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Tony-winning director Kenny Leon Keeping Busy Leon directs another NY play and stars in one

6/23/2014, 1:04 p.m.
Atlanta mainstay and theatre mogul Kenny Leon.

Atlanta-based director Kenny Leon doesn’t appear to be taking any time off to enjoy his recent Tony win for directing “A Raisin In The Sun” on Broadway. Leon is still in New York directing “Holler If Ya Hear Me”, a new play inspired by the music of Tupac Shakur. The play uses Shakur’s songs to tell an original story about two young men dealing with life and tragedy in a Midwestern industrial city. One of Shakur’s old friend Madonna came to the preview on Monday as did his mother Afeni Shakur. The play officially opened this past Thursday. Shakur was shot to death in 1996 at the age of 25. Leon returns to Atlanta and the stage to next month to co-star with Phylicia Rashad in the play “Same Time Next Year” (July 8-Aug. 3) for his theater company True Colors.

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (center) attends the premiere of “Think Like A Man Too” in Atlanta.

‘Think Like A Man Too’ Premieres in Atlanta

Yes, that was red-hot comedian/actor Kevin Hart and some fellow cast members you saw around town last week as they attended the southern premiere of “Think Like A Man Too”, the second movie installment from the popular advice book of the same name by Steve Harvey. Harvey was about from the premiere engagement in one of his community projects. Except for LaLa Anthony, all of the female cast members were missing. Hart was very generous with his time speaking with all of the media outlets and bloggers covering the red carpet.

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Michelle Williams' "Journey to Freedom" to drop Tuesday, September 9.

Michelle Williams releases new video featuring Kelly and Beyonce

Grammy winning songtress and actress Michelle Williams this week released the video to her gospel hit single “Say Yes” which features Kelly Rowland and Beyonce. She also unveiled the cover to her upcoming album Journey to Freedom which will be released Sept. 9. This marks Williams’ fourth studio album release. The song which has a slight reggae beat to it has quickly risen to #1 on the Billboard’s Digital Gospel Songs chart. Williams will be performing live at the Essence Festival July 5 in New Orleans. To see the video go to: The Atlanta Voice.com or the Atlanta Voice’s Facebook page.

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Director Ava DuVernay

Surprise guests showing up on set of 'Selma'

Director Ava DuVernay has been surprised twice by special guests showing up on the set of her civil rights-era film “Selma” currently showing in metro Atlanta. The first unannounced guest was U.S. Rep. John Lewis who showed up on the day they were wrapping a scene about John Lewis. Then the following week Oprah Winfrey shows up unannounced, according to DuVernay who posted the photos on her Facebook page.

Funky and funny: Craig Robinson jams at Bonnaroo

MANCHESTER, Tennessee (AP) – Craig Robinson, a comedian and actor probably best known as Darryl on "The Office,’’ brought a smokin’ hot seven-piece band - The Nasty Delicious - to the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on last Saturday evening, and turned the comedy tent into a dance hall. "It’s my first love,’’ Robinson said. "I used to play the piano as soon as I could reach it.” The 42-year-old Chicago resident isn’t stopping at his stand-up comedy set. He’s also incorporating music into his first starring role on television. He’ll play a music teacher on his new sit-com "Mr. Robinson,’’ in development for NBC. He also stars as funky saxophonist Maceo Parker in the James Brown biopic "Get On Up,’’ out in August.

Amazon launches music streaming for Prime members

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Amazon last week launched a music streaming service for its Prime members, adding yet another freebie to its popular free-shipping plan. The Internet giant unveiled its first 3D smartphone this week. Amazon.com Inc. is offering more than a million tracks for ad-free streaming and download to Kindle Fire tablets as well as to computers and the Amazon Music app for Apple and Android devices. The service, called Prime Music, will be integrated with the Amazon smartphone. People who pay $99 a year for Prime can listen to tens of thousands of albums from artists including Beyonce, The Lumineers and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for no extra cost.

NBC’s Matt Lauer is sticking with ‘Today’ show

NEW YORK (AP) - NBC said last Friday that Matt Lauer had agreed to a contract extension to continue as co-host of the morning show, as he’s been since 1997. The show is trying to recover the dominance it lost to rival "Good Morning America’’ the past few years.