Monday, June 22, 2009

I need a Heart, I need Courage, I need a Brain, and I need to get home

Thw Wiz, now playing at NY City Center is in town for a limited run. June 12Th - July 5, 2009...time is truly of the essence if you don't want to miss out. From the very start when the lights came up and the stars took stage, I knew at that moment that this was going to be a hit. The line-up is as follows: Ashanti(Dorothy), Orlando Jones (The Wiz), LaChanze (Aunt Em/ Glinda), Joshua Henry (Tinman), James Monroe Iglehart (Lion), Christian Dante White (Scarecrow), Tichina Arnold (Evillene), and Dawnn Lewis (Addaperle). The amazing cast of this production brought their own uniqueness to the role they were playing and to compare what you have seen growing up watching on TV, you wouldn't be given them a fair shot. By far, I thoroughly enjoyed this play and it was good to see familiar faces you've seen on TV do their thing live and on stage.

Without giving away specifics, I can say this, the set design was great, the lighting matched the movements and the scene changes, the main and background dancers were in step and more importantly, the play kept my attention. I didn't have any expectations going into the show but leaving the theater, I will highly encouraged you to go and see it. I give it 4 stars.


Follow the Yellow Wiz Road

Ending on July 5, "The Wiz" just has a couple of weeks to wow audiences. This revival features a few of our beloved stars, including Orlando Jones, Ashanti, Tischina Arnold and LaChanze from Broadway's "The Color Purple".

I have to admit I had low expectations for "The Wiz" as I walked in the theater. As we waited for the show to start, I stared at the seemingly empty stage, in looking at it I was convinced that it would be a very low budget production. My impression didn't get any better, the seats around me weren't filling-up fast enough and when the show started some seats were still empty.

My first impression was wrong, the scene design constantly changes and deserves praise. A cast of dancers set-up the stage for the different scenes and dance to portray those that cannot be remade on stage such as the tornado. The only criticism I have is that cast needs to work on their cues, I noticed that some of the actors had a tendency of missing their marks.

Overall, the play was actually very good. Ashanti wowed me by performing to higher pitch than any of her songs in "real life". LaChanze is an extremely good singer and she definitely pulled-off the good witch part. Tischina, plays the evil witch and is my favorite character; she proves that she can blow. I do recommend this play to all who love Broadway. I don't necessarily think this play is for kids because of some sexual innuendos made during the play. The play does have a moral that comes at the right time in our economy and it is, "believe in yourself", no wonder the stars of the play and BET believed in this story.


Beyonce at MSG...SOLD OUT

This is Husband speaking...

Where do I begin and how should I start word, Amazing! Beyonce put on an incredible show and I must say, "B," knows how to rock a crowd. I like her music and after seeing her perform live, you truly get a sense as Jay-Z would put it..."got the hottest chick in the game wearing my chain." Last night at Madison Square Garden, Beyonce represented for women of all ages and each and every person who witnessed it, walked out blown away. Beyonce is still in town and if you can get tickets, please go, you would not regret it. By far, one of the most talented female singers of our time and I am quite sure, this is only the beginning for Sasha Fierce...


Ms. B Delivers a Flawless Performance at MSG

The crowd goes wild, we see a silhouette of the star and know to get ready for the concert of our lives. Beyonce appears in the center of the stage and starts a magical night for the many in attendance. If you haven't seen Beyonce perform, then you're really missing out on one of the new wonders of the world. B delivers a performance beyond my expectations from having been to a few over-the-top concerts.

Beyonce gives more than a 100% and does not look tired at all from 2 1/2 hours of performing. The voice, the dancing, and just her connection to the audience is unmatched. Beyonce is still has got it after many years in the industry.

She's still has once performance today in NYC and another in NJ. Good luck getting tickets though because they may be sold-out. As I was leaving the concert I heard a girl say "I enjoyed it and I'm coming back tomorrow" this tells that as much as "B" gives to her audience, her audience gives it right back with their unending support. Good luck B on the rest of the tour, but I'm sure you don't need it.


