Is That Man Your Husband…Or Is He Mine? (Stage Play #Vegas)

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Picture taken by retired Vegas Photographer, Arnie Gray.

I had the pleasure of attending this wonderfully entertaining and hilarious stage play on both Tuesday, February 20, 2018 and Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at the West Las Vegas Library Theatre.  First of all the theater was a beautiful location to present this show.  Every seat in the house was a good seat and it allowed for the stage to be set up to present the musical in a very professional fashion.

I had heard about the stage play, but clearly did not really know what to expect.  From the start it captured my attention with great visual appeal, humor and amazing vocals from the array of performers.  Sitting in the audience, it felt like witnessing your family and friends having an opinion on how your world is working, as thoughts were expressed and a strong faith in God shared, to the craziness of ones friends being ready and willing to throw down in your honor.  Mind you, this is all done with humor and song.

photostudio_1519349749405A scene with Chardonnay with her mother and her mother’s best friend.
Ms Michelle as Chardonnay/Promise Marks as her mother, Momma Humpking/
Avana Christie as her best friend, Sistah Beautee

The play touch on the struggles of keeping a marriage together, the love and support of family and friends…sharing time in church through God’s word and song.  Okay, I’m a preachers daughter but the church scenes were so funny, with tasteful humor…LOL

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As Chardonnay’s first marriage comes to an end, did she find new love, a perfect love? Celebrating with family and friends along with a long time admirer…the planning begins for a dream wedding.  Although, the play is so funny, it takes real life situations that anyone could relate to.

The talents of the cast was phenomenal…from the acting to the singing, Ms Michelle put together a stellar cast.  I personally and professionally knew Avana Christie, Promise Marks and EC Adams and knew their talents as singers, but I was blow away by their acting ability.  Let me tell you Momma Humpking and Sistah Beautee were a pair and the humorous relationship between the two, almost seemed so real that I could picture it in my mind…imagining the conversations that could take place between these characters.

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Ooops, who came to crash the wedding?  Well, what would you think as you look at this picture…I highly recommend that you come out to the Las Vegas Black Film Festival on April 27, 2017 and attend the movie premiere for the movie with the same title…Yes, Ms Michelle has turned this global stage play into a movie.  And she says that there is much more that we will experience with these very same characters and actors in the movie.

I thoroughly enjoyed this great stage play, from the storyline to the acting and music.  Bravo Ms Michelle and cast!

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Just a few of the cast after the final night…
Picture taken by retired Vegas Photographer, Arnie Gray
FB_IMG_1519642877083Me, Lady Flava with my friends and cast members of
“Is That Man Your Husband…Or Is He Mine?”
Promise Marks, Avana Peach and EC Adams.
Picture taken by retired Vegas Photographer, Arnie Gray.

As I state earlier, Ms Michelle has turned this great stage play into a movie and it will be debuting as a premiere film at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival on April 27, 2018

You can find out more information about the film and the LV Black Film Festival and to purchase your tickets to attend the movie premiere or the whole festival at:

www.lasvegasblackfilmfestival.com

 

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Lady Flava
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If You’re Looking To Party In Vegas, Look For BLOCK PARTY

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I was first introduced to Block Party at a friend’s birthday party, Miss Avana Peach back in October of 2017 and instantaneously became a fan.  Although I was more focused on celebrating my friend, I was well aware of the quality of musicianship that was taking place and the high energy of this great band, Block Party.

I began to follow them 4 months ago and have had the opportunity to experience seeing them perform in a variety of venues around Las Vegas.  From a small space in a local neighborhood casino to a large room at the Boulder Station’s Railhead Showroom to Fiesta Rancho’s Cabo Lounge, Block Party brings the Party of  all Party’s to any venue.  They have a following that will go to any location that they are performing at, as they continue to make new fans along the way.

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Yes, I have had the pleasure of getting to know this band and it’s amazing talented musicians from FingaRachoz on Keys, who is also the band leader and music director, to Big Kev on Bass, Beat Down on drums,  JC on lead guitar also doing feature vocals, along with the vocals of the oh so talented female singer, Kyss Kyss and male singer, P Wils.  Lately, Vocalist Cali has rejoined the Block Party Family adding his strong vocals and charismatic personality.  All the singers can step to the mic as a feature and blend nicely as a duo or trio.  Each individual musician can stand on their own but together create a musical family, performing a variety of classics from R&B/Soul to Funk, Hip Hop, Blues and Rock.  What I love about Block Party is that each time I have come out to see them perform, they incorporate music that surprises me.  I can honestly say that each show is a new experience with Block Party.

