March 21, 2013

Associated Press


Bobby Brown has surrendered to authorities and will begin a 55-day jail sentence for a driving under the influence conviction.

Brown's attorney and a spokesman for the city attorney's office say the R&B singer turned himself in at a Los Angeles courthouse Wednesday.

Brown pleaded no contest to DUI and driving on a suspended license in February. He will also be required to serve four years on informal probation and complete an 18-month alcohol treatment program after he is released.

The conviction is Brown's second for DUI in less than a year. He avoided jail after pleading no contest to a March 2012 drunk driving case.

The 44-year-old New Edition singer is the ex-husband of deceased singer Whitney Houston.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

March 21, 2013

LAWT News Service


“Motown: The Musical” celebrated platinum sales of $1,029,883 during its first week of sold-out performances at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre on Broadway, joining the celebrated Million Dollar Club following only 7 performances while surpassing 100% capacity of the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.  

This marks the first time a new Broadway musical has joined the Million Dollar Club in its first week of previews without an out-of-town tryout.

Seen for the first time anywhere by a paying audience, the new musical based on the life of iconic Motown founder Berry Gordy and featuring music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalog, officially opens on Sunday, April 14.

“Motown: The Musical” began preview performances last Monday, March 11 at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street).

Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, “Motown: The Musical” is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed American culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown Founder Berry Gordy’s incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more. 

“Motown: The Musical” stars Tony Award® nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (“The Color Purple”) and Valisia LeKae (“The Book of Mormon”) in the leading roles of Berry Gordy and Diana Ross and features Charl Brown (“Jersey Boys”) as Smokey Robinson and Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye leading an ensemble cast of 40  featuring Timothy J. Alex, Michael Arnold, Nicholas Christopher, Rebecca E. Covington, Ariana DeBose, Andrea Dora, Preston W. Dugger III, Wilkie Ferguson, Dionne Figgins, Marva Hicks, Tiffany Janene Howard, Sasha Hutchings, Jawan M. Jackson, Lauren Lim Jackson, Morgan James, John Jellison, Crystal Joy, Grasan Kingsberry, Jamie LaVerdiere, Raymond Luke Jr., Jibreel Mawry, Marielys Molina, Sydney Morton, Maurice Murphy, Jarran Muse, Jesse Nager, Milton Craig Nealy, N’Kenge, Dominic Nolfi, Saycon Sengbloh, Ryan Shaw, Jamal Story, Eric LaJuan Summers, Ephraim Sykes, Julius Thomas III, Daniel J. Watts and Donald Webber, Jr.

“Motown: The Musical’s” creative team features choreography by Patricia Wilcox (“Blues in the Night”) and Warren Adams (“Toy Story”), scenic design by David Korins (“Bring It On: The Musical,” “Annie”), costume design by Tony Award® nominee ESosa (“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” “Project Runway”), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Natasha Katz (“Once,” “Sister Act”), sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (“Rock of Ages,” “The Scottsboro Boys”), projection design by Daniel Brodie (“Jekyll and Hyde”).

“Motown: The Musical” features arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp (“Rock of Ages”), who will also serve as musical supervisor for the 18 piece orchestra and reproduce the classic “Sound of Young America” for the Broadway stage, with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Crook (“Smash”), dance arrangements by Zane Mark (“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”) and music direction by Joseph Joubert (“Nice Work If You Can Get It”).

“Motown: The Musical” is produced by Tony Award winning producer Kevin McCollum (“Rent,” “In the Heights,” “Avenue Q”), Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Enter­tainment Doug Morris and Motown founder Berry Gordy.

“Motown: The Musical” will play the following performance schedule during preview performances:

March 11 – March 24: Mon – Sat at 8pm; Sat at 2pm; Dark Sun (no Wed matinee)

March 25 – April 7: Mon – Sat at 8pm; Wed and Sat at 2pm; Dark Sun

April 8 – April 14: Tues – Sat at 8pm; Wed and Sat at 2pm; Sun at 6:30pm (Opening Night); Dark Mon

Beginning April 15: Tues at 7pm; Wed – Sat at 8pm; Wed and Sat at 2pm; Sun at 3pm; Dark Mon.

Tickets prices range from $57.00 - $142.00 and are available by calling Ticketmaster at 877-250-2929 or visiting

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

March 14, 2013

LAWT News Service


After 5 years of touring everywhere but Los Angeles, the UniverSoul Circus is back opening this Saturday March 16 through March 31 on Inglewood’s Hollywood Park parking lot, And to make sure they widen the eyes of many youth, they said, they’re giving 500 tickets to inner city youth. 


Under the big top, audiences will be entertained by 75 performers from all over the world, including acrobats, contortionists, dancers and animal tamers. Inter­national performers from Africa, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, China and the United States with an urban aesthetic and a hip-hop beat.

UniverSoul is a highly-interactive com­bin­ation of circus arts, theater, and music that spans genres including Pop, Classic R&B, Latin, Hip Hop, Jazz and Gospel. It embraces and celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of pop culture globally by bringing them center stage with a cast of international performers. UniverSoul Circus is rated as one of the top three circuses in America along with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey and Cirque du Soleil. UniverSoul’s fresh approach to family friendly live entertainment has garnered it a coveted spot as one of Ticketmaster’s top ten most requested family events, along with other shows including Sesame Street Live, Disney on Ice, and Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The circus was founded in Atlanta by concert and theatre promoter, Cedric Walker. In 2013 the circus will perform over 500 shows in 46 major markets.

