Categories
RC Exclusive - Music Renegade Rising - Ent

Synchronicity Theatre presents: ‘2 The Left: A Tribute to the Life of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes’

Atlanta’s Synchronicity Theatre is presenting a new one-woman show chronicling the life and spiritual journey of Atlanta music icon Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes titled 2 The Left. The show is described as an inspiring music-filled multimedia production written and performed by Kerisse Hutchinson and portrays the challenges Lopes encountered as she embarked on a journey to find her artistic voice and spiritual purpose.

“After working with Kerisse, I can confidently tell you, there is no one I feel is more dependable, loyal, and hard-working than her with a vision and determination to convey my sister’s story.” said Ronald Lopes, the brother of the TLC member.

“We are pleased to offer Kerisse our continued support during the development and execution of her project about our beloved Lisa. She has proven herself time and again to be an invaluable asset. In my humble opinion, Kerisse is exactly the type of person able to execute a project such as this and reach global audiences.”

Hutchinson is a multi-talented award-winning actress, dancer, and writer. She received her dance training at the Alvin Ailey School, and has danced with numerous companies and music artists.

2 The Left‘s creative team includes Atlanta theater icon and director Thomas W. Jones II, acclaimed choreographer Victor Jackson and Dramaturgy by Addae Moon.

The show is also being presented by Atlanta’s Fulton County Arts & Culture Council and the nonprofit C4 Atlanta Artsforce.

Click here for tickets and watch a sneak peek below:

Photo Credits: Kerrise.net

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent Rising - Ent

Meet the Cast of Will Packer’s New BET+ Series ‘Bigger’

Super producer and filmmaker Will Packer is teaming up with BET for a brand new series titled Bigger. The 30-minute scripted comedy featuring Angell Conwell, Tanisha Long and Chase Anthony will appear on the network’s new streaming service BET+ this fall.

Bigger takes place in the East Atlanta neighborhood of “Little Five Points” ( I love that place) and follows a single-black-woman who is dealing with the threat of marriage to a boring-in-bed boyfriend and the sudden, random death of a college acquaintance. The tragedy drives her ambitious group of friends to take a deeper look at their stagnant lives, asking themselves— is there something bigger and better in life. 

Joining the above mentioned cast members are Rasheda Crockett and Tristen Winger with Warren Burke and Terrence T. Terrell in recurring roles. The show, which was once titled as Peachtree Place, recently wrapped production this summer in Atlanta.

“I’m excited about bringing this cast of some of the most talented new voices in television to this great new medium,” said Packer.

BET+ Bigger Cast

Check out the character breakdown:

Tanisha Long plays Layne Roberts, a quirky, simple beauty who has been holding herself back, both in love and in life, and has found herself at a major crossroads. Her straight-laced boyfriend Greg (played by Warren Burke)has just proposed, but she’s not sure if playing it safe is her style, especially when the handsome and adventurous Reggie (played by Terrence T. Terrell) is now very interested in her. Meanwhile, her vintage store needs a serious boost. Layne is upbeat, fun, and positive, but constantly second-guessing herself has started to become a problem. She is about to start taking some risks, for better or for worse.

Angell Conwell plays Veronica Yates, who carries herself with genuine confidence and knows how to make heads turn. Her real-estate business has been doing well, leaving her in an excellent position to be the advice-giver in her group of friends. Veronica encourages Layne to have a little fun while she’s still young.

Rasheda Crockett plays Tracey Davis, a fun-loving, social media influencer who wants to be Hollywood -level famous. She is always up for a good time as long as she can snap an Instagram photo in the process. She’s built up quite a following online but is secretly worried that her time in the spotlight might be slipping away.

Chase Anthony plays Deon Lewis, a well-groomed and fit, full of swagger guy, who may act comically frugal but is actually a very successful businessman. At work, however, his swagger is gone. He’s trying to play the game and move up in the world even as his co-workers seem to get the opportunities he deserves.

Tristen Winger plays Vince Carpenter, a cutie with an odd 90s throwback fashion sense. He is a talented, old school DJ who can’t help but get frustrated with the younger generation as they encroach on his game. He’s got the chops to make it as a DJ, but his style is outdated, and he’s having trouble letting it go.

