Saturday, March 17, 2007

In response to the question about the possibilities open for Jennifer Hudson, watched "Sparkle" again last night (recently out on DVD, with a CD of Aretha Franklin singing the Curtis Mayfield songs included) and the question is: why didn't Lonete McKee have a great career? Here was a young black actress of astonishing beauty, and she had an amazing singing voice. She did do "Showboat" on Broadway, twice in fact, but still, she never had a real movie career.

On his blog, Michael Giltz has a really delightful "obit" on the demise of Premiere... i still have my subscription, and i'll miss it, especially because Glenn Kenny had been trying to include a number of off-beat choices in his DVD selections (such as Ken's "Star Spangled to Death" or the "Unseen Cinema" boxset). But Michael's comments are really charming (cf.

Today, the San Francisco Asian-American Film Festival had a panel about the Asian-American "New Wave" which was supposed to include Roddy Bogawa, Jon Moritsugu and Gregg Araki; the moderator was Marcus Hu. But Roddy got snowed in, and his plane couldn't leave, so he wasn't able to go.

But the Asian-American International Film Festival here in NYC is going to be celebrating its 30th Anniversary.

Oh, yes. Two weeks ago, the NY Times had a special section on the upcoming theater season, and there was a selection of "artists to watch". One was Audra McDonald. And one was Theodora Skipitares! Christine noticed it first, and called me, and i had to look at the Times, and i was thrilled, i think these recent pieces based on Greek tragedies have been absolutely wonderful, so inventive and thrilling and with a string narrative thrust to go along with her most extravagant visual imaginings.

It was horrible this morning, trying to help Larry shovel the snow outside the house, because it wasn't snow, you shoveled down and hit ice!

What a mess!


Blogger Oliver said...

I'd like to comment on Lonette McKee. She didn't have a spectacular career, but everybody can't. Most actors are just work-a-day people who act here and there for years. Lonette got many opportunities that some actresses never received.

Big singing stars like Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross made a few films, but sat around waiting for Hollywood to call and offer them plum roles. Black actresses don't have that luxury. If a white actress becomes successful, she can sit back and the offers will fall in her lap.

If Ross wanted to play Josephine Baker, she should have bought the book, dug in her deep pockets and produced the project herself. That's what Halle Berry did with Dorothy Dandridge.

Aretha in the early 70s lost a lot of weight and looked incredible. She got offers, but turned down most of them. She sat around for years saying, "I want to act," but nobody in Hollywood developed Bessie Smith or Dinah Washington's stories for her. She should have done it herself. Now, she's too old to play either one.

I have been encouraging the legendary singer, Joyce Bryant, to get busy on her life story. It's filled with sharp experiences, drama, heartache and triumph. She was a pioneer in opening doors for entertainers of color in Las Vegas and Miami, right along with Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge and Sammy Davis, Jr. Boy, has she got stories to tell. If this happens with Joyce, every black actress in show business will be fighting to play her.

7:06 PM


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