5th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Brooklyn is the Boro! I am a huge Hip-Hop fan and I love great concerts. I've been attending this festival since 2007 and I must say, this is one event you don't want to miss. The Brooklyn Bodega Festival takes place at the Empire Fulton State Park, the Dumbo section of Brooklyn sandwiched between the Brooklyn and Manhattan amazing view of the city right across the water! From NY to CT to NJ to PA, folks from all walks of life old and young come to Brooklyn to show there support about what they truly love...Hip-Hop! Just to give you an idea of the line-up; Pharoahe Monch, DJ Premier, Styles P, Dead Prez, Smif N Wessun, Brand Nubians, J Period, Torae, Uncle Ralph, Chip Fu, Tanya Morgan, Marco Polo, Donny Goines, Brown Bag All Stars, the list goes on and the all day concert is insane. If you are in Brooklyn next year around this time, I encouraged you to go, it would be one great decision made and the price makes it more attractive...Brooklyn is truly the Boro! Tell a friend...


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Can Bullock Be Bad?

The answer is YES SHE CAN! Although on hiatus for a while Ms. Bullock proves that she can be bad and to prove it she is back with a vengeance. The Proposal is one of the few romantic comedies of the year that is actually good.

The Bullock character is one we've seen before, a seemingly cold-hearted witch of a boss ala Cruella Davil, but younger and prettier. The story line is also one that's been repeated before where a woman pretends to have a relationship with a guy for "business" or other unlikely reasons. But in The Proposal Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock along with very good comedic script make this OLD idea the NEW of this kind.

As you can tell from reading this entry, I didn't have the hubby with me during the movie, he was surely missed. This is a date movie, a going-out-with-your-girls, and for anyone who is partial to romantic movies like myself. I know it's hard these days to spend the extra bucks, but this one is worth it.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Please Hammer Don't Hurt'em!

Okay, it is I, Husband. Hammertime premiered tonight and A & E and I just want to say this. I totally like the concept of where the show is going and even though other reality shows about famous celebrities exist, I think that Hammer's show shows a different side of what "celebrity" means. MC Hammer has had a very successful career as an artist, sold millions of records, you name it and through it all, his family has always been by his side even when he went broke. This family seems normal and not stuck on material things like most of the other famous families that opened their doors for the world to see. I was happy to see Hammer so involved with his son school, his grades, his nephew college choice, and his youngest daughter wanting to be a singer...

After watching the first two episodes, I will tune in and see what else will come from this show. As I mentioned, I like where the show is going, it shows a different side, no fancy car talk, private jet bookings, expensive shopping sprees, just a man trying to show what's important to him...his family! I give it 3.5 stars so far...


Hammertime is Back! (* * * 1/2 stars)

Hammer is back in the limelight. Hammertime, the reality show, premiered today on A&E. Although it is not fair to judge on just one of the shows, I already have a prediction, it will do ok. I used to watch the Hammer cartoons and listen to his music back in the early 90's, so I was eager to see what the show would be like. I like most of the shows' audience am I'm looking forward to seeing the "Hammertime" move and to reminisce about my younger days.

Hammertime, the reality show, is a family show. Hammer as the father in this patriarch, guides his immediate and more than immediate family through the usual family matters that happens in any other normal family. In the premiere show, his 15-year-old daughter performs and records her song with her sister. Though her skills are not up to industry standards, Hammer supports his daughter and encourages her to perform. His nephew wants to go to college, and his supportive uncle accompanies him on a College tour.

So far the show is good. We need more black families on TV that can set an example. In the show Hammer claims to be business savvy, we'll see how far that goes, since his 15 minutes of fame were very "unsavvy." I can't wait to see more and wish Hammer luck on his second chance for another 15 minutes.


Joe Turner's Come and Gone Review (* * * * stars)

I loved the Broadway play, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, it is just one of the many stories to be told about African-Americans after slavery. It's a shame that today was the last performance in New York City. Obama just should've visited sooner. It feels like New York is going to lose a treasure that was never found by the millions visiting and living in NYC.

The story is set in a boarding house managed by a husband and wife and the few characters living in the house that make it oh so interesting. The main story line focuses on Herald Loomis a resident who is searching for his lost wife. But the star of the show is actually an eccentric old man whose name is "Bynum" and who got his name because he binds people together. He is funny and delivers a great performance. He is the glue of the whole show and just like the fairy god mother is to Cinderella. Bynum advices everyone living in the house, while trying to find his "shiny man". The message of the story is not unusual, the message is simply finding and defining yourself indendepently of others.