You might here the likes of:

Whip It                                        I Like

My Prerogative                          Square Biz

Poison                                          Music by Chicago

I Wanna                                      Music by George Michael

Jamaican Funk                          Saturday Love

One Nation                                Watching You

Under the leadership of FingaRachoz, Block Party visual display is on point with the band always dressed in coordinated colors, to creating dance movements that the musicians and vocalist do together.  Have I mentioned High Energy…Block Party’s energy is outrageous where you will never see the dance floor empty, matter of fact…the crowd can get so large the the dancing many flow outside of the Cabo Lounge at Fiesta Rancho’s Hotel and Casino in North Las Vegas.  Another attribute of Block Party is they are super engaging of their audience, opening up for the crowd to participate throughout the show.

The crowds that come out and party with Block Party are diverse from a variety of ages to diversity if ethnicity, showing that music can bring people from all walks of life together under the same roof, to party and have a good time.FB_IMG_1519638823236If you are in Vegas or plan to come to Vegas for a visit, I recommend that you find out where BLOCK PARTY will be.  If you are looking for a good time and want to party the night away, you will never be disappointed at a BLOCK PARTY!

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You can follow Block Party on Facebook at: @blockpartyonline

You can see more videos of Block Party on Lady Flava’s YouTube Channel:

Lady Flava’s YouTube Channel

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Lady Flava
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Soulful Sunday’s with Madame Dee at Cork & Thorn in Trivoli Village

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November 6 · 

It’s New and Exciting…Vegas you don’t want to sleep on Soulful Sundays at Cork & Thorn in Trivoli Village Every Sunday 4-7pm. Cork & Thorn is electric, yet beautiful. An intimate setting with a variety of wine by the glass or bottle with staff there to serve you and party with the guests.

Starting off the night with Skip Rice and The Las Vegas Blvd All Star Band with Special Guest KeyboardistMychael Pollard. The band within themselves was awesome. As folk arrived, greeting each other as they found their seats, the atmosphere was enhanced as the evenings energy was being set.

You could feel the excitement and pride that Barbara Cole had has she set the tone for what we would experience from Madame Dee. Madame Dee did not disappoint from a presence that commands your attention to a voice that grabs your soul…it was on from the first song to the last. She is beautiful and engaging as she worked her way around the room bringing us into a moment of music with just her. Skip Rice on bass, Kharon Haley Harrison on drums with Wayne Gray going between keys and sax along with Mychael Pollard stepping to the keys at times, made for a perfect blend of musicianship for Madame Dee’s soulfully powerful voice.

People stayed to the end, giving praise and thanks for the musical experience. I would say that Soulful Sundays at the CORK & Thorn is a Soulful hit. I look forward to more evenings with a glass of wine, my friends and music that warms my soul with the beautifully talent Madame Dee along with Skip Rice and The Las Vegas Blvd All Star Band.

 

Check out Skip Rice and The Las Vegas All Star Band with Special Guest Musician, Keyboardist Mychael Pollard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfSMEuq0Si4&t=8s

 

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Lady Flava
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Lady Flava’s Review on “Mechanics of a Nigga” by Timothy Hollins

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Challenged My Thinking
 
Mechanics if a Nigga by Timothy Hollins was one of the most challenging books I have read in a long time, maybe ever. I felt like it was a dialogue that I have been privileged to hear but not welcomed to really participate in. From birth I was raised in a predominately black community of Seattle, WA where I attended school, played with and associated with friends and peers that were black. Strangely enough during the late 60’s to early 70’s (the Civil Rights Era) I was accepted in my community because my father is Japanese, I am of Japanese/ German descent. So, with that acceptance, I had no problems coming up. From the sidelines I would hear the conversations from my friends and elders about the word “Nigga/Nigger” and the displeasure that it brought them and in those days it was taboo for a black person to call another black person the “N word.” I understood at a young age that I was not really to have a voice in certain conversations, instead I listened intently with out speaking.

So reading this piece of literature challenged my thinking and more so, challenged how I would respond through writing a review. Do I have the right to have a react and respond? I know that I do.

Mechanics of a Nigga is educational and thought provoking., no matter who the person is that reads it. Addressing the African American/Black Community from an American true history perspective starting with the slave mentality of today, society perception, self perception, rising up beyond this state of oppression to self deprivation and low self-esteem.

It addresses white privilege, enslavement of mind and body with a sense that the writer wanting to push the reader to think about what would “change” look like after a cycle of unchanged history. Now we go from the use of a word “Nigga” being used in a derogatory way from a group of people that claimed privilege over all people, to it freely being used among a group of blacks addressing each other, when the larger demographics of blacks on a national and global do not use this word in addressing themselves. What is the change that is needed, how does the healing begin and what would it really look like a noticeable level and who would recognize and acknowledge an empowering shift.

I challenge you to read this piece and to find your words to describe your experience and thoughts. This piece is for all people. It is for those that are willing to read it with an open mind and to be honest with how you think and feel about to topic posed to us.

