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Michael Rainey Jr. Talks Tariq’s Development in ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ / EUR Exclusive-WATCH

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*It seems like an eternity ago that fans of the hit STARZ series “Power” learned that James St. Patrick – AKA Ghost – was killed by his son Tariq. With four spinoffs on the horizon, Power fans may have lost Ghost, but the Power universe is strong and lives on.

“Power Book II: Ghost” picks up the action less than 48 hours after the earth-shattering events of “Power.”  Tariq St. Patrick  has stepped into a completely new world. His father dead and his mother, Tasha (Naturi Naughton) is facing charges for the murder her son committed. Not to mention the academic rigors of the Ivy League university Tariq is attending to earn his inheritance. Truly on his own for the first time in his life, Tariq is forced to split his time between school and hustling to pay for Davis MacLean (Method Man,) the fame-hungry defense lawyer who is Tasha’s only hope of getting out of jail and escaping prosecution by newly minted U.S. Attorney Cooper Saxe. With no better options, Tariq turns to the familiar drug game, entangling himself with a cutthroat family headed by Monet Stewart Tejada, that’s been at it far longer than him. As Tariq tries to balance his drug operation with his grades, love life, and family, he figures out that the only way to avoid the same fate his father met is to become him — only better.

EURweb’s Jill Munroe talked with Michael Rainey Jr. about what it’s like stepping up as the lead for the new series and what we can expect for Tariq’s development this season.

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On stepping into a series lead role:

Honestly, it’s amazing. I couldn’t be more thankful for it. 50 and Courtney believed in me. I couldn’t ask for any more than that. It’s insane, I’m still getting used to it.

On approaching the role of Tariq differently for Power Book II:

 I definitely looked at it differently. This isn’t the same Tariq. He just killed his father, that alone is weighing on him. His mom taking the wrap and he has to get money to support her and completing school with a 3.5 GPA. So he’s a whole different kid. He has a lot more to focus on, a lot of responsibility and decisions to make. He’s a new Tariq and he doesn’t have anyone to turn to. He has no one to ask what should I do. So he has to go for it to see what happens next.

In addition to Michael and Naturi Naughton the cast features some of our favorite characters from “Power” and introduces new ones including Mary J. Blige (Mudbound, “The Umbrella Academy”) as “Monet Stewart Tejada” and Cliff “Method Man” Smith (“The Deuce,” Garden State) as “Davis MacLean. They join Shane Johnson (“Power,” Behind Enemy Lines) as “Cooper Saxe,” Gianni Paolo (Ma, “The Fosters”) as “Brayden Weston,” Quincy Tyler Bernstine (“Ray Donovan,” “Modern Love”) as “Tameika Washington,” Daniel Bellomy (The Real MVP: The Wanda Durrant Story) as “Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Cross,” Paige Hurd (“The Oval,” “Hawaii Five-O”) as “Lauren Baldwin,” Melanie Liburd (“This is Us,” “Gypsy”) as “Caridad ‘Carrie’ Milgram,” Justin Marcel McManus (“Star”) as “Jabari Reynolds,” Woody McClain (“The Bobby Brown Story,” “The New Edition Story”) as “Cane Tejada,” Lovell Adams-Gray (“Coroner,” “Slasher”) as “Dru Tejada,” and LaToya Tonodeo (“The Oath”) as “Diana Tejada.”

“Power Book II: Ghost” is executive produced by series creator and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp through her company End of Episode and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson through his G-Unit Film and Television.

The series premieres Sunday, September 6 at 9:00 PM on STARZ.

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Japan Nike Ad on Bullying, Racism Sparks Calls for Boycott [VIDEO]

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Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka

*A video ad from Nike Japan against bullying and racism has sparked calls to boycott the company. 

The ad, “Keep Moving: Yourself, the Future,” released on Nov 30, features biracial athletes and minorities of Korean descent. The commercial shows several teen girls bullied in school over their differences, but they ultimately find confidence through their athletics, namely soccer.

The video has been viewed 14.1 million times on Nike Japan’s Twitter feed and has garnered plenty of critical comments. 

Check out the ad below. 

READ MORE: Naomi Osaka Wins 2nd US Open + Displays Social Activism Afterwards / WATCH

As noted by Reuters, Nike Japan noted on its website:  “We have long listened to minority voices, supported and spoken for causes that fit our values. We believe sports have the power to show what a better world looks like, to bring people together and encourage action in their respective communities.”

Meanwhile, successfu mixed-race athletes such as tennis star Naomi Osaka are challenging the country’s racially homogeneous imgae.

