The lineup for the 2019 Toronto Film Festival (Sept. 5-15) has been announced and some much-anticipated movies depicting the African-American experience are being unveiled.
Among them: Eddie Murphy as the renowned raunchy rhymer Rudy Ray Moore in the biopic “Dolemite Is My Name” co-starring Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps and T.I.
Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet,” marking the first time the story of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman has been told on the big screen. Powerhouse actress Cynthia Erivo stars with Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, Jennifer Nettles, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Omar J. Dorsey and newcomer Kamillah Matthews.
“Just Mercy,” depicting a case from the files of civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson with the fine cast of Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Brie Larson.
Chinonye Chukwu’s poignant prison drama “Clemency” led by Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge (of the upcoming “Brian Banks”) and LaMonica Garrett (who will be all over The CW this season as “The Monitor,” a catalyst across their DC Comics-based series).
Also premiering are “Hustlers” with Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, and the debuting Lizzo and Cardi B; Tom Hanks as Mister Fred Rogers in “Won’t You Be My Neighbor;” and Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the Batman villain “Joker.”
Check www.tiff.net for a complete listing and more information.
TICKET WATCH: Tickets for the venerable Long Beach Jazz Festival (Aug. 9-11) are now on sale. Slated for this 32nd edition are Eric Benet, Norman Brown with special guest Angie Stone, Arturo Sandoval, Terence Blanchard, Brian Culbertson, Poncho Sanchez, the Jazz Classics featuring Patrice Rushen, the Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Special EFX All Stars featuring Chieli Minucci, Karen Briggs, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Veasley, Elliott Yamin, Gail Jhonson, Mariea Antoinette, Paul Taylor, Lao Tizer, Barbara Morrison and many more. Visit www.longbeachjazzfestival.com/tickets/ before it’s too late.
RUNWAY RECOGNITION: The Fashion Legacy Association for Industry Recognition presents its third, biennial three-day fashion extravaganza – FLAIR 2019 (July 26-28) showcasing the work of emerging and prominent African-American designers on the catwalk as well as providing mentoring and scholarships to up-and-coming fashion and design students.
This year’s honorees include iconic fashion designer Stephen Burrows, who wowed audiences in 1973 at the historic Battle of Versailles Fashion Show in Paris; celebrity makeup artist Derrick Rutledge, the man behind the “beat” face of former first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey; designer Angela Dean of the DeanZign atelier; Theodis A. Rodgers Jr., music director for the Ebony Fashion Fair for 15 years; and Pamela Fernandez, a vocalist/voice actor who walked the catwalk as a model and worked the mic as a commentator for the fashion show through the years.
For more information, visit: www.flairinc.org/home.
CLIPPETTES: The Central Avenue Jazz Festival is back July 27 at with Cassandra Wilson, the Baylor Project, Justo Almario’s Afro-Columbian Ensemble, Sheléa, the Eric Reed Westet, Stefon Harris & Blackout and many more …
Also that day, DMX and Snoop Dogg co-headline at Queen Mary Waterfront Events Park, Chicago is at the Greek Theatre, and Smokey Robinson performs at Costa Mesa’s Pacific Amphitheatre …
Lil Nas X, who just received eight MTV Video Music Award nominations, celebrates a new milestone as “Old Town Road” hits No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for a 16th week in a row placing it one week away from being the longest running No. 1 single of all time. Rap goddess Remy Ma was the latest to jump on with a verse for one of many remixes …
“Power” co-star Rotimi presents his music at The Mint on July 28 …
Mahershala Ali was announced as Marvel’s next “Blade” essaying the role Wesley Snipes made famous in future movies. Snipes, in a statement, asked disgruntled fans who hoped he would return to the franchise to “Chillaaxx. Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL good. Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’” …
The month ends with some great shows July 31, beginning with Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan at the Hollywood Bowl; Kool & The Gang and Evelyn “Champagne” King at the Orange County Fair; and saxophonist Greg Osby at Mr MusicHead …
Dawnn Lewis, who portrayed Jaleesa on “A Different World” among her many roles, was cast as mother Zelma in the upcoming Broadway production of “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” starring Adrienne Warren and Daniel J. Watts of “The Last O.G.” as Ike Turner.
HOW YOU DOING?: If you’re Wendy Williams, just fine with the news that Lifetime has signed the TV host to executive produce a biopic on her life, revealing the highs and lows she has experienced throughout the years.
The celebrity disher, who has recently been in the news because of show absences and a pending divorce from her longtime producer/husband, has authorized this revealing look from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show.
After a shuttled production starring Robin Givens a couple of decades ago, this second attempt at a movie will come from Will Packer Media with a fall production start, 2020 debut and an accompanying documentary on Williams’ life.
TC ON TV: July 26 – “Orange Is The New Black” (Netflix): The seventh and final season of the groundbreaking streaming series has arrived. “The Boys” (Amazon): Jessie T. Usher (“Shaft) and Laz Alonso (“Avatar“) as Mother’s Milk, no less, are featured in this series about a group of humans taking down superheroes. “The Wrong Tutor” (Lifetime): Vivica A. Fox, Nate Wyatt and Jackée Harry deal with a sicko.
July 28 – “Delicious Miss Brown” (Food): South Carolina caterer Kardea Brown whips up dishes representing her low country cuisine. “Deadly Dispatch” (TV1): Tamala Jones (“Castle”), Dominique Perry (“Insecure”) and rapper Bone Crusher (“ATL”) star in this murder mystery. “Murder In The First” (BET): “Who Killed Rae Carruth’s Girlfriend” looks at the infamous case that convicted an NFL player. “Shark Trip: Eat Prey Chum” (Discovery): Rob Riggle (“The Hangover”) enlists the help of celebrity friends Anthony Anderson (“Black-Ish”), Damon Wayans Jr. (“New Girl”), Joel McHale (ABC’s “Card Sharks”) and Adam Devine (“Modern Family”) for the ultimate guys outing in this two-hour special.
July 30 – “Live with Kelly & Ryan” (ABC): Angela Bassett “The Daily Show” (Comedy): Trevor Noah goes live for two consecutive nights to report on the Democratic Party’s second 2020 Presidential Primary Debates.
July 31 – “Sherman’s Showcase” (IFC): A new sketch comedy show created and written by Diallo Riddle (“Marlon”) and Bashir Salahuddin (“GLOW”) who portrays host Sherman McDaniels guiding viewers through time via music and comedy drawn from the 40-year library of a legendary (but fictional) musical variety show. The inaugural guests includes series producer John Legend, Common, Morris Day, Tiffany Haddish, Quincy Jones, Lil Rel Howery, Ne-Yo, Mario Van Peebles, Marlon Wayans and Ray Parker Jr. “The Red Sea Diving Report” (Netflix): Chris Evans (“Captain America”) and Michael Kenneth Williams (“The Wire”) star in this fact-based spy thriller about undercover agents opening a fake hotel to real tourists as a cover to help smuggle thousands of Ethiopian refugees to safety. With Ben Kingsley and Greg Kinnear. “DJ Khaled: The Ride”/”DJ Khaled: King of Collabs” (MTV): The triple-platinum award-winning artist and producer has two new specials airing back to back tonight.
TASTY QUIP: “Captain America is black. Thor is a woman. The new Blade got two Oscars. 007 is a black woman. And The Little Mermaid bout to have locs … Sh*t. Just. Got. Real.” – LENA WAITHE (Creator of “The Chi”) on Twitter
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to email@example.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.