I know that Timothy Hollins has written other pieces along this line, which I will be purchasing copy’s to read and review. I look forward to pushing myself in my thoughts and feelings as I dig deeper into this authors mindset as he shares.

 

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Lady Flava
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The Next Movement at Eastside Cannery

October 5, 2017
The Next Movement at Eastside Cannery

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The Next Movement is one of the groups I had heard about when I first arrived to Vegas, so I knew that I wanted to checked them out.  It just so happened that my girlfriends called to say I should come out with them to see The Next Movements show that night at the Eastside Cannery.  I live the closest, so I headed over to secure a table for us and found that the room was pretty much full and I was forced to grab a table to the right of the stage and which was up against the wall.  Although it wasn’t the best view for experiencing The Next Movement for the first time, I wasn’t going to let this stop me from enjoying the show and moving around if I felt like it.  As the show started I decided since I brought my review journal with me that I would take notes, pictures and videos of the night’s experience.

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As I stated, the room was fairly full by the time I arrived at around 8:30pm.  It was an older crowd, who seemed to wholeheartedly enjoy the music and did not hesitate to get on the dance floor throughout the night.  The Next Movement shared a variety of genres from the Classics in R&B, Soul and Blues with some more current pop songs.  It appears that The Next Level knows their audiences well, and catered to what the crowd clearly enjoyed.  Performing the Classics, “Used To Be My Girl” by The O’Jays, “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” by Stevie Wonder, “Choosey Lover” by The Isley Brothers, and “Single Life” by Cameo just to name a few.

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Sam Thomas Jr of The Next Movement is very engaging of the audience and you can tell he is a seasoned entertainer, knowing how to keep the energy high along with his music brothers, Cornell Haywood and Earl Shelby.  Together they display such beautiful harmony showing that they truly are professionals and main objective is to give a great show.
In doing a little research on this group, I see that they were established going back to the early 70’s back in Chicago’s South Side.  Now as a regular fixture to a variety of casino’s in Vegas, they also tour and wow their audiences from near and far.

Get a taste of their flava…

If you come to Vegas or are living in the Vegas area, I would recommend that you come out and experience The Next Movement…Coming to a casino near you!
You can stay updated by following The Next Movement on Facebook or stay informed on show dates by going to their website at: www.thenextmovementshows.com

 

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Vegas Entertainment The Pros and Cons

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As a newcomer to the Vegas Entertainment Scene, I am like a sponge, absorbing what I am privy to witness, while taking notes on how it all works.

There are similarities in the struggles of entertainers, to the indie artists that I have supported over the years.  But then there is a difference in that, most of the entertainers that I know and have come to know here in Vegas, are actually working entertainers.  Most are working on a weekly basis as apart of a group or two, that perform at one of the many casinos on and off the strip.

There is such a wonderful work ethic that I have witness, with a commitment to putting on a high quality, polished show.  Of course, some might come back to me with a cutting eye on this and I do know there is always exceptions to the rule.  I would say that these Vegas entertainers and musicians know that the shows they are apart of, can make or break them in opportunities and frequency of depositing a check into their bank accounts.  I am going to call the entertainers I speak on, Indie Entertainers and I will explain why.  The great entertainers that I am connected to have a hustle so strong, that their ear is always perked to hear of opportunities for better exposure and making money.  It doesn’t mean that they are not wanting to be committed to a group and or project, it means that they need to make money to survive and many groups do not have the ability to hold a person without a guaranteed paycheck coming in every week.  So, you may see one of your favorite entertainer or musician one week in one group, and then in another group the following week.  Of course there are times that someone is just not a good fit, and that causes the change in faces, which is common on this industry.

I have sat in on some rehearsals when time has permitted and I appreciate these experiences, to see and hear the raw and unpolished sound, as they work through the kinks, to that top quality sound and look as the final product is brought to life.

You might wonder if I have changed my interest to entertainers from indie artists, of course that is not the case.  I knew that I had to make a move to a location where I could grow in exposure and opportunity for myself, to then be able to open up doors for the indie artists that I believe deserve the opportunity to be seen and heard.  Many of the entertainers I presently know are also indie artists with projects that have released and they too struggle gaining recognition for their individual music and sound.  Cover Songs pay the bills.  So my fight is for them also…to provide a platform for them to gain exposure for their original music.

For the purpose of this blog, I want to encourage you can come out, and you can pretty much experience these great talents any day of the week in a variety of venues from casinos on the strip, to casinos around Vegas and the outlining areas.  Many times the shows are free or very affordable.  Come out and experience the sounds of your favorite music from the past and present.  Your presences helps to create more and greater opportunities for these talented Vegas talents.  You are apart of their success.

