Lil' Mo

*“For the two weeks we sold-out 14 of the 16 shows,” R&B’s Lil’ Mo said about the off-Broadway Phoenix Entertainment production of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. “I know one of the pluses was the addition of me.”

I know personally, it was the addition of her that gave me the strength to travel from Baltimore to Washington, DC where the production was held at The National Theatre. DC is also where Lil’ Mo works as a radio jock on 95.5FM WPGC (“The Lil’ Mo Show”).

Married to Gospel artist Phillip Bryant (Tyscot Records), Lil’ Mo’s performance – though brief as the “church soloist” – was worthy of the top billing the production company gave her and worthy of the long trip I had to make.

“With that type (project) they didn’t want Mo to sound too R&B, so I took it to the early 1900s…real ‘churchie’,” said the Urban superstar, whose real name is Cynthia Loving. “It got hard not to add my flavor. I wanted to go all the way!”

“I had to learn everyone’s songs, dances and moves,” she informed me when asked about being in a musical such as this.

Well Loving held her vocals right on point to fit early 1900s, but yet I could still hear Lil’ Mo, which made it all the more entertaining. The songwriter did, as she said, “come with the swag” at the end.

“A lot of people don’t know how to experience life…Broadway…cultivating yourself,” Mo pointed out about attending events such as musicals and plays.

The Color Purple was created by Alliance Theatre for Broadway based on the Alice Walker novel and the Steven Spielberg directed movie. Phoenix Entertainment (Michael McFadden, artistic producer and Stephen B. Kane, executive producer) took the musical on the road with the help of The Road Company. Dayna Dantzler does an outstanding portrayal of Celie; Pam Trotter as Sofia; Taprena Augustine was doubling over with sex appeal as Shug Avery; Tracie Allen as Nettie; Allison Semmes does an outstanding vocal portrayal of Squeak, and Edward C. Smith, is the man you’re going to hate, as he does an excellent job in the role of Mister.

Lil’ Mo started in entertainment when her family settled in Baltimore, Maryland. She started to write songs for, perform for and collaborate with the likes of Jay-Z on “Parking Lot Pimping,” R&B’s NEXT on “Wifey,” JaRule on “Put It On Me” and “I Cry,” and Fabolous on “Can’t Let You Go” and “Superwoman Part II” – her most noticeable hit. Her “5 Minutes” song appears on the soundtrack of “Why Do Fools Fall In Love,” co-written by Kelly Price.

Loving’s first record deal was at Elektra Records and there she released “Based On A True Story” and “Meet The Girl Next Door,” and then independently she released “Paint and Paper.”

To find out more on The Color Purple‘s – co-created by award-winning songwriter Brenda Russell – or its next production date log onto www.ColorPurple.com. For more on Lil’ Mo, who is about to release another CD project, log onto www.wpgc.radio.com.

One Village Entertainment’s gothic thriller, The Inheritance, takes family secrets to a whole new level

\Image Entertainment presents the One Village Entertainment gothic thriller The Inheritance on DVD and Blu-ray. The horror film takes family secrets to a whole new level with its story-line written by the film’s director award-winning filmmaker Robert O’ Hara. The movie boast a stellar cast that includes two-time Emmy Award winner Keith David (Lottery Ticket, “The Cape”), Golden Brooks (“Girlfriends”), Darrin Dewitt Henson (“Stomp the Yard”) and DB Woodside (“24”).

The Inheritance follows five cousins who gather for a family “meeting.” What happens after that will keep you on the edge of your seats. You know how you hear in the theater people holler at the screen “don’t open the door,” well this one will have you doing the same – cause I know I was, “don’t, don’t, don’t!”

The film is already an award-winner with American Film Festival and Pan African Film Festival honors in tow. With a stellar cast as this and the suspense in the storyline to keep you wanting to know “who’s getting killed off next,” this film is surely to garner more honors.

The Inheritance also stars Rochelle Aytes (Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion), Adriane Lenox (The Blind Side), Lanre Idewu (“Everybody Hates Chris”) and Shawn Michael Howard (Cable Guy). The plot takes you all the way back to slavery to put things in perspective for the disturbing events that happen today.

“We did this with a franchise in mind,” said producer Effie T. Brown at the films premiere. “It’s about a family…at the end, we want the audience to see more (about the family) and see the story grow.”

For more on the Image Entertainment release, The Inheritance, log onto www.image-entertainment.com.