As you can I see I loved the play but there were a few "odd" moments. The sounds of the performance were awkward and the dramatic effects sounded as if they were right off Friday the Thirteenth of another scary movie right before the killings. Most of time I thought those evil sounding moments were inappropriate for the scene taking place. Also, after the show, my husband and I had an argument over the vegetable crop that was position at the edge of the stage. My husband thought it was the front of the place, but I thought it was the back, I guess you would have to see it to really understand. We were too high up to get the full feel and sometimes couldn't see some of the action unless we leaned forward.

Anyway, the play was good. And I hope we do get to see others many others that focus on the African-American experience. Black plays can be mainstream and relatable to all peoples.

4* stars


Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Broadway, NYC)

Hi, it is I, Husband. Times Sq, NYC, The Belasco Theater, Joe Turner's Come and amazing play. Before I get into details about the show, I would like to point out what happened when we first got there. We showed our tickets to the usher and she directed us to our seats, we sat in the balcony, nice seats by the way, the seats that she said were ours wasn't. We found out when a young lady came over and said that I was in her seat b/c how the rows/ seats are numbered, it's kind of backwards...other folks were having the same problems as us. The usher who helped had a bad attitude with some of the people, not good, but she was the one to seat us...btw...there wasn't enough ushers working either which made it worse.

Okay, the play, amazing, I totally agree with this year's 2009 winner of the Tony award for best lead male actor, Roger Robinson, who played the role of Bynum, perfect performance. The other lead characters and supporting actors/ actresses were great as well but I was looking forward to seeing Bynum b/c he stood out.

I am still putting the pieces together in my mind about this play but I can say this, August Wilson, one great playwright is truly a genius! I would go and see any revivals of his works when they hit the stage again, the story he tells in his plays are timeless! Today was the last show but I would encouraged you in the future to go when it comes back to Broadway...I give it 3.5 stars


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Melba's Restaurant (Harlem, NY)

Hi, so it's me, Husband, here to give my wife spoke about the decor, etc, let me tell you what I ordered. First off, let me start by saying this, if you order something and it's not good, give it back and request something else. Once my wife and I placed our food order, we told the waitress we wanted drinks. The drink menu had a wide variety of cocktails, wines, beers, and so on. When I go out, I always like to try something new instead of getting the usual so I ordered this drink called "Malibu Passion," something like that, the only Malibu drink on the menu. When the drink was brought to me, I took a sip and was like, okay, this is not good, my wife tried it and said the same thing. I took another sip just to make sure and yeah, the drink wasn't good at all. First of all, it tasted like straight juice w/o even a dash of alcohol, blah!

The waitress came back over to the table and you know the routine, "How's everything?" I told the young lady to please take this back, I said it's not good, can you please bring me another cocktail, I ended up ordering Sangria like my wife, great choice. Like I mentioned earlier, if it's something you don't like, give it back.

Okay, let's move on to what I had for dinner. I ordered the Southern Fried Chicken w/ Mac & Cheese/ Grandma's potato salad...I am a Southerner, always looking for good fried chicken. When the plate arrived, I was like yeah, here we go, time to dig in and get my grub on, LOL. As I am eating, especially soul food, I try not to make any comparisons; nothing compares to my parents cooking and the authentic food spots in the South, hands down. At this point, I am taking it all in, by the third bite, I was like, okay, not bad, I can get through it without totally bashing it. I must say, it was good but to me, it seem like one little flavor was missing from the chicken, don't get me wrong, I am just use to a certain style, but I respect anyone trying to cook southern food...won't knock it. The mac & cheese was pretty good and so was the potato salad, but again, one little flavor was missing. It's like this, if you grew up in the South, you would understand exactly what I am saying b/c it's a different taste here in the North as opposed to the South.

Overall, I give this restaurant a 3.5 like my wife. I would go back if I am in that area of Harlem and wanted to eat in a nice space, fast and accommodating. Oh, one more thing, yeah, the sweet potato pie was just potato pie, nothing sweet about it, once again, I have to take it back to my roots, not everyone is skilled in the area of making good pies, please take a trip down South and get the true "Soul" food experience.


