On the A: Lonette McKee Plans Sparkle Reunion Tour in Harlem
Ed. Note: Check our Event Page for information about the November 2, 2012 performance in Harlem
The story of talented individuals from Harlem pursuing their dreams plays itself out everyday, which is why the 1976 film “Sparkle” still resonates with modern audiences. Lonette McKee, who played Sister in the original film, knows this and that’s why she’s planning a live reunion tour with the original leads from the classic to coincide with the remake’s release.
“The original people from ‘Sparkle’ all have been in touch and agreed it’s the perfect time for a live concert version. So we all are gonna reunite and start doing ‘Sparkle’ concerts,” she reveals.
Don’t expect the tour to kick off in McKee‘s hometown of Detroit, Michigan. McKee, who now resides in Harlem, wants to launch it in the Black Mecca.
“I am more at home up in Harlem in New York than I ever was in Detroit so this would be the place to kick this concert off.”
In addition to producing the “Sparkle” tour the Tony nominated veteran teaches acting workshops at City College of New York. On April 24th, at Aaron Davis Hall she will debut the theatrical production “An Evening of Scenes,” featuring her students, which she directed and produced.
McKee isn’t the only one still dreaming big and reaching her goals. 14-year old playwright, actor and visual artist Aliou Abdussami is also on his own a path of success. Abdussami is a member of Culture Crashers, a creative arts youth initiative presented by the Harlem Arts Alliance and Souleo Enterprises, LLC. This past week, his work was displayed at The Children’s Storefront 9th Annual Men’s Mentoring Art Exhibition. For Abdussami it’s just one more step toward fulfilling his vision. “My dream is to combine computers and technology with my passion for acting, visual arts and writing,” he says.
Combining classic songs and musical theatre has produced an off-Broadway hit for Dorothy Marcic with “Sistas: The Musical.” The feel good musical reveals the struggles and triumphs of a group of women of color through songs ranging from Bessie Smith‘s “‘Taint Nobody’s Business If I Do,” to Mary J. Blige‘s “Just Fine.” As the show’s director, Kenneth Ferrone notes the production serves as a valuable reminder of the power of lyrics.
“The Motown songs we do are so much a part of popular culture that you know the tune and hook, but I never completely actually heard what I was listening to. This makes you listen to the lyrics more than you ever did.”
Those who see “Sistas,” will also get a chance to focus on the words of Erykah Badu‘s “Tyrone,” which is one of the featured musical numbers. Meanwhile at the launch of Hennessy’s Wild Rabbit campaign there were a few other words of wisdom Badu shared, particularly regarding pursuing one’s own creative path.
“Everybody has someone they look at and say ‘I’d like to be like.’ But you have to live your dreams not somebody else’s,” she advises. “I tell artists do it with honesty, be true to your art and don’t allow anything to infiltrate, it not even you.”
Now that’s a recipe for making dreams not only come true but stay true too.
Souleo Enterprises, LLC is the umbrella company that creates and produces entertaining, empowering and informative media and philanthropic projects by founder, Souleo.
This article is courtesy of our partner The Harlem Arts Alliance
The Harlem Arts Alliance is a not for profit arts service organization celebrating 10 years of service to a prestigious list of members such as the Apollo Theater, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Columbia University, Harlem Stage (Aaron Davis Hall) and over 850 more cultural/arts institutions and individuals. The weekly column, Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture and entertainment in Harlem and the greater NYC area.
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