Culture Connection: 2014 Spring Arts Preview

I stuck my head out the window this morning and spring kissed me bang in the face.            -Langston Hughes

I don’t know about you but spring has to be one of the greatest moments we experience as human beings. It’s the time when we say good riddance to the cold of winter, the literal the figurative (praying hands clasped for those East Coast and Midwest folks, your winter sometimes over stays its welcome) and hello to a world of re birthing beauty in nature, longer days, approaching summer and yes the Spring Arts Preview on Culture Connection!

Spring this year is March 20 – June 1 and there is much to be excited about here in Los Angeles but also across the country and the globe. While we here at Culture Connection usually lean towards shedding light on local events, I encourage our Culture Connection faithful to tell us about other events happening in your region. Feel free to leave a comment with a shout out for an exciting cultural event in your hood and we’ll be sure to give you a shout out next week!

So without further ado I present to you Brother Malcolm’s picks for the coolest must see, hear or go to events of spring 2014!


March 12- 30 Paul Robeson at the Ebony Repertory Theatre is a must see event! Starring two time Emmy award winner, and Broadway star Keith David, Paul Robeson is a trip down the life of the iconic humanitarian and artist activist of the same name. Robeson challenged the America he called home and was once adored by only to become an expatriate because of his uncompromising stance on injustices in 20th century America.

April 9- 19 Peter Brook/ Théâtre Des Bouffes- Du Nord: The Suit is another opportunity to see a stunning piece of theatre. The Tony and Emmy Award winning legendary English director Peter Brook brings his brilliance to UCLA’s Freud playhouse in what can only be describe as a tour de force production! Du Nord: The Suit is a tragic tale of betrayal and resentment as a scorned husband takes out his anger, pain and frustration on his wife.

Set in apartheid-era South Africa, Brook’s innovative staging integrates live musicians performing African melodies and Schubert lieder. The original novel The Suit, written by Themba, was banned in his native country as he was exiled during apartheid.


March 27 Imani Winds featuring Simon Shaheen: Zafir Project will be a highlight of the spring season for me. Considered North America’s premiere wind quintet, I first heard this exquisite group of black musicians in New York almost a decade ago, where they forever changed my life.  Imani Winds has established itself as one of the most successful chamber music ensembles in the United States. Since 1997, the Grammy-nominated quintet has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, adventurous collaboration and inspirational Outreach programs. Check out this YouTube video of the ensemble.

May 12  Welcome to Dillaville Tour I’m sure there are more than a fair share of J-Dilla fans out there which means you probably should not miss this tribute to him. Slated to perform at LA’s own, El Rey is Bizarre Ride Live (featuring Slimkid3 & Fatlip formerly of The Pharcyde) & Slum Village. 

May 31- June 1 Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I have two words to describe this concert, happy treasure.


Now- July 20 Fútbol: The Beautiful Game is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) intriguing look at football and its significance in cultures around the globe. I’m particularly excited that Los Angeles native and Yale School of Art graduate Kehinde Wiley is featured in this thrilling examination of the world’s most popular sport. Don’t miss it!

Now- Summer The California African American Museum (CAAM) has several noteworthy curated exhibitions worth taking the whole family to visit. Of particular note is A Memoir in Movement: Carmen de Lavallade & Geoffrey Holder and QUESTION BRIDGE: Black Males. Both exhibits left me speechless with an artist’s divine ability to present black humanity as just that, human. The best part is admission is complimentary. Do yourself a favor and go!


March 27-30 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Nuff said.


April 5 The KJLH Women’s Health Forum is critically important and a must attend for all who desire to learn best practices for physical and mental wellness. Hosted by beloved radio station Radio Free 102.3FM, this year’s theme is A Beautiful Outside starts with a Healthy Inside! and ain’t that the truth. Chock full of opportunities for screenings, speakers and important health information this is a mandatory event for all the Culture Connection ladies! The event is free and online registration is open till March 28. Carpe diem!

That’s it for this week! Please remember to make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in. – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Until next week, Peace!

Brother Malcolm


Culture Connection – Keith David as Paul Robeson

Brother Malcolm encourages you to go see Keith David in Phillip Hayes Dean’s Paul Robeson playing at the Ebony Repertory Theatre from March 12 – March 30, 2014.

For more information visit

Please leave your comments and feedback below, or you may contact us via:

Twitter: CaliYalie


Hotline: (323) 455-4219

LA EVENTS: Fraternity

Three weeks after Dr. King’s seminal I Have A Dream speech,a bomb destroyed an Alabama church, murdering four young girls and
shattering the dream that had inspired so many.

Set in a private club in 1987, Jeff Stetson’s Fraternity explores the journeys of seven successful black community leaders whose lives were forever affected by that tragedy. It examines what happens to those who seek power, privilege and inclusion, while abandoning the sacrifices that made their success possible.

Showing at the Ebony Repertory Theatre, NOW through October 28th. Tickets are currently on sale. The show runs Thursday through Sunday, matinees included!

