Reelblack Recommends In Living Color’s Tommy Davidson at Helium Comedy Club 7/21-7/23

Reelblack highly recommends you check out the hilarious TOMMY DAVIDSON (In Living Color,  The Proud Family) performing this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Philly’s Helium Comedy Club, 20th and Sansom Street.   Tickets are $25.00 - $32.00 plus two item minimum and can be purchased in advance at


Tommy’s reach is built on the show’s and its stars groundbreaking and innovative talent. Davidson started his career as a standup comedian in Washington DC, earning an ardent following via hard work in various comedy clubs. As one of the cutting-edge, young stand-ups, he was spotted by huge concert promoters, who booked him as the opening act for major touring acts including Patti LaBelle, Kenny G and Luther Vandross. It wasn’t long before he came to Hollywood performing stand-up at a number of clubs, including the Comedy Act Theatre, where he met Robert Townsend which led to his first national television appearance with a starring role in Partners in Crime. This was the conduit to Keenan Ivory Wayans, who proved instrumental in Davidson’s career by offering him an opportunity to audition and join the uniquely talented cast of the most adventurous primetime variety show of its day, In Living Color. He, Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans made tv history with their originality. Tommy’s impressive film debut was opposite Halle Berry in Strictly Business. He immediately segued select high-profile films including opposite Jada Pinkett Smith in the romantic comedy, Woo (New Line) and in the provocative urban comedy, Booty Call (Columbia Pictures). His credits include numerous feature film roles from Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, where he received acclaim and praise for his turn as “Womack/Sleep ‘N Eats,” to Juwanna Mann (Morgan Creek Productions’) and the pivotal cameo in Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura II: When Nature Calls, which has become a cult favorite. Davidson’s hilarious impressions of Sammy Davis, Jr., Michael Jackson and other icons have become infamous. His visibility on In Living Color led to three Showtime specials: On Strength of New York, Illin’ in Philly and Takin’ it to DC. His elasticity as a performer who delivers on both the big and small screen led to other projects like the lead in the Disney’s animated series, The Proud Family and as one of the hosts on FOX’s popular The NFL Show, alongside football greats Michael Irvin and Tony Siragusa.

Check out Reelblack TV’s exclusive interview with Tommy Davidson HERE:

Coming Soon To Helium


August 24 - 27


August 31 - September 3

New Film Production Needs Your Support


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Philly filmmaker Nadine Patterson began filming on July 17th her debut feature film Tango Macbeth. Please take a moment to read this letter.  She is worthy of your support:

Instead of relying on foundations for support, I am asking my community of artists and art lovers to back this unique cultural production online here at Chip-In:

Quote from noted author Lorene Cary about the project: “The project rocks. Tango Macbeth takes one of Shakespeare’s most-studied, most read, most quoted plays, and uses dance to reinterpret and enliven it. Especially since Macbeth brims with movement-from furtive and secret to public, royal and even military-dance will be a fascinating lens through which to view the play. Tango promises to bring out the extraordinary power of Lady Macbeth’s role, which will help viewers explore questions of shared responsibility for and profits from evil. This film will make a great contribution to the canon. It will also add an extraordinary opportunity for teachers and learners to find new paths into the Shakespearian classic.”

Synopsis: A Philadelphia dance theater company rehearses Macbeth in an old theater. A film crew documents the rehearsals. Occasionally the actors become lost in Shakespeare’s world. The film will use the original text intercut with actors improvising the scene in contemporary English. This dance film version of Macbeth will serve as an introduction to the younger generation of Shakespeare’s legacy, and will be a great point of departure for discussion about personal choice, morality, material excess, and the corrupting nature of power.

We completed five weeks of rehearsal with $35,000 support of from the twenty member cast, composer, choreographer and our community partners. We received a $10,000 grant from the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts. We received private contributions of $8,000 for insurance, location fees, and wardrobe. Our goal is to raise at least $50,000 of our $155,000 budget from our community supporters. We feel this film is an opportunity to create a diverse multicultural vision of Shakespeare’s world, one that is inclusive not exclusive. We are asking you for a donation as we prepare to shoot the film this July 17th through 28th in Philadelphia.

We will enter Tango Macbeth into film festivals, then target the educational market. Later it will be available for viewing on WHYY’s Arts Channel, on public television stations across the country, as well as on DVD and online. More information about the project is available at

We have been able to make uncompromising work, because of people like you who support alternative media and community arts. Now we ask for your support for this exciting project.

