Curtain Goin’ Up! – Broadway’s hit musical, The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker’s Pulitizer Prize-winning novel, comes to Governors State University’s Center for the Performing Arts — for one night only! — on

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Curtain Goin’ Up! – Broadway’s hit musical, The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker’s Pulitizer Prize-winning novel, comes to Governors State University’s Center for the Performing Arts — for one night only! — on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m. Based on the Walker family saga, it tells the story of one woman’s journey to overcome adversity set to soul-stirring music.

Celie finds strength to triumph over adversity and discovers her unique voice in the world. With a joyous, Grammy-nominated score featuring gospel, jazz, pop and the blues, the musical is about hope and the healing power of love. The original Broadway musical opened in December, 2005 and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” It ran for over two years on Broadway followed by a first National Tour.

Directed by Garry Griffin, it features a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman, music and lyrics by Grammy-winning composers/lyricists Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray and choreography by Donald Byrd. The tour cast features Ashley Ward as Celie, Deidra Grant as Sofia, Taprea Augustine as Shug Avery, Dayna Marie Quincy as Nettie and Chicago native and Chicago Academy for the Arts alum James Johnson as Adam/Ensemble. Tickets range in price from $15 – $65; for student tickets call (708) 235-2222.

Strictly for Laughs – It promises to be one heck of a grand and joyous night when The Bernie Mac Foundation presents I Ain’t Scared of You, a red carpet premiere screening and tribute to the late, great comic, Bernie Mac, on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Showplace Icon Theatre, 150 W. Roosevelt Dr., here in Chicago – produced and directed by Robert Small. The premiere kick-starts from 7-8 p.m.; general seating, 7:30 p.m.; and showtime hits at 8 p.m. A $125 per person V.I.P. Reception includes deluxe seating, concessions and complimentary parking.

Proceeds will benefit Sarcoidosis Research & Education. There is limited seating, so reserve tickets ASAP! Call Denise Jordan Walker, Candid Entertainment, (312) 291-4493. (This documentary will also be shown/repeated on Feb. 19 on the Comedy Central network.)

Newsy Names – Happy 27th anniversary wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Ken Smikle (she’s the former TV newswoman and media rep Renee Ferguson; he’s publisher of the trade mag Target Market News ), and seventh anniversary wishes to Rev. and Mrs. Reginald Williams Jr. (he’s pastor of First Baptist Church of University Park; she’s the former Nakida Gadson, his “first lady”) … Continuing the established tradition, Mayor Rahm Emanuel hosts the 26th Interfaith Breakfast celebrating the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Friday, Jan. 13, 8 a.m., in the Grand Ballroom of the Hinton Hotel … And happy b’day to record store tycoon George Daniels, who celebrates on Friday “big time” with pets and pals at Marc Brooks’ Park 52; also to Don Jackson, Allen Rayford, Ken Smikle, Stephanie Green, Larry Whitman, LaCheryl Hubbard, Ken Bedford, Walter Gillespie, Pia Montes, Michael Merrill, Lisa FInch, Dan Parker, Leslie Perry, Shelli Hayes, Denise Mathews, Armstead Allen, Alice Neville, Dayna Jones and Gina Stevenson Rice.

Diamond Duty – Craig Gilmore, State Farm Insurance Co.’s director of multicultural markets; Marion Brooks, news anchor/reporter at NBC 5 Chicago; and Jesse Rosas, Proviso Township Mental Health Commission’s executive director, will each receive distinguished 2012 Spirit of Excellence Awards from Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action Inc. during its 10th Anniversary Black Tie Gala, “Frost Yourself Ball,” on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The three will be recognized for “their quest for perfection, their desire to excel above all others and their willingness to go that extra mile to victory.” Special guest star dinner performances will be provided by Morris Day & The Time and Caliente!, the soulful sounds of Old School with a Latin Groove. Additionally, Brooks will be the evening’s emcee.

Spearheading the fundraiser: Bishop Dr. Claude Porter, PLCCA’s president /CEO, and David Quas, chair of the board of directors. Corporate sponsorships come at five levels: diamond, $20,000; ruby, $10,000; emerald, $5,000, sapphire, $2,500; and pearl ticket, $250. All proceeds will benefit PLCCA’s continuing efforts to serve the western suburbs of Cook County and Chicago’s metropolitan area.

Gala event chairs: Bonnie DeShong, Claudette P. Harrell, Miguel Allan, Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford, Melody Spann-Cooper and Joyce E. Tucker; honorary co-chairs, Calvin G. Butler, Merri Dee, John Hooker and Lyle Logan. An exclusive jewelry raffle of a half carat brilliant-cut Forevermark loose diamond is included in the ticket price along with a diamond silent auction. Prices range from $90-$5,000. All jewelry is sponsored by James & Williams Jewelers. For tickets and/or other info, call (708) 450-3500.

Trustee Honor – Congrats to Reginald “Hats” Adams, director of community affairs at Rush University Medical Center since1974, on having been recognized on numerous occasions for developing an extensive and effective program of outreach to the West Side community on the Medical Center’s behalf. Throughout his efforts, the Science and Math Excellence (SAME) network was launched. It has grown to encompass collaborative programs with 45 elementary school science clubs.

It has constructed a dozen science labs and provides special training programs for teachers and mentoring of students by Rush employees. Last year, nearly 4,000 children and teens benefited from the SAME Network’s programs and services. The Trustee Medal is Rush’s highest honor, recognizing “individuals of distinction whose achievements program exemplary standards for generations to come.”

Anniversary Celebration – Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) will celebrate the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 5:30 p.m. at a VIP Reception followed by a

6:30 p.m. Celebration with food, drinks and music at Carnivale Restaurant, 702 W. Fulton St . In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision guaranteed a woman’s right to access abortion. In 2011 unprecedented attacks on women’s health care, access to abortion and Planned Parenthood in the federal and state arenas. In these tumultuous times, Roe v. Wade must be protected even as it is celebrated.

State Sen. Heather A. Stearns (D-7th) will be honored with the Richard J. Phelan Profile in Courage Award for her leadership in supporting a bill that would mandate comprehensive sex education in Illinois public schools. Marcena W. Love will be honored with the Dr. Marvin Rosner Award for Lifetime Achievement for her lifelong commitment to protecting reproductive health care. Love, founder of Personal PAC, has been an influential reproductive rights activist in Illinois since joining the Planned Parenthood board in 1966.

An individual ticket is $39; individual VIP ticket, $139; admission to the VIP reception, $390; VIP package: admission for two to the VIP reception and listing in the program. Purchase tickets online at For further info, call (217) 522-6776. All proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA), an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL). Donations are not tax-deductible.

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL).

Congratulations, Ms. Aretha!

You go, girlfriend!

Copyright 2012 Chicago Defender

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