Check out this past weekend’s edition of UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. It features Stephanie Heydt from the High Museum of Art, AAFCA’s Ed Adams plus Tyler Perry and the ladies of the Netflix movie, A Fall from Grace: Crystal Fox, Bresha Webb and Phylicia Rashad.
Curator Stephanie Heydt stopped by to chat about the High Museum’s current exhibition, Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series. The show, which is now in its final weeks, features work from the iconic artist that go back as early as the 1910s all the way to the 1940s and beyond. Stephanie also opens up about an event associated with the exhibition that takes place on 1/25. (Click here for more information).
Edward Adams from the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is here to chat about this week’s Oscar nominations including snubs and the lack of diversity and inclusion amongst the nominees.
Closing out the show is my exclusive interview with Tyler Perry and the cast of his new Netflix movie, A Fall from Grace – Crystal Fox, Phylicia Rashad and Bresha Webb. I got a chance to chat with them about their roles and more at the new Tyler Perry Studios.
Check out my exclusive UPFRONT interview with Academy Award-nominated actor Edward Norton as we discuss his new film Motherless Brooklyn. It features Norton as a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome who tries to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend.
Motherless Brooklyn also stars Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michael K. Williams.
The soundtrack also features the music of jazz icon Wynton Marsalis.
During our conversation, we discussed casting for the film, Norton’s role as star and writer/director and his admiration for Spike Lee.
Check out my UPFRONT coverage from Wednesday night’s Atlanta premiere of Deon Taylor‘s new cop thriller Black and Blue. The screening was held at the historic Plaza Theater in Midtown and was attended by Taylor along with the film’s stars Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Nafessa Williams and Lucky Johnson.
In Black and Blue, Harris plays a rookie cop who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage. Rounding out the Black and Blue cast is Frank Grillo, Mike Colter, Reid Scott and Beau Knapp.
Other notables in attendance included Clifton Powell, Cocoa Brown, Brely Evans, Mike Merrill, Marquita Goings, Reece Odom and T.C. Carson.
NBC’S hit series Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med are uniting as “One Chicago” in a major three-hour television event beginning at 8 p.m. EST. The “crossover” episode will feature all three casts as they battle a weaponized, flesh-eating bacteria that has invaded the windy city during a tail-gating party at Soldier Field.
My arts and entertainment show—UPFRONT—was invited to NBC’s One Chicago Press Day last week where I interviewed cast members about tonight’s historic event.
Chicago P.D. star LaRoyce Hawkins talks about his excitement over the episode while Chicago Med stars S. Epatha Merkerson and Oliver Platt talk about the unpredictability of filming such a huge production. Writer and producer Derek Haas also opens up about the creative writing process of a “crossover” episode and working closely with series creator and TV icon Dick Wolf.
In addition to the interviews, I also participated in set demonstrations where I helped save a life from a burning apartment with Chicago Fire, solve a murder mystery with Chicago P.D. and assist in the emergency room with Chicago Med.
Check out UPFRONT below + photos + the exciting “CrossOver” trailer:
This weekend’s edition of #UPFRONT is fiyah from start to finish.
It features my interviews with LaRoyce Hawkins, S. Epatha Merkerson and more from NBC’s Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med in preparation of their three-hour televised “crossover” event airing this Wednesday October 16 at 8 p.m.
#UPFRONT also talks exclusively to A Different World actress Jasmine Guy as she remembers her #TVMom and entertainment icon Diahann Carroll, who passed away last week. She recalls her relationship with the Oscar-nominated actress on and off the screen as well as the valuable lessons she learned from her about being a black women in Hollywood.
Mark you calendars and join me this Sunday August 4 at 8:30 p.m. EST on CAU-TV (Comcast 23 Atlanta) for my exclusive one-on-one interview with iconic TV and film star Clifton Powell.
He stopped by the show recently to chat about the new season of his hit BOUNCE TV series Saints & Sinners. In addition, Mr. Powell also dishes about the ups and downs of stardom, being black in Hollywood, colorism and social media.
We also go down memory lane and chat about his most memorable characters including “Pinky” from the classic film Next Friday.
Check out this past weekend’s edition of my radio program—UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. It was all about the 2019 Academy Award nominations that were announced last week.
A good number of African Americans received nods including Regina King, Mahershala Ali, Ruth E. Carter, Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Barry Jenkins. Films such as Blackkklansman, Black Panther, The Green Book, Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse and If Beale Street Could Talk also received nominations.
I assembled a team of industry professionals—Edward Adams (African American Film Critics Association/AAFCA), Deidre McDonald (BronzeLens Film Festival) and Eric J. Little (actor and CAU Theatre Professor) to discuss our favorite nominees, snubs and predictions.