Levels of Support

· $25-one ticket to the premiere of Tango Macbeth in Philadelphia in March 2012 at the Painted Bride Arts Center, access to the online streaming version of the film.

· $60 or more - two tickets to the premiere of Tango Macbeth in Philadelphia in March 2012, access to the online streaming version of the film.

· $120 or more - four tickets to the premiere in Philadelphia, and all of the above.

· $1,000 or more - listing as a Film Angel in the closing credits, and an invitation to the Philadelphia and New York premiere of the film, as well as film festival premieres. Plus an invite to the wrap party with actors and crew on July 29th at Immortal.

· $5,000 - the title of Executive Producer, an opening title credit, all of the above and an invite to festival screenings as a member of the production team.

Please make checks payable to Harmony Image Productions, 217 Pelham Road, Philadelphia, PA 19119. Thank you.

With thanks for your consideration, support and encouragement.

Artistically yours,
Nadine M. Patterson Marlene G. Patterson
Director/Producer Producer

Alrick Brown on AFFRM and KINYARWANDA

Thomas Dybdahl in Philly!





Reelblack had a chance to preview this new doc which is filled with revelations about the life of Curt Flood, who risked his career, friends and sanity to challenge the long-held “release Clause” in Major League Baseball.  Excellently done and full of great interviews, this engaging and enlightening film gets our highest recommendation.


HBO Sports, which has produced compelling character studies of baseball legends Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams, will explore the life and career of former St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Curt Flood, one of baseball’s landmark figures.  THE CURIOUS CASE OF CURT FLOOD debuts WEDNESDAY, JULY 13 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates:  July 13 (3:45 a.m.), 16 (10:00 a.m.), 19 (4:00 p.m., midnight), 22 (6:00 p.m.), 25 (8:00 a.m., 2:30 a.m.), 28 (2:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m.) and 31 (11:30 a.m.), and Aug. 3 (midnight)

HBO2 playdates:  July 15 (8:30 p.m.), 18 (11:30 a.m., 2:25 a.m.), 23 (8:00 a.m.) and 26 (12:30 a.m.), and Aug. 14 (1:00 p.m., 4:40 a.m.) and 17 (4:30 p.m.)

HBO On Demand availability:  July 18-Aug. 15

While he did not hit 500 home runs and is not enshrined in Baseball’s Hall of Fame, Flood’s impact on the sport was substantial.  Interrupting his flourishing All-Star career to fight for free agency at age 31, he was a pioneering figure in challenging baseball’s reserve clause, foreshadowing the emergence of free agents in professional sports.

“Every player in every team sport owes a debt of gratitude to Curt Flood,” says Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports.  “His life story is a very complex character study.  His battle to win free agency and have the right to choose where to work is an inspiring story.  He is one of the giants in the history of sports, but has largely been forgotten.”

In 1956, Curt Flood signed with the Cincinnati Reds and made a handful of appearances for the club before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in Dec. 1957.  While a member of the Cardinals, his career blossomed.  An accomplished hitter and outstanding outfielder, Flood started for the Cardinals during the rise of the Civil Rights movement and was frequently the target of racism.

The 5’9” Flood was a three-time All-Star and a seven-time Gold Glove Award winner for his defensive prowess in centerfield.  He made three World Series appearances with the Cardinals (who won in 1964 and 1967) alongside teammates and future Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Lou Brock.

However, Curt Flood’s legacy has little to do with his on-field accomplishments.  His biggest contribution was paving the way for modern free agency.  After being traded from the Cardinals to Philadelphia Phillies in 1969, Flood refused to report to his new team, challenging the reserve clause that bound a player to a team in perpetuity.

The Supreme Court case that ultimately ensued would not end favorably for Flood, who sat out the entire 1970 season as his case moved through the judicial system.  While he received little support from influential active players at the time, Flood’s actions brought valuable attention to the slave-like provisions of baseball’s reserve clause.  Today, he is remembered as the man whose courage and sacrifice turned even major league bench players into millionaires.

Curt Flood was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1996 and passed away Jan. 20, 1997.

Interviewees include:  Flood’s widow, Judy Pace Flood; his daughter, Shelly Flood; sister Rickie Riley; friends Bill Patterson, Sam and Ed Bercovich, Wendy Potyrala, Clark Parker and Karen Brecher; former St. Louis Cardinals stars Bob Gibson, Joe Torre and Tim McCarver; former major leaguers Elliott Maddox, Dal Maxvill and Jim “Mudcat” Grant; journalists Brad Snyder and Richard Reeves; historian Dr. Gerald Early; personal attorney Allan Zerman; former Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) officials Marvin Miller and Richard Moss; and attorney Lou Hoynes.