Culture Connection: Fall Preview

Listen in as Brother Malcolm gives us a sneak peek into some of the events coming to Los Angeles during the fall season, including By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, Robert Glasper Experiment, Fraternity, Meshell Ndegeocello and The Legacy of the Golden State Mutal Life Insurance Company: More Than a Business. For comments or questions, contact Brother Malcolm at or call the hotline at (323) 455-4219!


Photos by Anna Mae Lam Photography

Culture Connection: Wren T. Brown

In this episode of Culture Connection, Brother Malcolm introduces his “Angeleno Cultural Jewels” segment, and its first honoree: film, television and stage actor, Wren T. Brown. Brown is a fourth generation Angeleno from an entertainment family and shared with us his family’s rich Los Angeles legacy as well as some Black Hollywood history. Brown is also the founder of the Ebony Repetory Theatre, resident company and operator of the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.

If you have comments or questions about this episode, please call the hotline at (323) 455-4219!

Opening and closing song is “Sweet Georgia Brown” by Lester Young, Brown’s uncle. 

LA EVENTS: Ebony Repertory Presents…

LA babies, as always, Ebony Repertory Theatre is hosting special events in our community for us, and this month is no exception. Coming up this month are two events that sound spectacular and I’m encouraging you all to support them. Event details are as follows:

A Staged Reading of James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner – Monday, June 18th 7 PM

Ebony Repertory Theatre will join with African American theatres across the nation in a solidarity staged reading of James Baldwin’s” Amen Corner,” directed by Andi Chapman. This is an annual event of Project 1Voice.
Ebony Repertory Theatre invites you to join us on June 18th to celebrate African American theatre on a national scale in support of the mighty cause initiated by PROJECT 1VOICE.

A Screening of S. Epatha Merkerson’s The Contradictions of Fair Hope – Saturday, June 30th at 7 PM

Ebony Repertory Theatre, in association with Redbone, Inc. will present “The Contradictions of Fair Hope,” the provocative documentary on one of America’s last functioning benevolent societies and its impact on one community’s courageous and tortuous journey from slavery to freedom, followed by a dialogue with the filmmakers, S. Epatha Merkerson and Rockell Metcalf.

LA EVENTS: A Raisin In The Sun Is Back Again!

The acclaimed Ebony Repertory Theatre production comes to the Douglas

A Raisin in the Sun is every bit as potent, poignant and intrepid in this triumphant revival directed by Phylicia Rashad.

A life insurance policy becomes a catalyst that will forever transform the lives of an African-American family living on the south side of Chicago, as they consider buying a house in Clybourne Park.

Their shared dream of a better life collides with conflicting aspirations, betrayal, and racism.

This classic shines an unflinching spotlight on America’s struggle to overcome its past. It pays tribute to those courageous enough to shape a future filled with an abiding faith in the fundamental decency and unlimited capacity of the human spirit.

In her Los Angeles directorial debut, Phylicia Rashad (who won the 2004 Tony Award® for Best Actress for A Raisin in the Sun) brings heart, soul and a flawless cast to a production the L.A. Times says “seems more timely with each passing decade.”


A Raisin in the Sun

January 19 – February 19th

2pm matinee/8pm evening shows

Ticket range: $20 – $50

Kirk Douglas Theatre
downtown Culver City

9820 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Directions and Parking

LA EVENTS: A Raisin In The Sun is Back!

Ebony Rep’s Critically-Acclaimed Production Returns for 8 Performances Only!

A Raisin in the Sun

by Lorraine Hansberry

Directed by Phylicia Rashad

June 24-26 & July 1-3

Friday & Saturday at 8pm

Saturday matinee at 2pm

Sunday matinee at 3pm


Orchestra Seating: $55

Mezzanine Seating: $45

Discounts available for Groups (10+), Seniors (62+) and
Students (with ID).


“Ebony Repertory Theatre’s A Raisin in the Sun should be seen by every Los Angeles theater lover.”

LA Stage Times

“Rashad’s wonderful actors…realize the large, genuinely anguished moments with faultless craft.”

LA Times

“Credit the magnificent cast, as emotionally attuned and keenly balanced an ensemble as any the season has yet enjoyed.”  —Back Stage

Cast (in alphabetical order):

Kenya Alexander

Brandon David Brown

L. Scott Caldwell

Kevin Carroll

Jason Dirden

Deidrie Henry

Amad Jackson

Scott Mosenson

Quincy O’Neal

Bechir Sylvain

Ellis E. Williams

All performances held at


Nate Holden Performing Arts Center

4718 W. Washington Blvd

Los Angeles, CA  90016


LA EVENTS: A Raisin In The Sun At ERT!

a rasiEbony Repertory Theatre


by Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Phylicia Rashad

Nate Holden Performing Arts Center

Set in 1950’s Chicago, this groundbreaking play portrays an African-American family’s pursuit of their shared dream for a better life amid conflicting aspirations, betrayal, and racism. This timeless classic continues to shine an unflinching spotlight on America’s struggle to overcome its past while paying tribute to those courageous enough to shape a future filled with an abiding faith in the fundamental decency and unlimited capacity of the human spirit.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW! [click for tickets]
March 23 – April 17, 2011