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Memphis playwright puts twist on the ‘Prodigal Son’ story

 Memphis playwright puts twist on the ‘Prodigal Son’ story
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, a man seeks his inheritance, wastes it, returns home, and is welcomed back with open arms. A Memphis playwright added a twist to this story and turned it into a gospel stage play, which debuted July 12th at the West Memphis Civic Auditorium.
 
T.L. Gathen, a business applications advisor at FedEx and president of Majestic Kingdom Melodies (MKM) Productions, wrote “From a Mess to a Miracle.” It follows A.J. Clarkesdale (Jarvis Taylor), who returns home after hitting rock bottom, hoping to be welcomed back into his father’s house and TV station.  However, his stepmother, Gertrude Clarkesdale (Jennifer Gomez), is not happy about him interrupting the life she and her son, Reggie (Malik Walker), have with A.J.’ s father, Andrew (Rodney Burns), and A.J. has to move in with his church-going Aunt Maxine (Joann Bell).  

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  • Written by Brittney Gathen-Special to The New Tri-State Defender

A serving of comedy, with D. L. Hughley as the main course

A serving of comedy, with D. L. Hughley as the main course
 
In full spectator mode, I showed up at the new Chuckles Comedy House in Cordova hungry for comedy and braced for long lines and lagged show times from a new business. My downside expectations were completely wrong.
 
The entire staff was on point. There was an ample wait crew, efficient cashiers and prompt show times. Serve up the comedy!

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  • Written by Ashley Grandberry-Special to The New Tri-State Defender

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK
BIG BUDGET FILMS    
 
“Planes: Fire & Rescue” (PG for action and peril) Animated sequel finds crop duster-turned-air racer Dusty (Dane Cook) joining forces with a team of smoke-jumping helicopters and all-terrain vehicles to fight a massive forest fire. Voice cast features Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Cedric the Entertainer, Ed Harris, Teri Hatcher, Regina King, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. 
 
“The Purge: Anarchy” (R for profanity and graphic violence) Serendipitous horror sequel follows a quintet’s (Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez and Zoe Soul) struggle to survive on the annual national holiday during which crime is legal, even murder. Cast includes John Beasley, Michael K. Williams, Justina Machado and Jack Conley.    

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Rosie Perez: The ‘Handbook for an Unpredictable Life’

Rosie Perez: The ‘Handbook for an Unpredictable Life’
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.”  
 

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

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

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