The executive producers of THE CURIOUS CASE OF CURT FLOOD are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; senior producer, Joe Lavine; producer, Ezra Edelman; writer, Aaron Cohen; narrator, Liev Schreiber; editor, Charles Marquardt; original music composed by Gary Lionelli.

AFFRM Announces Our Next Release - KINYARWANDA

Theatrical Distribution Collective Dedicated to

Black Independent Cinema Announces Second Film


Sundance Audience Award Winner To Be Released November 2011

Los Angeles, CA (July 4, 2011) – AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, has acquired U.S. theatrical rights to the 2011 Sundance Audience Award winner for World Cinema Drama, KINYARWANDA.  Written and directed by Alrick Brown, KINYARWANDA is the first feature conceived within Rwanda and produced by Rwandans regarding the 1994 genocide that saw one million lives lost in 100 days.  KINYARWANDA interweaves six true tales into one epic narrative, confronting the realities of forgiveness in the face of vengeance. The film will be released in theaters November 2011.

KINYARWANDA will mark the second feature from AFFRM, the theatrical distribution entity powered by the nation’s top black film festival organizations.  The collective activates quality black independent films with simultaneous theatrical engagements in select cities. AFFRM’s inaugural feature was the critically-acclaimed drama, “I Will Follow,” released in March 2011 to an opening weekend per screen average of $11,428 without a formal advertising or marketing budget.

“We’re truly honored to release KINYARWANDA with Alrick Brown and his amazing producing team.  AFFRM’s mission is to shine a light on the work of black filmmakers and to meaningfully connect their films to both black consumers and filmlovers of every hue,” explained Ava DuVernay, Founder of AFFRM.  “This project is an exquisite, important piece of filmmaking that deserves to be seen in a theatrical environment and promoted with the vigor and passion that AFFRM offers.”

KINYARWANDA is produced by Darren Dean and Tommy Oliver with executive producer Ishmael Ntihabose.  Alrick Brown directs from his screenplay, with story by Ntihabose.  Cassandra Freeman, Edouard Bamporiki and Cleophas Kabasitain star.  Cinematography by Danny Vecchione, with editing by Tovah Leibowitz.

Reelblack Recommends QFest 2011

QFest is here. Celebrating the best in Gay and Lesbian themed shorts and features, here are Reelblack’s recommendations for this year’s festival. At the Ritz East, Front and Sansom Walk in Old City.


Thursday, July 14, 7:15 PM
Ritz East Theater 1 
Saturday, July 16, 4:45 PM
Ritz East Theater 2

this tremendously poignant film, a Sundance Film Festival hit, Harmony
Santana stars as a teenage boy transitioning to a woman at a time when
her father returns home from prison.

moving, this film shot on location in the Bronx from debut filmmaker
Rashaad Ernesto Green is the story of a father just released from
prison, his wife, and their teenage son Michael (Harmony Santana), who
is in the process of coming out as Vanessa, a transwoman. Enrique (Esai
Morales) and Angela (Judy Reyes) have a lot of issues to deal with:
Enrique tries to stay clean and out of jail and Angela struggles to
keep her home and family together,protecting her child from her
husband, who is unable to deal with the gender transition and lashes out
in fear. The macho Enrique finds it impossible to understand that his
son wants to become a woman - it’s not something he’s wired to
comprehend. Enrique struggles not only with his child’s gender, but with
his own criminal past and friends. The whole cast and crew deserve
kudos for their roles in this stunningly transcendent film, but Harmony
Santana earns a call-out for her bravura performance as Michael/Vanessa
in this must-see dramatic highlight of the festival. — Scott Cranin


Monday, July 11, 7:15 PM Ritz at the Bourse

Tuesday, July 12, 5:15 PM Ritz at the Bourse

Get ready for a gut-busting good time in this hilarious mockumentary when a group of urban teenagers can’t deal with their lesbian moms anymore and enlist them in a special type of boot camp dedicated to removing their lesbian tendencies.