The hustle is real but in Vegas their is opportunity for the right person, talent along with being in the right place at the right time, and being aligned with the right people.

Entertainment

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Lady Flava’s Journey To Vegas From Seattle…A New Beginning

Flava News3 months ago I arrived in Vegas, ready to experience a new beginning to my life.  Leaving Seattle after going through double knee replacement surgery and rehab, along with adjusting to a new life without my father…I was ready to experience life as Lady Flava full-time.  It was an easy decision since my daughters are adults now and ready to experience life without their mom around, but my hesitation was leaving my grandbaby behind.  My girls love Vegas and we are only about a 2 hour airplane ride away from each other, so I do anticipate them coming down for a visit, as I will return home from time to time.

May 2, 2017 I loaded up my car and headed on a journey to Vegas all by my lonesome, by choice.  The feeling of hitting the highway was so liberating, so freeing.  I did not know what I was heading into, but my faith was strong and I knew that God would see me through.  The travel went well, my car ran fine and as I stopped along the way I checked in with my family and loved ones.

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May 3rd, late in the afternoon, I arrived in Vegas…When I saw the Stratosphere in the distance, tears came to my eyes and I knew I had arrived to my new home, my new life. Making the needed phone calls and arrangements as to where I would stay…Go worked everything out from start to finish.

I wanted to jump out there and was ready to be Lady Flava right off the bat, but God had other plans for me and slowed me down, bringing me to reality.  I really needed to chill, adjust to my new life in Vegas and find a place to live along with get a part-time job to supplement my income.  First I was offered a beautiful condo at an affordable price, then I was hired for an on-call job as a healthcare sitter…right up my alley. Both blessings came from people I was connected to prior to moving to Vegas.  You cannot tell me that these blessings were nothing but God’s doing.  Now to really settle into my life in Vegas.  I found that things moved slowly and now looking back, they moved in the right direction and speed that was meant to me.

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I began a journey of taking care of my health and well-being. getting in the pool which was right outside my door and establishing a healthy eating regiment.  Learning to live on my own, which was something I had never done and found to be exciting and so unfamiliar.

Things did not go as I had hope when I arrived, but it never stopped me from feeling extremely blessed.  All my needs were being met and I needed to learn the art of being patient.  What it came down to is acting me finances and making sure that I did not put myself into debt beyond what I financially could afford to be easily.  I was and am so determined to be smart with my money and bills.  So getting everything set up for Lady Flava and Lady Flava News is coming along slowly.

It feels great when I have the opportunity to work on a project in Vegas as Lady Flava. And my colleagues outside of Vegas, remind me regularly to never forget my purpose in moving to Vegas.  My dream goal is to put on an Indie Artist showcase and weekend event 3-4 times a year.  I am coming to accept that I will need to raise the money myself to get this going, when I had really hoped that I could encourage my followers and artists I support to help build the financial foundation together. Although I have raised over $800.00 towards it…$500.00 came from Unity Through Arts Exchange, some from my father before he passed and then from followers.  I had hoped to host my first “Flava’s Lounge” this fall but between my work and life I have not had the opportunity to get out to network and view any venues.  Several people have assured me that it will happen but it will take some time to really get my feet wet in the Vegas scene and to be come family with venues, areas, promoters and such.  This is where, patience on my part is so important.

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One of my goals now that I am living is Vegas is to become a know and respected show reviewer.  I am really excited about taking on this challenge as I write about my experience at what I hope will be a variety of shows within my circle of entertainment friends and those I am do not know.  I am all about the experience from Talent, to Production to the overall Experience.

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One of the biggest goals for me once I am comfortably able to afford high speed internet, I want to get back to doing my radio shows.  I miss interacting with artists and reviewing music to play on my shows.  Indie Artists are my ultimate passion and my reason for moving to Vegas and the foundation for my life as Lady Flava , The Indie Artist Cheerleader.

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I will get back to doing a variety of radio shows that will continue supporting a featuring a variety of indie music and art forms.  In doing my shows, I am hoping this will only be the start to opening up doors and opportunity for the artists I choose to support.

I will also get back to my Lady Flava News Consulting and Couching business.  I love exploring with a client where they presently are with their career as an artist and where they want to be.  Then helping them create a plan of action on what it will take to get there.

So much I have planned and always working towards getting there myself. One step at a time…accepting the process with patience and grace and never ever ignoring my blessings and always taking time to give thanks.

My journey is just beginning and I am enjoying the process as it unfolds.

Taking care of myself, preparing for opportunity, stacking my money and building my Flava Brand in Vegas.

Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement.  The best is yet to come!

Lady Flava

PS: I celebrated my birthday here in Vegas and was just thrilled with the people that came out and had such a great time at In-A-Fect’s show at Fiesta Rancho’s Cabo Lounge!

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