Rochenda Sandall, Jack Lowden, Sam Spruell,  Gershwyn Eustache, Nathaniel Martello-White, Richie Campbell, Jumayn Hunter, and Gary Beadle. “Mangrove” is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Giant

Watching “The Giant” is like watching paint dry. At least with the paint drying, viewers are spared the doldrums of Charlotte’s (Odessa Young) sleepwalk-like trudge through “The Giant.” Minutes after the film begins, Charlotte mother’s quivering feet are seen because she has just committed suicide. This scene is tantamount to what audiences are in for; in addition to a serial killer storyline.

Giant Odessa

Odessa Young (Charlotte) in “The Giant.”

Charlotte is a 17-year-old spending the summer in her Georgia hometown before heading off to college. Her questionable first love Joe (Ben Schnetzer), who mysteriously disappeared also returns. And Charlotte’s best friend Olivia (Madelyn Cline) only adds to the dire state of affairs with her dark appearances.

The surreal scenes and dreamlike sequences set up to pique the imagination fail miserably because of the monotonous and maudlin tone of the movie. Charlotte’s belabored, psychological trek drains viewers to the point where they could care less about the conclusion.

Directed by David Raboy, “The Giant” also stars Jack Kilmer, Madelyn Cline, Danny Ramirez, and PJ Marshall. “The Giant” is available on Digital & On Demand. Twitter: @thefilmstrip


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Kevin Hart Defending His ‘Daughter is A Hoe’ Joke: ‘It’s A False Narrative’ / VIDEO



Kevin Hart & Daughter - YouTube
Kevin Hart - Getty Images-1041954076

Kevin Hart – Getty Images

*As we previously reported, Kevin Hart released “Zero F***s Given” earlier this month, his latest standup show that was filmed during the pandemic in his own home! While many fans can’t get enough of it, others don’t seem to be enjoying his new work.

On top of receiving a few negative reviews from critics who called Hart “unfunny,” his show led to criticism due to a part in his set where he discusses his 15-year-old daughter’s love life. In the special, Hart joked that his daughter once told him, “‘Dad, I don’t like Rob no more.’ I like this boy named Tim.’ Instantly, in my mind, I said, ‘My daughter a hoe. This is hoe sh*t. Hoe activity right in front of my face.'”

Many condemned the comedian for his remarks, and now Hart is speaking out to defend himself against people who claimed he was demeaning his daughter but also attacking Black women in a conversation he had on a new app called “Clubhouse.”

“Alright guys, we gotta stop,” he said in a video posted to Instagram. “Stop with the false narrative. It’s a false narrative that’s being created and if you were in the Clubhouse and apart of the conversation, this wasn’t about Black women. It wasn’t about me going against Black… stop. A question was asked about the joke about my daughter and about me referencing my daughter having hoe-like activity. I gave an answer to it.”

MORE NEWS: Idris Elba to Interview Music Legend Paul McCartney in BBC One Holiday Special


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King Yahweh and The Kingdom of Yahweh Welcomes Miss Jamaica World’s Milinda Smith / PICs



KY - White affair 23 - img 3781a
KY - White affair 23 - img 3781

King Yahweh and Miss Jamaica World 2016 runner-up Milinda Smith

*On Saturday, November 21st, 2020, King Yahweh of The Kingdom of Yahweh held an all-white royal affair at his South Florida castle.

The posh event boasted lions, monkeys, performers, on-site massages, and a swanky guest list of dignitaries, influencers, and members of the Kingdom of Yahweh, who all gathered in the name of charity.

Mission of hope and gracevolunteering

Mission of hope and grace volunteers

Miss Jamaica World 2016 runner-up Milinda Smith, now a businesswoman and aficionado, attended the event.

She expressed gratitude and excitement for an invitation as she has been doing charitable missions with her organization Mission of Hope and Grace since 2014.

Her first large scale mission trip in Kwahu-Abetifi, Ghana, where private and public donors donated food, clothing, and medical services to those in need.

MORE NEWS: Lamar Odom to ‘Tell My Own Truth’ in Docuseries About His Life

1-King Yahweh and Milinda Smith

Milinda Smith and King Yahweh

King Yahweh and Milinda share a connection with Africa and a love for helping all people, so it only fits for a charitable collaboration to take place. King Yahweh and Milinda Smith discussed a humanitarian initiative at the event; however, details have not been made public disclosed regarding the initiative.

MilindaSmith and Consul General of Jamaica, Oliver Mair

Milinda Smith and Consul General of Jamaica, Oliver Mair

Before her platform as a “Beauty with a Purpose” beauty queen Milinda has always loved being of service to others. Her charitable work spans across borders, but she has never forgotten home.

With her organization, she has contributed to several rural communities in Jamaica. Some of her work consists of sending children to school, donating food and clothing to individuals in the city and those incarcerated, and distributing medical supplies such as nebulizers to hospitals. In recent years she has been more active in loaning her voice to her country and her people.

She has been working closely with the Consul General of Jamaica Oliver Mair on several projects and events. Most recently, on November 24th, Milinda helped to welcome 120 newly minted Jamaican citizens alongside the Consul General in a virtual citizenship welcome ceremony.

Ribbon cutting of Milindas Spa

Ribbon cutting of Milinda’s Spa

As a licensed esthetician and Ayurveda practitioner, Milinda created a natural skincare line, MáJas, which includes an array of products from face and body soaps to lotions and face masks. MáJas products can be purchased online at or from the gift shop of her spa Epidermasters in Miramar, Florida.

Epidermasters spa recently opened in Miramar as an expansion of her beauty endeavors, and the grand opening was quite grand itself. The Consul General of Jamaica, Oliver Mair, did the honors of cutting the ribbon to formally open the doors of Epidermasters, where facials, chemical peels, light therapy, massages, waxing, makeup, etc., services are being provided. The Vice-Mayor of Miramar Maxwell Chambers, Jamaican diaspora activist Capt. Dr. Rupert Francis and other dignitaries were in attendance as well.

KY - White affair 23 - img 3781a

Milinda Smith and King Yahweh


Milinda shares that she is elated by the strong possibility of a collaboration with the Kingdom of Yahweh and cannot wait until the time comes to take action Stay up-to-date with King Yahweh

Milinda Smith

Milinda Smith

(@king_yahweh_the_holy_ghost_) and Milinda

(@onemilindasmith) for updates on their projects.


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