Melba's Restaurant Review (* * * 1/2 stars)

This is our first review of a soul food restaurant in Harlem, NY called Melba's. We heard about Melba's through a family member and were very excited to try it. Here's my review.

My husband and I walked in and were promptly seated. I was excited to taste the food because of the very nice decor of the restaurant. It looked like a very chic but quaint restaurant. The walls were covered with white wood panels, and the rest of the decor was black and wood, with sprinkles of artwork in the room. There were mirrors on the back wall which made the room seem larger and modern chandeliers hung from the high ceilings.

Now comes the fun part, the FOOD. We were starving, I mean S T A R V I N G and couldn't wait to eat a bite. I hope it didn't impair our judgement, I don't think it did. We were conscious of what we were doing.

We started with drinks and shared an appetizer. For drink, I chose the SANGRIA, I just love sangrias because I convince myself that it is a healthy choice. I mean it has red wine and fruits which doctors say is what people need to be healthy. I was just trying to get my healthy on. It was very good. Had the right amount of alcohol (I mean red wine, good for the heart) and a dose of fruit (a half of an strawberry, but I'm sure it had orange juice too).

I chose the appetizer, which my husband and I shared. An empanada, that appealed to me because I'm Dominican and we eats empanadas all the time whenever we get a chance. Anyway, we ordered one cheese and spinach appetizer to share. I thought it was good but was filled with air. It came with a very good sweet sauce (seemed like duck sauce). It relieved my starving stomach for a few minutes.

Then came the food. I ordered theCatfish and a side of Spinach and Mac and Cheese. The presentation was good, a very nice size plate, which is always good in my opinion. Then I tasted the Catfish and it seem uninspired. I mean it was good, but it was the kind of fish I could make at home, not by a chef and at $15 a plate. It really had no taste. It seemed like it was seasoned with salt and pepper and fried. The Spinach was good but again not very unique, not the kind of food you go out to eat. I loved the Mac & Cheese, they did hit it out of the Park with it. It has just the right amount of cheese and mix of cheeses. I mean it was slammmming.

Oh I forgot to mention the last part of the meal which was equally forgettable. We ordered the the Sweet Potato Pie to go. We got home and tasted it, but seemed storebought. We paid $5 bucks for a slice when we could have bought the whole box for $10. I don't recommend it!

Anyway, I give this restaurant 3.5 stars. It's good if you're hungry and want to go out with your husband and not cook at home. More than likely, I will not visit the restaurant again because I I go out to eat to get what I don't get at home. But if I happen to pass by Melba's one day, then I will order the Mac & Cheese to go.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Holidays....From the Wife

Ok. I have to respond to my husband's comment there below this one. My husband thinks he does not celebrate Valentine's Day but he does, therefore, in his eyes Valentine's Day is a holiday. It appears in most calendars and heck why are they all selling all the Valentine-related stuff if it is not a holiday. And why do we go out to dinner on that particular day anyway? I think my husband forgot to tell you that I asked him to forget about dinner on Valentine's Day since we were not celebrating, but he did not. He got me a Valentine's Day card and we went to dinner as we usually CELEBRATE!!!!

I could keep writing and say why Thanksgiving is a holiday, but again is also in the calendar. In 2008 in particular, we flew to see his parents and his family which means we're celebrating otherwise I would be taking trips every other week cause I really love to travel.



So, yeah, holidays, my wife and I was having a convo over the weekend and somehow or another the topic of holidays came up. I mentioned to her that I don't think V-Day is a national holiday since it's on the calendar nor is Thanksgiving Day, etc... It is like this, just b/c it's written and folks tend to celebrate those days, it's not enough for me b/c if you love someone, you can show them love daily and if you have good health, food to eat and a place to lay your head, you can most def give thanks... BTW, I go out to eat on V-Day and I get together with family for turkey day but just b/c I do that, doesn't mean I am celebrating, I am enjoying the moment...


Monday, June 1, 2009

The Introduction

Ok. So this is the deal. My husband and I will be posting comments on a weekly basis. We will review the things that affect our lives. We will each post a comment from our point of view, How will you be able to tell who's who? Well, we have nicknames:
my husband = husband