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Entertainment

Rosie Perez: The ‘Handbook for an Unpredictable Life’

rosie perez
Rosie Maria Perez was born on Sept. 6, 1964 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where she was raised in a Catholic orphanage after being abandoned by her mom and taken from her aunt. She made a most memorable screen debut as Spike Lee’s girlfriend, Tina, in “Do the Right Thing,” and later landed an Oscar-nomination for a nonpareil performance in “Fearless.” Her many other credits include “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Won’t Back Down” and “The Counselor.”
 
Rosie serves as the Artistic Chair of Urban Arts Partnership and sits on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Here, she talks about her career and her autobiography, “Handbook for an Unpredictable Life.”  
 

The SugaShack – ‘make-shift funky’ & ‘soulfoul good’

suga shack
 
The nightlife in Memphis is diverse, even though some think it is not on par with other metropolitan cities. Amid that backdrop one local group of club owners is laboring to place Memphis back on the map for juke joints.
 
Located in the basement of Bon Ton Restaurant on Monroe, the SugaShack is every bit of a flashback in time to when music was “real” – and so were the singers.  During my visit I was treated to an amazing tribute to Stevie Wonder. 
 
The conductor for our journey to the SugaShack is Larry Springfield.

Memphis makes room for comedy

Myron
If there was ever a void in Memphis when it comes to comedy, it doesn’t exist anymore. No more waiting for the occasional comedy show to come to the Orpheum or Cannon Center. Big laughs can now be found in Memphis as often as “weekly”. 
 
Perignon’s Restaurant & Lounge, located at 2818 Coleman Road, has been very successful with “J. Young Presents Saturday Night Laughs,” which commands quite a following every first Saturday of each month.
 
Jason Young, Saturday Night Laughs promoter, wanted a night that couples could prepare in advance for and serve as a date night for married couples. “I would love for SNL to be that event where people reconnect their lives to laughter with one another because it's good for the soul.”

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kams Kaps
 
BIG BUDGET FILMS    
 
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (PG-13 for intense violence and brief profanity) Eighth installment in the storied sci-fi franchise finds burgeoning nation of genetically-altered primates threatened by a band of humans who survived the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. Ensemble cast includes Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke and Judy Greer. 
 
 
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS  
 
“Affluenza” (Unrated) Class conscious drama, set in 2008, about a social-climbing, pot-smoking shutterbug (Ben Rosenfield) who abandons his humdrum life to hang out in the Hamptons with his gorgeous cousin (Nicola Peltz) and her clique of privileged friends. With Steve Guttenberg, Greg Sulkin, Grant Gustin and Samantha Mathis.
 
“As It Is in Heaven” (Unrated) Shaken faith drama about a cult leader’s (Chris Nelson) struggle to hold onto his flock following the failure of his recently-deceased predecessor (John Lina) to predict the end of the world. Cast includes Luke Beavers, Sylvia Boykin and Meredith Cave.   
 
“Boyhood” (R for profanity, sexual references, and teen drug and alcohol abuse) 
Coming-of-age drama, shot in Austin, Texas over the course of a dozen years, tracing the life of a toddler (Ellar Coltrane) well into his teens. Written and directed by Richard Linklater, and co-starring Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and Lorelei Linklater. (In English and Spanish with subtitles)  
 
“Honour” (Unrated) Fatwa thriller, set in London, revolving around a hit man (Paddy Considine) hired to track down the Muslim runaway (Aiysha Hart) who has incurred the wrath of her family by dating a Punjabi guy (Nikesh Patel). Featuring Faraz Ayub, Shubbham Saraf, Harvey Virdi and Ben Bishop. 
 
“Land Ho!” (R for profanity, sexual references and drug use) Road trip comedy about a couple of geriatric buddies (Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson) who venture to Iceland to recapture their youth in a bawdy adventure of a lifetime. With Alice Olivia Clarke, Karrie Crouse and Elizabeth McKee.   
 
“A Long Way Down” (R for profanity) Screen adaptation of the Nick Hornby best-seller of the same name about four suicidal strangers (Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots) who meet on a rooftop on New Year’s Eve where they decide to form a blended family instead of jumping. Supporting cast includes Sam Neill, Rosamund Pike and Zara White. 
 
“Made in America” (Unrated) Ron Howard was afforded the cinematic equivalent of an all-access backstage pass to shoot this Budweiser concert flick headlined by Jay-Z and also featuring Kanye West, Jill Scott and Janelle Monae. (In English and Spanish with subtitles)
 
“Rage” (Unrated) Vigilante thriller about an ex-con (Nicolas Cage) who decides to take the law into his own hands with the help of a couple of buddies (Max Ryan and Michael McGrady) when his teenage daughter (Aubrey Peeples) is abducted by Russian mobsters. With Danny Glover, Rachel Nichols and Peter Stormare.
 
“Road to Paloma” (R for profanity, nudity, sexuality, violence, rape and drug use) Jason Momoa wrote, directed and stars in this chase thriller as a Native American fugitive from justice who finds himself on the run across the desert after avenging his mother’s murder. With Lisa Bonet, Tye Alexander and Henree Alyse. 
 
“Underwater Dreams” (Unrated) Overcoming the odds documentary about a team of undocumented immigrants attending an Arizona high school who enter their submersible robot in a NASA-sponsored competition against colleges students from MIT and other leading colleges.   

‘The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery’

The Rise
 
 
I flunked out of high school before recovering sufficiently to not only get a diploma but to subsequently earn degrees from three different Ivy League institutions and a top law school to boot. I rarely ever mention that speed bump I hit in the 9th grade, since I think of it as an embarrassing blemish on an otherwise-stellar academic record.
 
 
But I suspect that Sarah Lewis would have me celebrate that temporary setback as a necessary step on the road to success. For, she sees failure as a much-maligned blessing, given how many of humanity’s greatest achievements “from Nobel Prize-winning discoveries to entrepreneurial inventions and works in the arts” followed initial attempts that fell short of the mark.

McLemore & College: ‘Where do we go from here?’

mclemore 600
The music industry ebbs and flows affecting – directly and indirectly – the lives of succeeding generations through an eclectic mix of genres, including R&B, blues, hip-hop, jazz, gospel, country and more. Memphis’ contributions to the industry’s evolution reflect a noteworthy flow via hometown record labels such as Sun, Ardent, Hi, and Stax, just to name a few. 
 
During my childhood in the late fifties, I grew up listening to Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays of the Stax era. When Otis and nearly all of the Bar-Kays – with the exception of Ben Cauley – perished in a plane crash over Madison, Wis., I was tremendously impacted. It was a sad time in the music industry.
  • Written by George Tillman Jr.-Special to The New Tri-State Defender