RECURRING GUEST CAST

Warren Burke plays Greg Washington, a conservatively dressed, and the ultimate play-it-safe kind of guy. He is a successful doctor who loves Layne and treats her well, but doesn’t exactly make sparks fly in the bedroom. After a surprise proposal, Greg offers Layne some time to think about it but hopes she’ll say yes.

Terrence T. Terrell plays Reggie Langford, a strong, tall, sexy and bearded guy, who might not be the most romantic man in the world, but he’s charming and sultry, and has a sense of humor about the fact that he’s great in bed. After a few nights with him, Layne sees Reggie as the perfect low-stakes, adventurous counter to her boring but safe relationship with Greg.

Bigger was created by Felisha Marye and executive produced by  Packer and Devon Shepard who also served as the showrunner.

Will you be tuning in?

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent Recap Rising Rising - Ent

Highlights from ‘Screening Room ATL’ 3rd Anniversary Party [PHOTOS]

Some of the biggest names in Georgia’s TV and film industry gathered on Wednesday evening to celebrate the third anniversary of Screening Room ATL. The event was held at the trendy Gallery 992 in the West End district of the city.

Screening Room ATL, created and hosted by actress Khalimah Gaston, is an incubator for aspiring filmmakers, actors, directors, producers and anyone else looking to get into the highly competitive entertainment industry. It is also a place for content creators to screen their projects and get immediate feedback from peers and industry professionals.

Screening Room ATL

The evening included a lively panel discussion featuring James Seppelfrick (President of Swirl Films/Studios); Rhavynn Drummer (Casting Director/Tyler Perry Studios); Darrell Thompson (Entertainment Attorney) and Rashawn Cash (Location Assistant).

TV and film actors Shaun Mixon (ATL Homicide) and Racquel Bianca John (Acrimony) were spotted in the crowd along with three cast members from Tyler Perry‘s forthcoming BET series – KJ Smith, Anthony Dalton and Kevin Walton.

See all of the photos below:

Screening Room ATL
Khalimah Gaston + Rashawn Cash + James Seppelfrick
Darrell Thompson + Rhavynn Drummer
Shaun Mixon
Shaun Mixon
Raquel John Khalimah Gaston
Racquel Bianca John + Khalimah Gaston
Rhavynn Drummer
Rhavynn Drummer
Kevin Walton KJ Smith Anthony Dalton
Kevin Walton + KJ Smith + Anthony Dalton
Jam
James Seppelfrick
Rashawn Cash
Rashawn Cash

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent Rising - Ent

RC talks to Rising Filmmaker Stefon Bristol

Written by | Ray Cornelius

When Morehouse College alumnus Stefon Bristol was preparing to finish NYU’s Graduate Film Program during the summer of 2014, he knew he wanted to make a sci-fi adventure featuring people of color.

He had the classic 1985 film Back to the Future, on repeat and he knew he wanted to do something similar with elements of his Brooklyn and Caribbean heritage. So he pulled inspiration from a family situation and created a story about a young black man going back in time to save his grandfather from being killed by a drunk driver.

But then, two unarmed African American men—Michael Brown and Eric Garner—were killed by non-black police officers and Bristol knew he had to somehow address this growing trend in his script. It was an idea that he was very sure about despite the opposite opinions from one of his film professors.

“At NYU you’re highly encouraged to make very independent, kind of fancy films and I wasn’t into that. So I went back to my roots to sci-fi-action-adventure and I wanted to do it with black people,” said Bristol during this week’s Atlanta premiere of See You Yesterday.

“A professor of mine read the script and she wasn’t happy that I had police brutality in it and she felt like it’s either the story or you don’t have that be the story. Well, I was like, ‘I’m going to make this the story’ because I remember Amadou Diallo. I remember Sean Bell and unfortunately I knew this was going to continue to happen. I just heard the other day that a young woman, who was pregnant, was shot and killed by a cop in Texas. So my instincts was correct and I decided to keep that idea in. I wrote the feature for it first and then I hired by co-writer Fredrica Bailey to help me with the short.”

With a more socially conscience message, Bristol created See You Yesterday, a coming-of-age kind of story that would now focus on two high school friends and science geeks, C.J. and Sebastian. Their latest homemade invention—backpacks that enable time travel—would be put to the test when C.J. older brother Calvin dies after an encounter with police officers. Looking for a way to make things right again, C.J. convinces Sebastian to go back in time with her to save Calvin.