UniverSoul Circus has touched audiences for 19 years, since Cedric Walker, a former entertainment mogul who worked for such groups as the Commodores and The Jackson 5, created it to bring together families and communities.  Walker travels the world looking for thrilling, high-adrenaline, and, often, nerve-wracking acts, that will keep families entertained.  The 15-city tour includes Vincent Clark, a Capella singers and the Human Beat Box from the United States; seven female contortionists from Africa; A Cuban/Russian high-bar act, a Vietnamese head balancing act, and China’s Shaolin Warrior king-fu acrobats.

The circus also features performing animals, such as the Magic Cat Comedy act featuring live tigers from Africa, horse tricks from Russia and Africa, elephants, zebras and a French dog act.

And back for his 19th year is ringmaster sidekick Zanda Charles, known as “Zeke,” with a brand new bag of tricks.


The circus introduces new acts, music and choreography each year, which adds a fresh spin to the show.

Unlike arena-style events packed with nosebleed seats, no audience member is farther than 50 feet away under this tent, so they may find themselves right beneath the high-wire act.

The circus continues to evolve and diversify and find the best acts from around the world, regardless of their background. 

The UniverSoul Circus delivers a ‘must-see’ and colorful show with incredible talent. Get your tickets today!

Visit for more info, show times, and schedules.


Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

March 21, 2013

By Nicole Williams

LAWT Contributing Writer


Late February to early March were months full of controversial issues. For example, on Tuesday, March 5 George Zimmer­man’s attorneys waived his right to a Stand Your Ground hearing that was scheduled to take place on April 22. While the rest of the media was shocked, CNN Political Analyst, Roland Martin was not, and said he’s “not buying for one second” that Zimmerman has a strong self-defense argument.

On George Zimmer­man waiving his right to a stand your ground hearing:

It is not shocking or surprising because George Zimmerman’s attorneys think, “well we believe we have a strong self defense argument” and I’m not buying that for one second. I think that they clearly understood that they were taking a huge chance by having the Stand Your Ground hearing…And also, they would’ve had to lay out a significant part of their case had they gone forward with a Stand Your Ground hearing and so I think with all of those factors they probably said it makes good for us to pull back onto this thing and focus on the June 10th trial, which the last thing you want to do is risk all that negative publicity and now all the sudden if you can’t even prove Stand Your Ground, now you’re really at a disadvantage moving forward in the trial.

In Sanford, FL on February 26, 2012, unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in what Zimmerman claims was self-defense. He says he operated under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which says a person may use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief that the other person is a threat. When asked on challenging the Stand Your Ground law, Martin says the law is challenged all the time and that it should be thrown out.

On challenging stand your ground law:

There are numerous examples of individuals who have asserted stand your ground but the judge threw it out. The judge said, “no that’s not the case.” Now, the problem is that you will hear prosecutors, you hear law enforcement personnel say it makes it difficult for them and that’s one of the reasons why the law quite frankly should be thrown out because there’s so many restrictions faced upon law enforcement personnel the moment somebody tries to invoke stand your ground.  That’s where the difficulty comes in.

On February 27, 2013, the Supreme Court heard a Voting Rights Act challenge from Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. More specifically, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is the section under question. Martin explains what Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act means.

On Section 5 of Voting Rights Act:

Practically what it means is that, when there’s a voting change in those locales, it means that a voting advocate would have to file a lawsuit to prevent it from going forward whereas right now, the difference is that the moment a voting law is changed, the department of justice has to pre-clear it…What it also means is that with people who are trying to suppress the vote, you’re making it a heck of a lot easier for them to do so except now they don’t have to worry about the Department of Justice looking over their shoulder. That’s one of the reasons why Shelby County has filed a lawsuit. They don’t like the fact that the Department of Justice is and everybody is looking at every single thing they do, which most likely is a good thing though.  

On Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Justice Antonin Scalia made a comment that the continuation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is a “perpetuation of racial entitlement” in his statement here: “I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It's been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.” Martin says that Justice Scalia’s comment is beyond offensive.

On Justice Scalia’s comments regarding Section 5 of Voting Rights Act:

The comments made by Antonin Scalia are an abomination because to sit there and to make such a ­ridiculous claim is beyond offensive. And then to sit here and say that “Oh, the White legislators who voted to stand for Voting Rights Act that they did so because they are afraid of being called racist or bigots yet these are the same people we have no problem opposing all kinds of other laws. They had no problem opposing Affirmative Action, no problem opposing the Violence Against Women Act, no problem opposing all those other laws. But all of the sudden, now they’re scared on this one.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

March 14, 2013

Special to the NNPA from the

St. Louis American


Lenny Kravitz is out – and Jesse L. Martin is in to portray iconic soul singer Marvin Gaye in the Julien Temple produced, “Sexual Healing.”

According to Deadline, the film focuses on the time Gaye spent in Europe in the early 1980s, when the soul singer attempted to get his addictions under control and career back on track with the help of British music promoter Freddy Cousaert. Gaye was shot by his father and died in Los Angeles on April 1, 1984.

Martin was Marvin in the James Gandolfini version of a movie with the same title five years ago.

According to, the decision to replace Lenny was actually a legal move. Marvin Gaye III, the late singer’s son, threatened legal action against the filmmakers.

Information from and contributed to this report.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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