When director Coquie Hughes started out making My Mama Said Yo Mama’s a Dyke, she initially intended it to be a documentary about African-American bisexual and lesbian mothers and their children. Since funding was limited, she turned it into one of one hell of a feature truly capturing the funny and serious scenarios of LGBT families can endure in urban communities. First there’s Wade who is an awfully shy so his mother tells girls he’s interested in that she is gay, not her son. Marco is a cool and confident, but her mom continually follows this lesbian stud around mimicking her style and strut. Then there is poor Chuck whose mother is now dating his ex-girlfriend. Being fed up with their situation, these kids find the perfect solution… Camp Dyke-No-More! Hughes does a fantastic job using humor to convey the overall message that families need to take a step back and listen to each other and thus making My Mama Said Yo Mama’s a Dyke an immensely entertaining comedy. — Kelly Burkhardt


Thursday, July 14, 7:00 PM Ritz East Theater 2
Saturday, July 16, 2:15 PM Ritz East Theater 2

A wild ensemble cast highlights Roger Omeus’ romantic drama about a group of love- and sex-obsessed Jersey City friends navigating the treacherous waters of relationships.

Who knew Jersey City could be such a hotbed of gay drama? Less of a sequel (one needn’t have seen Finding Me to enjoy this movie) than a new approach, Truth follows the loves, losses, fights, jealousies and broken hearts of a group of friends. It centers around the sweet, bright-eyed and emotionally vulnerable Faybien (RayMartell Moore). Comfortable with his gayness but saddled with self-esteem issues, Faybien’s love life is put into an emotional spin when his ex, Lonnie, returns with an interest in reigniting their relationship. You’d think that he’d get a sympathetic ear from his friends, but they already have their own issues. Reggie’s in love with bisexual, non-committal Greg; high-strung queen bee Amera is certain her boyfriend is cheating on her; and the always-meddling muscle queen Jay is busy confronting his rough trade boyfriend’s girlfriend. A memorable cast of African-American actors contribute to make Truth a fast, touching and furious emotional ride! — Raymond Murray


If you missed Robert X. Golphin’s short film, PUNCH ME at last season’s Reelblack Presents, here’s your chance to show some ove. It will precede the feature film MY LAST ROUND, which screens Wednesday, July 13, 7:15 PM Ritz East Theater 2 and Saturday, July 16, 12:00 PM Ritz East Theater 2. With a romance on the rocks and a father on his sick bed, a young man must accept his true identity before he loses the two people he loves most. Local filmmaker Robert X. Golphin writes, directs and stars in this arresting dramatic short.

Remember to support quality African-American film. See it in theaters–not on bootleg.

Love, Peace and Nappiness,

Mike D.

Ralph Harris at Helium Comedy Club 7/7 - 7/9

Comedian (and Philly native) Ralph Harris  begins a 3-day run tonight at Helium Comedy Club, 20th and Sansom Streets.  For tickets, visit

Ralph Harris from “DreamGirls”
Ralph recalls with special fondness the nearly fifty takes needed to perfect his character’s “gentle caress” of Beyonce Knowles’ well-known bootylicious behind. But really, who’s counting? Not one to slow down, Ralph has continued his film career momentum, immediately landing his second feature role in the film EVAN ALMIGHTY starring Steve Carell and Wanda Sykes (no word on whether Ralph’s gentle caress of Wanda’s behind made the final cut). Ralph’s jump to the big screen comes after years of successful television work, including appearances on Seinfeld, Parenthood, Nick Freno, Living Single and In Living Color. No stranger to late night, Ralph has been featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. However Ralph is probably best known for his starring role in the ABC-TV sitcom “On Our Own,” which aired during the immensely popular TGIF block on Friday nights, and which currently airs in syndication on TV One. You can also catch Ralph on TV in airings of his two previously recorded Cable TV specials – Comedy Central Presents and the HBO Half-Hour Comedy Special. When he’s not filming, Ralph continues to tour the country and perform to sold-out audiences as a stand-up comedian, his first career and love. Ralph’s comedy is character driven, and is influenced by many of the greats, including his idols Bill Cosby and Jonathan Winters. Born and raised in Philadelphia… Ralph spends what little time he’s not on the road performing, at home in Los Angeles.

Win a Copy of Children of God on DVD

Kareem Mortimer’s CHILDREN OF GOD is a gay update of Romeo & Juliet set on the beautiful beaches of the Bahamas.

Check out Reelblack’s exclusive interview with the award-winning writer/director HERE.
Check out our exclusive interview with star Stephen Tyrone Williams HERE.

Then enter to win a copy of the just released DVD courtesy of TLA entertainment by sending an email with your full name in the body of the message and the phrase CHILDREN OF GOD in the subject line to

Michael Rapaport - Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (Interview)

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