Bristol’s first version of See You Yesterday was short film that won Best HBO Short at Martha’s Vinyard African American Film Festival. This new Netflix version, which debuts this weekend, is a more multi-layered story that will also reach a broader audience.

“I feel very, very happy and relieved,” said Bristol during post press for this week’s premiere. “I feel very blessed and honored and I believe it has been received well.”

Click here to watch See You Yesterday and check out my UPFRONT interview featuring Bristol, former NBA star George Lynch and media maven Jasmine Sanders.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com + David Genik

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent Recap Rising - Ent

Netflix’s ‘See You Yesterday’ premieres at Tribeca Film Festival [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congratulations to the cast of Netflix’s film See You Yesterday. It premiered last night at The Tribeca Film Festival at the SVA Theater. The exclusive screening was attended by director and writer Stefon Bristol, co-writer Fredrica Bailey and stars Eden Duncan-Smith, Danté Crichlow, Brian “Stro” Bradley, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Wavyy Jonez, Johnathan Nieves and composer Michael Abels. The screening was followed by an intimate Q&A with the director, screenwriter and key cast.

Damaris Lewis embracing Stefon Bristol during See You Yesterday premiere
Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images for Netflix

See You Yesterday follows high school besties and science prodigies C.J. and Sebastian, who spend every spare minute working on their latest homemade invention: backpacks that enable time travel. But when C.J.’s older brother Calvin dies after an encounter with police officers, the young duo decide to put their unfinished tech to use in a desperate bid to save Calvin.

The film is produced by Spike Lee and is a sci-fi adventure grounded in familial love, cultural divides and the universal urge to change the wrongs of the past.

See more red carpet pics below:





See You Yesterday debuts on NETFLIX May 17.

Photo Credits: Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images for Netflix

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent Rising - Ent

CLEOtv presents ‘Living By Design with Jake and Jazz’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out a sneak peek of CLEOtv’s newest lifestyle series Living By Design with Jake and Jazz. It premieres TODAY at 12 p.m. EST.

Jake and Jazz Smollett team up to transform the living, work, and play spaces of millennial families and create simple solutions to everyday home design dilemmas. Each episode features inspirational stories of participating guests, an exciting reveal of the new space and a shared meal with recipes curated by the brother and sister duo.

In the premiere episode, Jake and Jazz help revamp the studio apartment of a budding publicist, Meghan, who’s relocated to Koreatown – a hip, urban center in Los Angeles. Jazz takes Meghan’s space from drab to fab with beautiful pops of pink and bold accent pieces, while Jake builds her a custom headboard. During the exciting reveal, not only is there a surprise guest from back home, but Jake and Jazz also show Meghan how to entertain in her new space. They toast to the good life with Rosé margaritas and indulge in surf and turf tacos complete with shrimp and steak. To top off the appetizing meal, Jazz bakes fluffy brown sugar doughnuts and piles them high enough to find their way to your heart.

Living By Design with Jake and Jazz airs on Saturdays at 12 on CLEOtv

Photo Credit: CLEOtv

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent Renegade Rising - Ent

First Look at True Colors Production of ‘Skeleton Crew’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company kicks off the New Year with the stage production of Skeleton Crew. It begins February 12-March 10 at the Southwest Arts Center.

At the start of the Great Recession, one of the last auto stamping plants in Detroit is on shaky ground. As a result, each of the workers has to make choices on how to move forward if their plant goes under. Shanita has to decide how she’ll support herself and her unborn child. Faye has to decide how and where she’ll live. Dez has to figure out how to make his ambitious dreams a reality. Power dynamics shift as their manager, Reggie, is torn between doing right by his work family and by the red tape in his office. Powerful and tense, Skeleton Crew is the third of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit cycle trilogy.

Skeleton Crew is directed by True Color’s associate artistic director Jamil Jude and stars Tonia Jackson, Enoch King, Asia Howard and Anthony Campbell.

CLICK HERE for tickets!