Osaka, who was born in Japan, rose to fame after beating Serena Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open.

Earlier this year, she surpassed Williams as the highest paid female athlete, earning $37.4 million in the past 12 months via tournament payouts and endorsement deals.

“To those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively fresh face with a great backstory,” David Carter, a sports business professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business, told Forbes. “Combine that with being youthful and bicultural, two attributes that help her resonate with younger, global audiences, and the result is the emergence of a global sports marketing icon.”

As noted by Yahoo, “Osaka’s $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements is also the highest ever for a female athlete, passing the $29.7 million payday Maria Sharapova earned in 2015,” according to the report. 

“I’m really interested in seeing a young business grow and adding value to that process,” Osaka told Forbes last year. “I tasked my team with finding brands that align with my personality and my interests.”

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The Wallis Presents: The Sorting Room Sessions with Barbara Morrison Dec. 5th

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Barbara Morrison 2020 - Photo by Tony Maddox

Barbara Morrison: Standing On Their Shoulders
ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 5, 2020, 8:00 PM
Tickets: https://www.thewallis.org/SR

Popular Nightclub Series Goes Virtual with Six Entertaining Programs
Produced by The Wallis Available on Demand December 5th 2020 – January 23rd 2021

*(BEVERLY HILLS) — The Sorting Room Sessions, the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts’ popular nightclub series, goes virtual with six entertaining programs, including two holiday-themed shows, featuring an array of captivating magicians and stellar pop, jazz and classical music artists. The programs are presented digitally on Saturday evenings at 8:00pm from December 5, 2020, to January 23, 2021, with single tickets and multi-show ticket packages now available. Purchase of digital concert includes 24-hour viewing access. The programs include:

Barbara Morrison: Standing On Their Shoulders

ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 5, 2020, 8:00 PM

Launching The Wallis’ virtual Sorting Room Sessions, jazz and blues legend Barbara Morrison, named by NPR one of the “50 Greatest Jazz Vocalists,” displays her stunning two-and-a-half-octave range and rich, soulful, musical interpretations in Standing On Their Shoulders, a musical tribute to the iconic jazz and blues singers Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald, and the songs they helped popularize. Over the course of her 61-year career, the three-time Grammy Award-nominee has performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the jazz and blues worlds, including Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Etta James, Johnny Otis, Nancy Wilson, Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett and Keb’ Mo. In addition, Morrison has guest starred with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra and Louie Bellson Band, among others. Click here for tickets.

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L-Simone Turkington Headshot

A Night of Holiday Magic Featuring Magicians Elizabeth Messick, Michaelann Awesome, Patricia Magicia and Simone Turkington ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 12, 2020, 8:00 PM Tickets: https://www.thewallis.org/SR

A Night of Holiday Magic

Featuring Magicians Elizabeth Messick, Michaelann Awesome, Patricia Magicia and Simone Turkington

ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 12, 2020, 8:00 PM

The holiday season promises to be even more magical with this special family-friendly program featuring four LA-based magicians. Musical, funny and enchanting, these elite Magic Castle members, including Elizabeth Messick, Michaelann Awesome, Patricia Magicia and Simone Turkington, will astonish and amaze the entire family with their gift of awe-inspiring holiday-themed magic. Messick, known as “The Siren of Magic,” enchants with her vintage flair. Close-up magician and stand-up comic Awesome weaves humor and mystery into her slight-of-hand performances. French magician Magicia mesmerizes adults and children alike with her uncanny abilities. Turkington infuses the sights and sounds of the 60s into the visual, card and mentalism effects that comprise her repertoire.

Audra Mae: Songs of Joy and Peace

with Dylan Meek and special guests Darren Criss and Tracie Thoms

ON DEMAND: Saturday, December 19, 2020, 8:00 PM

Powerhouse vocalist Audra Mae, great grandniece of Judy Garland, and keyboard wizard Dylan Meek infuse the yuletide season with music from the classic holiday films. Joining them are special guests Darren Criss (Glee) and Tracie Thoms (Rent, Cold Case, The Devil Wears Prada).  NPR declares, “Audra Mae has a compelling natural sweetness to her style that simply calls for attention” and Out magazine proclaims, “Singer-songwriter Audra Mae is kicking ass across musical genres.” The show is presented in association with For The Record Live, acclaimed for its a genre-bending form of live entertainment turning the soundtracks of iconic filmmakers into thrilling immersive theatrical concerts. The Wallis has a long and successful history with For The Record Live, including the acclaimed co-productions of FOR THE RECORD: SCORSESE American Crime Requiem and the record-breaking hit production of Love Actually Live.

