TSD Memphis



Jay-Z dismisses Beyoncé pregnancy rumors

jay-beyonce2-400Numerous media outlets reported last week that singer Beyoncé and her husband, Jay-Z, were expecting their second child but the rap icon says the news isn't true, according to New-York-based radio station Hot 97.

Hot 97's program director and on-air personality, Ebro Darden, said he emailed Jay-Z congratulating him about the alleged baby on the way, but the Brooklyn rapper emailed him back dismissing the news as another rumor.

"It's not true. The news is worse than blogs," Jay-Z said, according to Darden.


Michelle Rhee: The 'Radical' interview

Michelle Rhee-400Michelle Rhee spent a stormy three years in the public eye as the embattled Schools Chancellor of the Washington, DC public schools. Employing a "kids first" philosophy, she chopped heads in the top-heavy administration, firing dozens of dead wood principals, laying off hundreds of extraneous office workers and closing over 20 underperforming schools.

Although students' test scores improved dramatically during her brief, her anti-union stance proved unpopular. Mayor Fenty's reelection bid was basically a referendum on whether the city wished to continue with Rhee's scorched earth philosophy. When he lost, her days were numbered, so she handed in her resignation.

A mother of two, Rhee is married to former NBA star Kevin Johnson, who is now the Mayor of Sacramento, Calif.


20 Years of ‘janet.’

Janetperiod1993-340Time really flies huh? Can you believe that Janet Jackson's 5th album "janet." is 20 years old? I can't, but it is!

Looking back on things, there's just so much that has happened since then. To name a few: the Superbowl incident, her relationship with Jermaine Dupri, the duet with her brother Michael, "Poetic Justice" as well as her other movies and – most recently – her marriage.

But who could forget one of the most definitive albums in popular music? That was the album that brought you such songs as "That's the Way Love Goes" and "Anytime Anyplace."


This week’s DVD releases - May 21, 2013

MyNeighborTotoro-400Top Ten DVD List for May 21, 2013.

"Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters"

"My Neighbor Totoro"

"Beautiful Creatures"

"Howl's Moving Castle"


"Side Effects"


The ‘X Factor’ close to signing Kelly Rowland

kelly-rowland-400Former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland and Mexican superstar Paulina Rubio are in final talks to join The X Factor, sources connected to the show confirm to E! News.

The news comes just days before Fox needs to have all four judges firmly in place, as they are scheduled to begin work on the new season on Tuesday, in Charleston, N.C.


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 05/16/2013

startrek-600For movies opening May 17, 2013


"Star Trek: Into Darkness" (PG-13 for intense violence) Twelfth installment in the futuristic, sci-fi franchise finds Captain Kirk (Chris Pinne) and the crew of the Starship Enterprise summoned back to Earth to confront a seemingly-unstoppable evil force which has left the planet on the brink of extinction. Ensemble cast includes Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Simon Pegg as Scotty and Karl Urban as Bones.


‘Mel Brooks: Make a Noise’

brooks-little-saddles-600Mel Brooks, director, producer, writer and actor, is in an elite group as one of the few entertainers to earn all four major entertainment prizes – the Tony, Emmy, Grammy and Oscar. His career began in television writing for "Your Show of Shows" and together with Buck Henry creating the long-running TV series "Get Smart."

Many hit comedies followed, including "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein," "Silent Movie," "High Anxiety," "History of the World Part I," "Spaceballs," "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It."

Here, he talks about "Mel Brooks: Make a Noise," an American Masters profile chronicling his illustrious career. The PBS special is set to premiere nationwide on Monday, May 20, at 9 pm (CDT). And in June, Brooks will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Film Institute (AFI) at a gala tribute airing on TNT.


The 20 Most Well-Read Cities for African-Americans

34bookstore-400#1 – Durham, North Carolina

#2 – Manhattan, New York

#3 – Atlanta, Georgia

#4 – Washington, District Of Columbia

#5 – Miami, Florida (3rd on Amazon's List)

#6 – Saint Louis, Missouri (11th on Amazon's List)

#7 – Cleveland, Ohio

#8 – Baltimore, Maryland

#9 – New Orleans, Louisiana

#10 – Raleigh, North Carolina


Where are the people for Tyler Perry’s ‘Peeples’

14Peeple-600Over the weekend, I went to see "Tyler Perry Presents Peeples" – a film that Perry neither wrote nor directed. He is credited among the producers and apparently bankrolled the project. The movie was actually written and directed by Tina Gordon Chism, who wrote the screenplay for "Drumline."

I thoroughly enjoyed the film, however, it didn't create much of a buzz at the box office. It didn't help to be up against the second week of "Iron Man 3" and the opening weekend of "The Great Gatsby." Those two heavyweights dominated the top two positions bringing in $72 million and $51 million respectively.

"Peeples" came in at a distant fourth, with less than $5 million dollars for its opening weekend. "Pain and Gain" with Mark Walberg and Dwayne Johnson came in at No., with right at $5 million.


This week’s DVD releases - May 14, 2013

Top Ten DVDs set for release May 14.