Photo Credit: Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent RC Exclusive - Music Rejoice Renegade Rising - Ent

UPFRONT featuring Sheryl Lee Ralph, Anita Wilson, Rickey Smiley and more (AUDIO)

Check out this weekend’s edition of UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. Broadway veteran and Tony nominated actress Sheryl Lee Ralph discusses her new role in the CBS series FAM. She also opens up about her new podcast Diva Defined, her special relationship with the late jazz great Nancy Wilson and the advice she would have given Beyoncé during the filming of Dreamgirls

Gospel Sensation Anita Wilson has released her take on the jazz standard “Here’s To Life” and talked exclusively to UPFRONT about the new project, acquiring the masters to her first album and much more. 

And finally…UPFRONT hit the streets recently and attended the press conference for the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. Now in its 20th year, the annual NFL sanctioned event returns to the ATL next month and I got a chance to discuss this year’s show with founder and CAU alumnus Melanie Few and host Rickey Smiley

UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry is produced by WCLK 91.9 Atlanta’s Jazz Station and can be heard every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. It is hosted by yours truly Ray Cornelius. 

CLICK HERE and listen to previous UPFRONT shows.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent RC Exclusive - Fashion RC Exclusive - Music Read Recap Rejoice Renegade Replay Respect Rising Rising - Ent Rising - Fashion Rising - Music Runway

Happy New Year from RayCornelius.com

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Happy Sunday Everyone and Welcome to 2019!

I was a little apprehensive about posting this but felt that I needed to bring all of my readers and supporters up to speed about my website and what’s been happening. I know I haven’t been as consistent with posting stories and updating the site but it’s all been for a good reason.

RayCornelius.com is growing by leaps and bounds. This tiny little brand that I started in 2012 will be celebrating seven years this February 6, 2019. With that said, so much has been happening with me professionally and personally. As you know, I took my love for “arts and entertainment” to a radio platform and created UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry in August of 2016. The 30-minute program airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on Atlanta’s Jazz Station – WCLK 91.9. Since that time, I have been covering and hosting a number of high profile engagements all around the country.

In the fall of 2016, I was invited by my media buddy Ice Cream Conversations to travel to New Orleans  for the premiere of the film Deep Water Horizon. I would later return to the crescent city in the summer of 2017 for the Essence Festival. In March of 2018, I was invited with other U.S. media influencers to attend a tour of the famed NBC studios in Hollywood, CA where we interviewed the casts of Marlon, World of Dance and the writers of the award winning series This Is Us. Later on that month, I was invited to attend the New York City Premiere of Tyler Perry’s Acrimony and in June in attended the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in South Beach Miami where I conducted Black Carpet interviews for ASPIRE TV’s In the Loop. I closed out 2018 by hosting Facebook Live Interviews during the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, the largest film festival presented by a college or university.

In addition to hosting the radio show, I also began producing television programs in 2018 for CAU-TV including a Trumpet Awards Red Carpet Special, a SCAD aTVfest Special, a Living Single 25th Anniversary Special and a SuperFly Red Carpet Special. I was also invited to host and moderate the BronzeLens Film Festival’s Sunday Brunch with the Brothersand moderated a post performance conversation with the cast of Kenny Leon’s True Colors production of Colman Domingo’s DOT.

In addition to my professional advancements, my personal responsibilities also expanded as I took on the role of a caregiver for my mother. I moved her, my sister and my niece from my hometown of Orlando, FL to Atlanta, GA. In other words, I HAVE BEEN VERY, VERY, VERY BUSY. That is why there have been a lot of lapse in postings and updating the site. RC (as I like to call it) is solely operated by me and me only.

As we step into a new year, it is my hope and prayer that you would continue to support the brand and be patient with me. I am looking to refresh the site and format and really make this more interactive for you as readers. This will also become the home base for all of my media entities – print, radio, YouTube and hosting gigs. I am also producing some TV-Film-Web-based series! Yes, Ray Cornelius is currently working on a few film and TV projects. The more I interview actors, writers and directors, the more I realize the content is KING and I have a few stories in me that I’d like to share.

In closing, I wish each and every one of you all the very best this 2019 and let’s continue to grow together. THANK YOU for being patient and I look to forward to bringing you more of the best in “positive” arts and entertainment news, content and happenings.

Much Love,

Ray Cornelius

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent Rising - Ent

Watch a Sneak Peek of TV One’s ‘Living By Design Holiday Special’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a preview of TV One’s Living By Design Holiday Special. It airs Sunday evening at 7 p.m. EST.  For the first time ever, brother/sister duo Jake and Jazz Smollett are inviting cameras to follow them for this exclusive program.  

