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Funny times two headed this way

Two of the biggest names in comedy – Martin Lawrence and “30 Rock” co-star Tracy Morgan – will make their way into the Memphis area on separate dates in the next few weeks. 
 Myron Mays

Two of the biggest names in comedy – Martin Lawrence and “30 Rock” co-star Tracy Morgan – will make their way into the Memphis area on separate dates in the next few weeks. Not only are these guys comedy veterans, they are television veterans as well.

African-American sitcom changed in 1992 when the FOX Network debuted the edgy urban sitcom “Martin”. America had never been introduced to such an edgy comedy. In fact, the last African-American sitcom to air before Martin was “227” starring Marla Gibbs.

However, I don’t believe that “Martin” the sitcom would be possible without “Def Comedy Jam” coming first. It gave America another side of urban comedy, a side that would change the comedic landscape for years to come. It was hosted by Lawrence, and although it 1997, you can see the influence of Martin – the physical comedy and all – in other sitcoms today.

Since the end of the show’s run, Lawrence has filmed numerous movie projects and is currently executive producer for TV ONE’s hit show “Love That Girl”. He has returned to his stand-up comedy roots and will drop into the Desoto Civic Center on May 5. Tickets are available at the Desoto Civic Center Box Office by calling 662-470-2131.

Morgan actually got his start portraying a character on “Martin” called “Hustle Man.” From those beginnings, he eventually spent seven seasons on “Saturday Night Live” before starring in his own short-lived sitcom, “The Tracy Morgan Show.”

On NBC’s “30 Rock,” Morgan plays Tracy Jordan, a caricature of himself. Morgan will be onstage at the Orpheum on June 2. Tickets are available at all ticketmaster outlets and the Orpheum Box Office at 901-525-3000.

Cheaper to keep her

Brian McKnight and Vivica Fox star in the stage play “Cheaper to Keep Her,” which starts this Saturday at the Cannon Center and runs through the weekend for four big shows. This is a tale of desperation and deceit and will have you at the edge of your seat in excitement. Get you tickets by calling the Cannon Center Box Office at 800-745-3000.

Ballet on Wheels

Ballet On Wheels is hosting the “2nd Annual Dance In His Name Liturgical Praise Dance Showcase & Competition” on Saturday March 19) at 5:30 p.m. at the University of Memphis Rose Theatre. They are also in need of volunteers to help out backstage and with vendor booths.

For more information, contact Christi Davidson at 319-8452. Ballet on Wheels is the city’s first and only African American Ballet School & Dance Company

Memphis Music Mondays

Monday March 21, the Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission presents Memphis Music Mondays. Don’t miss exciting performances by local artist and violinist Lyrica, the Bell Singers, DaAnna Clark and more. Join them at the Hard Rock Café on Beale Street this coming Monday. Admission is always free…and so are the appetizers.

Emissaries of Memphis Music

Join the Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission during a Women’s History Month Celebration of careers of eight remarkable women who have made significant contributions to the city’s music scene.

The night of great music and recognition begins at 6 p.m. at the Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Rd. on March 23.

The honorees are Amy LaVere, Barbara Blue, Dani, Dawn Hopkins, Valerie June, Lil Rounds, Sheri Jones-Moffett and JoJo Jefferies. The keynote speaker will be Mamie Coleman, VP of Music & Production for the Fox Broadcasting Company in Los Angeles.

Other participants include Miss Tennessee USA 2011, Ashley Durham, the event’s Youth Motivational Mentor, and the first female Shelby County District Attorney General, Amy P. Weirich, who will serve as the 2011 Emissaries of Memphis Music Ambassador.

There will also be a special performance by jazz violinist Lila and her all girl band. The host will be Fox 13’s Emmy-nominated reporter, Melissa Sheffler.

NEXT WEEK: A great new play kicks off at Hattiloo Theatre, and online radio station WRUG celebrates a milestone. Who’s gonna tell you all about it? Me, of course! Until then, that’s what’s happening!

(Check me out on Facebook, Twitter or visit www.whatshappeningmyron.com. Got an event you’d like me to talk about...or attend? Get at me! I’m at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !)

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