Lynne d Johnson

 

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04.11.04 10:56 PM

p.diddy's acting and missy, alicia, and beyonce rock

this past tuesday, kevin and i made our way to the royale theater on broadway to witness p.diddy, audra mcdonald, sanaa lathan, and phylicia rashad in a raisin in the sun. granted, there are moments on making the band II where i feel that p.diddy is straight-up acting, and quite well at that, but placing him in the company of this splendid cast simply reveals how much he lacks in acting ability. let's not mention that homeboy was a little wack by not showing up to a few rehearsals, and perhaps this accounts for his inability to have moved me. his film roles have been just too few, and such bit parts, that we really haven't gotten to see whether he really has any acting chops. the three ladies were dramatic, excellent, superb even, and i've come to the conclusion that in such a circle of acting talent, even if he had a morsel of dramatic abilities, here is not where we would have seen them. overall, the play was brilliant, and i was even able to remove myself from the original tv cast to give each actor a fair chance, but when it came to p.diddy whether i kept flashing to sidney poitier in my mind or not it simply didn't matter.

on another note, i took the 14-year-old niece to nassau coliseum last night to see the ladies first tour. we missed the tamia opener, but walked in right as missy was amping up the crowd. we straight-ran from our gate of entry to the gate where our seats were located. standing the whole time, dancing, and singing we watched a very energetic performance. the dancers were amazing. and missy, who "lost a few pounds in her waist for ya,'" ran through the crowd, standing on chairs within the audience, hyping up the crowd. not a one in the crowd, male and female alike, were mad at the healthy chick who entered the stage via sliding down the pole and performing stunts, uh, acrobatics, uh, floor manuevers, that were phenomenal. the crowd hooted. it was like as if i received some reviving pump in my heart watching all the movement that went on onstage with this performace.

at that moment i wondered why alicia keys was slotted between missy and beyonce on the bill, as i was expecting piano interludes and very dull moments. why fall asleep between two hyper performers? this was not the case at all. i totally have a new appreciation for ms. keys, whose voice i often find irritating, like nails scratching a chalk board. in person she proved to have powerhouse vocal abilities. she also worked in a few dance numbers, which made the crowd go crazy. piano playing was impeccable. she even laid atop the piano, and reached down backwards with one hand to play. the background singers were dynamic. and ms. keys even tried to give us a little sex here and there. there were funk and classical interludes that sent the crowd into hysterics.

(the niece was ecstatic by now. she had lost her voice. she was screaming like crazy and singing loudly. she kept glancing at her auntie from time-to-time, smiling, grabbing her hand, to display her appreciation for the night's activity.)

finally, ms. booty hop herself. we kept watching this activity in the middle of the floor, where the niece was convinced that beyonce would enter from. she was right. they had four muscle-bound dudes carry the chick out on a cleopatra-styled carriage as she threw rose petals into the crowd. her hair looked a bit messy, but i suppose it worked into her tina turner impersonations. yet i'm prone to opt for a bad weave day, and perhaps it's been a bad weave week because in pictures of the yankee opener with jay-z, the hair looked just as tossled. but nevertheless to say, she is the new tina turner on so many fronts. she sang with umph, as usual. her outfits were too cute, revealing her tighter-than-tight physique. she pranced across the stage like a royal r&b queen. her little destiny child's medley was a little strange, since you'd expect she'd pull michelle and kelly out to perform with her - but she didn't.

(the sound system at the coliseum was amazing. booming even. made both alicia and beyonce sound like they were singing, directly to you, right in your ear. and the reverbs and echos - piercing. not shrieking, but piercing.)

beyonce continued and i kept telling the niece that i expected jay-z to come out as i heard he did in nj earlier in the week. yet things were slowing down and she had not performed "crazy in love." most of the crowd started winding down, some started leaving, and some were sitting down tired looking. and then it happened, "crazy in love" started kicking on. some folks started rising to their feet, yelling and singing at the top of their lungs. i saw a man in a hat, coming onto the stage, i thought it was you-know-who. i blinked for one second, and there he was. new york loves the jigga man. by now the majority of attendees still left rose to their feet, put up diamond signs, and rapped with their beloved jay-z. the moments between the two were slighly romantic. she was constantly in his face, put her arm around his waist, and he brushed her thigh. they looked - in love. their chemisty, not in-your-face bubbling over the top, but simply acknowledged - present.

(when we got back to the car, turns out i had left the lights on and was in need of a boost. the niece immediately got on the cell to call her male friend and report that jay-z had performed with beyonce. he dropped the phone. i finally got a boost from someone in the parking lot, got into the car, and soon after the niece told me she was going to sleep. we both smiled at one another. for all of our generational differences, last night we totally bonded on some old music ish. i thought about the audiences makeup, young, old, white, black, latino - sorry i didn't see any asians, if they were there somehow i missed them. music really brings folks together. as for the niece and i, our bond is nothing new, but last night, i saw something deeper, a level of understanding between us that i had not realized was there before. music has power that i don't think i can ever really capture in words.)

to be quite honest, i don't own not a one of missy's albums. as for alicia, i only have the recent one, and it came directly from the label. i don't own beyonce's album, nor not a one of destiny child's cds. but thanks to the lack of radio and video playing diversity, i knew most of the songs. these ladies aren't necessarily my favorite artists, but last night i loved them all during the time i shared with them.

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