An Evening with Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and Pianist Fabio Bidini

ON DEMAND: Saturday, January 9, 2021, 8:00 PM

The Wallis’ Sorting Room Sessions continues on January 9, 2021, with acclaimed violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and renowned pianist Fabio Bidini heralding the New Year with a musical journey to France. The program includes Gounod’s Ave Mari, Massanet’s gloriously dramatic Méditation from the opera Thais, a sublime cornerstone of the violin repertoire, and Ravel’s exuberant jazz-inflected Sonata No.2 in G Major. Meyers has been hailed for “playing that flows from the heart” (The New York Times) and her “vigorous mastery, unflinching technical skills and stylish elegance” (Los Angeles Times). Bidini, a finalist in the 1993 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, has been proclaimed a “keyboard wizard (with) a beautiful tone” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) “capable of an admirable simplicity…truly touching” (The New York Times).

Richard Shelton in Sinatra: RAW

ON DEMAND: Saturday, January 16, 8:00 PM

Multi-award winning British actor and singer Richard Shelton presents a cabaret version of his riveting hit show, Sinatra: RAW, a gritty portrayal of Sinatra at his final public performance in Vegas that has attracted sell-out crowds in in the UK, London, Los Angeles and Australia, where he won “Best Solo Performance” at the Adelaide Festival. The Times (London) proclaims, “Richard Shelton’s masterful take on Ol’ Blue Eyes is a must-see.”  Warning: this performance contains strong language.

Sheléa: A Tribute to Alan & Marilyn Bergman

ON DEMAND: Saturday, January 23, 8:00 PM

From the White House, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, to the Grammy Museum and the Emmy Awards, singer/songwriter/keyboardist, Sheléa has transcended the boundaries of musical classification with her versatile and distinctive voice. On this special evening at The Wallis, Sheléa will perform songs written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, the Oscar-winning married couple whose lyrics to songs such as “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,” “Pretty World” and “Smile” have earned them induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

San Francisco Classical Voice hails her ability “to leave audiences gobsmacked.”

Single Sorting Room Session on demand shows are $25.00 per household, for viewing on Smart TV, computer, smartphone or tablet. Multi-show series are also available at $60 for a choice of three events and $96 for all six performances. Patrons will receive a link and password on December 1, 2020. On Demand purchase includes a 24-hour window of access from 8:00 PM the evening of the performance until 7:59 PM the following day. Tickets cannot be transferred or shared. Tickets may be purchased by visiting TheWallis.org/SR, by email at [email protected] or by calling 310.746.4000 (Tuesday – Friday, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm).

For Tickets: https://www.thewallis.org/SR

For more information about The Wallis, please visit: TheWallis.org.
Like The Wallis on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

The Wallis Presents: THE SORTING ROOM SESSIONS

On Demand Performances:

Saturday, December 5, 2020, 8 PM – Barbara Morrison: Standing on Their Shoulders

Saturday, December 12, 2020, 8PM –  A Night of Holiday Magic
Saturday, December 19, 2020, 8PM Audra Mae: Songs of Joy and Peace with Dylan Meek
Saturday, January 9, 2021, 8PM – Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and  Pianist Fabio Bidini
Saturday, January 16, 2021, 8PM – Richard Shelton in Sinatra: RAW
Saturday, January 23, 2021, 8PM –  Sheléa: A Tribute to Alan and Marilyn Bergman

RUN TIMES: Each on demand show runs approximately 45 minutes.

On Demand purchase includes a 24-hour window of access from 8:00 PM the evening of the performance until 7:59 PM the following day. Tickets cannot be transferred or shared.

TheWallis.org/SR 310.746.4000 (Tue.-Fri. 9:30 am – 2:30 pm) [email protected]

 

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Blind Items

BLIND ITEM: The Pyramid

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*The following Blind Item comes Hollywood insider Enty Lawyer. Please address all inquiries and complaints to the original source.

The Pyramid: This foreign born A+/A list mostly movie actor had a pyramid built in his backyard. At first, he said it was because he loved Egyptology. That evolved into Egyptian themed parties that evolved into toga parties which evolved into orgies which evolved into a “volunteer” being mummified at the end of the party after accepting “seed” from one of them men at the party. There would be eye holes and a mouth hole, but otherwise they were unable to move. It used to last an hour and now the “volunteers” are often kept that way until morning so the “seed has time to flower.” Yeah, this evolution is just going to get worse.

Can you guess the foreign born A+/A list mostly movie actor?

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