"Save the Farm"

"Of Two Minds"

"Bink & Gollie and More Stories about Friendship"


"Face 2 Face"


Actor Courtney B. Vance: ‘Lucky Guy’ or ‘Relentless Guy’

Detroit --- On a particularly sun drenched Monday morning in Detroit, the planets aligned and I returned to my high school alma mater to connect with former classmate, acting great and all-around "nice guy" Courtney Vance. The consummate actor traveled to Detroit to address students at Detroit Country Day School regarding his journey to success, his inspiration and his hopes for them. Vance was, however, unaware of the surprise honor they had in store for him, that he would be the recipient of DCDS' first Courtney B.Vance Performing Arts Award.

But what I and everyone else heard in Country Day's elegant state of the art Performing Arts Center was an eloquent and impassioned discourse on the importance of "getting back to basics."

I encountered Vance walking the halls of his high school alma mater, holding his mother's hand, not in the way a child does, but as a man does, gently and confidently leading her along the hallowed halls of what had become professional and personal memory lane. The irony was not lost on anyone who witnessed that poignant moment.

Vance, who has worked with such industry giants as James Earl Jones, Denzel Washington, and Whitney Houston, turned and caught sight of me as we approached our favorite English teacher, Mrs. Hannett's classroom. With a booming and familiar laugh he opened his arms; we embraced and reminisced briefly about the years we spent at one of the country's most prestigious academic institutions.

Vance worked through the exhaustion of eight weekly Broadway performances, then traveled to Detroit from New York where I had spoken with him a few days earlier about his role in the Broadway production of the hit play, Lucky Guy.

Having seen Vance perform in so many big and small screen hits, including Hamburger Hill, The Preacher's Wife, etc., I joked that he owed me $1,350. When he asked why, I admitted that I had become such a fan of what had become television gold, "Law and Order," and his role of Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver, that I downloaded countless hours of the show from Netflix and exceeded my Wi-Fi card limit by 135 megabytes. "We really got you, didn't we Roz," he shot back with a smile, and having gotten that off my chest, we immersed ourselves in the interview.

When you consider your entire body of work, which of your performances comes to mind?
It would have to be Fences and Hamburger Hill, because that was my first (hit movie), along with The Preacher's Wife and the show I'm doing now, Lucky Guy. I was blessed to get two wonderful theatrical productions on Broadway, Fences and Six Degrees of Separation, which I ran in for over a year in both of them but to get a third go-round typically just doesn't happen. Imagine working with George C. Wolfe coupled with getting 14 actors together in such a complex play, and doing it without the late playwright Nora Ephron is nothing short of a tour de force.

How do you decide on what roles you want to go after?
I look for role's that challenge me, andI consider whether it is something that I and my family will be proud of? Will my family be proud to watch the work and will it challenge me. In this case [The Lucky Guy] it was the opportunity to work with Nora Ephron and Tom Hanks and George C. Wolfe; if the three of them are involved, I am in it. George is a taskmaster, and we are all exhausted, but exhilarated. He is relentless because his vision is so big.

If you had not become an actor, what would you have done instead?
Probably work at General Motors in some sort of business development capacity. I worked summers there in the World HQ and ... the worldwide head of purchasing for GM, Robert Stone, and his boss took me under their wing. They were about to send me to business school when I found theater. In fact, they offered me a job that summer which I turned down because I was going to participate in an acting workshop. Then I told my parents what I had done. ... Years later that same head of purchasing, and his wife, came all the way from Switzerland and saw me on stage in Fences. ... Later he and I wept backstage because he had essentially saved me that summer ... it was one of the most moving experiences of my life.

What are you proudest of in your career?
My body of work. My kids can watch it and feel good about it. ... People just embrace me and my wife [Angela Bassett] for our body and of work, and we haven't compromised who we are. That means that we save our money and we have to wait sometimes. ... I haven't been on Broadway in 20 years, and then this came along at the right time when my children are older, they are seven now, and they are old enough that I can be away from them for a time. ... when they were younger I couldn't commit to six months of being in New York. I am most proud of the way we have crafted our careers and our lives.


Lucky Guy dramatizes the story of tabloid columnist Mike McAlary's meteoric rise, fall and rise again, ending with his coverage of the Abner Louima case for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, shortly before his untimely death on Christmas Day, 1998.

The Voice top 12 includes two Memphians

voices-400The talent that comes from Memphis never ceases to prevail.

Memphians Kris Thomas and Sarah Simmons both performed on the LIVE show of NBC's The Voice last night, and they both made it through to the Top 12. Kris was voted through, and Sarah was about to be sent back home to Memphis. At the very last moment, when the credits started to roll, Adam Levin said, "I have to save Sarah!"

On Tuesday night's show, Kris soulfully performed Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, and Sarah performed The Rolling Stone's Wild Horses.


Justin Timberlake announces world tour

JT-600Justin Timberlake is suiting up for a world tour this fall.

The "Mirrors" singer has announced that in addition to releasing a second half of "The 20/20 Experience," he's also going to embark on a tour that will last through 2014.

Timberlake hinted around the March release of "Experience" that the 10-track disc was actually only the first half of his heralded return to music. The 32-year-old has since confirmed that 10 additional tracks will arrive on September 30, roughly a month before he kicks off his tour in Montreal on October 31.