*Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson invited his beautiful wife, executive producer and writer of his stunning one-man show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, Kiki Tyson, and the show’s director and his longtime friend Spike Lee to join him on stage at The Longacre Theatre in Times Square, New York City, at the conclusion of his star-studded Opening Night on Thursday, August 2, 2012. The champ had just performed a fascinatingly candid, two-hour show about his life – leaving nothing to your imagination.
Whether pummeling his former wife Robin Givens or boxing promoter Don King, to having been imprisoned for a crime he still insists he did not commit, Mike brought his A-game to the stage to the delight of the crowd.
Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth gave a rare, personal look inside the life and mind of one of the most feared men ever to wear the heavyweight crown and the riveting show goes beyond the headlines, behind the scenes and between the lines to deliver a must-see tour de force.
The former boxer said the show is part of his effort to move his life in a positive direction. The limited engagement concluded on Sunday, August 12, 2012. Created by Adam Steck, CEO of SPI Entertainment, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth was presented by James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer and Spike Lee. The autobiographical play was written by Lakiha “Kiki” Tyson and Randy Johnson and executive produced by the husband and wife team along with Steck.
The behind the scene creative team included Timothy R. Mackabee (scenic design), Natasha Katz (lighting design), Erik Pearson (projection design), Raymond Schlike (sound design), Fred Gallo & Guy Kwan (technical supervisor) and De’Adre Aziza (dramaturg & voice coach). A private celebration followed next door at Hurley’s in which the general consensus was that Tyson had won a theatrical knock-out! They liked it. They really, really liked it!
Although the champ gave us an earful about his bad boy behavior, as he promised earlier during the show, “you’ll all go home with two ears.” And I must admit, enduring memories.
*Brooklyn was definitely in da house Monday evening, August 6, 2012 at the premiere of Academy Award nominee Spike Lee’s new movie Red Hook Summer, the latest offering in the “Chronicles of Brooklyn” (which includes She’s Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing, Crooklyn, Clockers, He Got Game). Scores of the famous filmmaker’s fans lined the streets to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrities entering the DGA Theater on West 57th Street, NYC for the VIP screening.
Red Hook Summer tells the story of Flik Royale, a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse, in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ.
Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, Flik’s summer appears to be a total disaster — until he meets Chazz Morningstar, a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn. Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he’d ever imagined.
During the screening, Lee was joined by his beautiful family Tonya Lewis-Lee (wife), Satchel Lee (daughter) and Jackson Lee (son) as well as cast members including Clarke Peters, Nate Parker, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Jules Brown, Toni Lysaith, Heather Alicia Simms & James Ransone.
At the end of the film, guests boarded special buses that took them to Lee’s beloved Brooklyn for the after party at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge on Fulton Street in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. Joining the iconic writer/director were Mike Tyson, Gayle King, Laila Ali, Debra Lee, Stephen Hill, Mona Scott-Young, Romany Malco, Jamie Hector, Toure, Nelson George, Ilyasah Shabazz and many more.
The film opens on Friday, August 10, in New York City and wider on August 24, 2012. Visit www.redhooksummer.com for more information.
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.