I also got a chance to speak to Oscar nominee and film icon—SPIKE LEE. He stopped by CAU’s Mass Media Arts Department and lectured to future filmmakers and content creators about the “business” of Hollywood and “putting in the work.” I was able to pull him away for a brief conversation about his historic “Best Director” nomination for the movie—Blackkklansman and much more. It was the best 25 minutes of 2019 so far.
Check out the full show + the un-edited version of my one-on-one with Lee below:
Atlanta’s own National Center for Civil and Human Rights hosted an intimate conversation recently with dance icon and former artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre – Ms. Judith Jamison. The event was held in the main ballroom of the center and was moderated by CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield.
The conversation was in preparation for Ailey’s 60th Anniversary Tour which makes its stop at Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre February 21-24. During the discussion, Ms. Jamison reminisced about meeting Mr. Ailey for the first time, the preparation for her iconic solo performance Cry and becoming the company’s fearless leader after Mr. Ailey passed away in 1989.
In addition to Ms. Jamison’s conversation, rising Ailey star Christopher R. Wilson conducted an afternoon workshop for youth performers. Wilson, who is from Augusta and was inspired to become a dancer after seeing Ailey at the Fox, will make his Atlanta debut there next month. I got a chance to chat with him for this weekend’s edition of UPFRONT where he talked about the moment he became a member of the company and his desire to pass along the rich cultural legacy of Mr. Ailey.
I also got a chance to sit down with Ms. Jamison for an upcoming Ailey 60 Special I’ll be producing for CAU-TV23’s Black History Month programming. It will also feature a segment with the Center’s Interim CEO Brian Tolleson, who discussed Mr. Ailey as a human rights activist and LGBTQ advocate.
Special invited guests to the conversation included Greenleaf actress Merle Dandridge, Beyond Her’s Brandi Harvey, former Ailey dancer Anthony Burrell,former Michael Jackson dancer and famed choreographer Travis Payne and dance sensation Juel D. Lane.
Check out my recent UPFRONT interviews featuring the cast of the romantic comedy Love Jacked – Shamier Anderson and Demetrius Grosse. The two were in town along with the film’s director Alfons Adetuye and stopped by to chat about the project and more.
NBC actor and New Amsterdam star Jocko Sims talked UPFRONT about his character that is creating a lot of buzz—Dr. Floyd Reynolds. The show is inspired by the oldest public hospital in America and follows Dr. Max Goodwin, who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care.
And rounding out my guests is Troy Powell, artistic director for Ailey II. The iconic dance company is on tour and stopped through Atlanta for a second year in a row. Powell opened up about this year’s performance line-up as well as the company’s legacy and much more.
UPFRONT airs on Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. on 91.9 WCLK and WCLK.com.
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.
This week’s UPFRONT features my one-on-one interviews with Michele Shay, director of the True Colors Production of Nina Simone: Four Women + Grammy Winning Songwriter Makeba Riddick-Woods.
Nina Simone: Four Women is inspired by the classic Simone tune and follows four women as they pick up the pieces of their lives after the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. The play with music is taking place now through October 21 at the Southwest Arts Center.
Makeba Riddick-Woods is an award winning songwriter who has penned hits for some of music’s biggest stars including Beyoncé, T.I., Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and more. Her gospel tune, “Won’t He Do It” has remained on no. 1 on the Billboard Charts for weeks now, proving Woods versatility as a writer and musical force.
Take a look at my recent UPFRONT TV special celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the groundbreaking FOX series Living Single. Award-winning actors Kim Coles and T.C. Carson stopped by to dish with me about the show’s impact, their iconic characters and their lives after the series. The special aired earlier this week on Comcast 23 and was produced by the students and staff of CAU-TV.
UPFRONT puts aspotlight on the “movers and shakers” within Atlanta’s thriving TV, film, music and theater industry and is hosted by yours truly, Ray Cornelius. The radio show airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on WCLK.com.
This past weekend’s UPFRONT show was fit for a Queen! It featured a salute to the late Aretha Franklin, who died last week at the age of 76. Singers Avery*Sunshine, Keisha Jackson, Trina Broussard and WCLK 91.9’s RivaBlue talked about the impact of Franklin’s music and her enduring legacy.
I also have one-on-one interviews with Mile 22 star and Atlanta-based actor Keith Arthur Bolden and Mahisha Dellinger, the star of OWN’s new series Mind Your Business with Mahisha.
The show also features classics from the “Queen of Soul” including her hit songs “RESPECT,” “Natural Woman” and the theme song to the iconic TV series – A Different World.
UPFRONT airs every Saturday at 9 a.m. on Atlanta’s own Jazz 91.9 WCLK and WCLK.com