The pair will recreate down home recipes and make kicked up cocktails with celebrity guest, Grammy-nominated singer Ledisi. To really top things off, Jazz will share amazing concepts for setting a table, as well as create DIY serving trays and other entertaining ideas from scratch. Whether you’re looking for new dishes, or suggestions for adding some pop to your holiday party, Jake and Jazz have you covered! 

Watch below:

Photo Credit: TV One 

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent Read Rising - Ent

‘Insecure’ star Yvonne Orji to release ‘Bamboozled by Jesus’ Book

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congrats to Insecure actress and comedienne Yvonne Orji. She has inked a new deal with Flatiron Books and her first release is titled Bamboozled By Jesus: How God Tricked Me Into the Life of My Dream. 

According to THRBamboozled by Jesus is being described as “a frank and fresh advice book, filled with one woman’s authentic journey to understand her life and the nuggets of wisdom she’s uncovered along the way. Orji covers 20 life lessons gleaned from her own experience, her family and the Bible — from how to save for a rainy day to building the ark before the flood, from thinking outside the box to realizing you’re not special (while instead making yourself available).” 

“Sometimes life plays tricks on you. And sometimes the master trickster is Jesus. That’s the story I want to tell and I’m sooooo excited to join the @flatiron_books family to bring BAMBOOZLED BY JESUS to life,” said Orji on her social media announcing the new book deal. 

RC will keep you posted on the release date and more regarding Orji’s new deal. 

Will you be reading Bamboozled By Jesus

Photo Credit: Pulse.ng

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent Renegade Rising - Ent

#UPFRONT featuring Virginia Johnson, Quincy Ledbetter and Chef Jamika Possoa (AUDIO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out this week’s edition of UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. I got a chance to talk with Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director of the famed Dance Theatre of Harlem. She opens up about the company’s upcoming Atlanta engagement at the Cobb Energy Centre plus the legacy of the company’s founder Arthur Mitchell, who passed away last month.

Filmmaker Quincy Ledbetter discusses winning the BET/Paramount “Project Cre8” film competition. He actually won one million dollars to shoot his project. He also gives tips for other aspiring filmmakers.

And closing out the show is my interview with culinary superstar Chef Jamika Pessoa. She is the co-host of the Food Network’s new series Let’s Eat. She also opens up about faith, family and more.

I also played music from Sergio Mendes featuring John Legend, India.Arie and Fantasia.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent RC Exclusive - Fashion Renegade Rising - Ent Rising - Fashion

Michael B. Jordan is the new global face of ‘Coach Men’s’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

CONGRATS to award-winning actor and producer Michael B. Jordan. He is the new global face of Coach Men’s and is the first person to hold that title in the fashion brand’s history.

“Meet our new leading man. Actor and producer @MichaelBJordan is the first global face of Coach Men’s. He’ll take on his new role in 2019, but check back here for a sneak peek of things to come. #CoachxMBJ #CoachNY,” said the fashion brand on Instagram.

Jordan will reportedly appear in the upcoming 2019 Spring campaign with international ads and commercials for menswear, fragrance and accessories.

“With any creative endeavor, it’s all about finding the right fit…Excited to work with @StuartVevers and the entire Coach fam. Good things on the way,” said Jordan on his Instagram.

See more images below:

Photo Credits: Instagram/Michael B. Jordan and COACH

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent RC Exclusive - Music Rejoice Rising - Ent Rising - Music

‘UPFRONT’ featuring Kevin Hart, Will Packer, Jonathan Nelson and more (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Check out last weekend’s edition of UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. It featured my red carpet interviews with Night School star Kevin Hart and producer Will Packer. The film opens in theaters this Friday, September 28.

I also talked to Gospel music sensation Jonathan Nelson about his new album, Declaration and film critics Edward Adams and Ronda Racha Penrice talk about AAFCA’s The Black Experience on Film with Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

UPFRONT is a 30-minute arts and entertainment program featuring the biggest names in TV, film, music, fashion and the performing arts. It also features the behind-the-scenes superstars that make Atlanta the “entertainment capital of the south.” It airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and is hosted by yours truly, Ray Cornelius.

Click here to check out more of our past shows!