New Project @ The Waxter Center

So as January “springs” (8 damn degrees out last I checked) into focus, I’ve got a bit more info about my next project sponsored by the the Department of Housing. Actually, my acting buddy Tyrone Requer brought me into the fold and he’s doing the organizing. They Dept. of Housing is sponsoring “Waxter Wisdom”which will be monthly dramatic presentations of influential African-American women, as the poster says 12 African American Women Who Changed Our World. And boy did they ever.

Most you’ve heard about, but there may be several who might raise a question mark or two. There are 3 writers in the project, Alonzo being one of the chosen few, who’ll write the scripts, and work with the actresses representing the women.I’ll be creating a script for Marian Anderson, Harriet Tubman, Wilma Rudolph and Ella Fitzgerald.


As much as I do my own writing, it’s actually exciting to do some research about famous folks who no doubt, overcame obstacles GALORE to reach the pinnacles that they reached. So, it may sound corny, but it’s a true honor that I get to be part of this. The presentations will last about an hour, and I think they have the potential to be performed in a variety of other venues.

See, this is the great thing about where I’m at with writing. If you’re lucky enough to have opportunites come your way, then you gotta SQUEEZE those suckas! I’ve been writing my entire adult life, and to still have projects come my way is really —- all gravy. It’s like blogging. I don’t blog to get a zillion followers, I blog so I can chronicle what I do — so I can see it in black and white. Now, if anyone reads what I blog — again, — more all gravy!

A couple other things on the horizon. I would love to present WHAT I DO AS A MATURE PLAYWRIGHT to Creative Mornings. I’ve spoken with the representative from Baltimore and expressed my desire to present. Also, On February 19th I’m doing a reading of “B-SideMan” at Single Carrot Theatre in my old Remington neighborhood.

As I get more info I’ll pass it along.


Reflections on some Holiday Reading & Writing

In the midst of all the Holiday/Christmas/Spreading-A-Lil-Joy celebrations that I try and do (this consists of me accepting invitations and arriving places where I’m wined and dined!), I always apply my time with a bit of reading and writing. For reading, I’m stretching the actual finishing off the latest Walter Mosley “Easy Rawlins” mystery, “Rose Gold”.Rose GoldI’ve read every book about Easy, and find the development that Mosley includes about Los Angeles, starting from the ’50’s, to be a revelation. Half of the fun in the books is “watching” black folks acclimate to LA, and vice versa. Many are from the south, and as readers we’re given an inside peek at how various elements (community, society, police departments, wealth and poverty) influence the world Easy travels through. He changes his perspectives, as do we. It’s almost a cultural travelogue. If you haven’t seen “Devil in a Blue Dress” with Denzel and Don Cheadle — it’s an absolute must read AND see. Cheadle as “Mouse” is a CLASSIC. Mouse’s motto is shoot first, to hell with the questions! But there are so many juicy visual “film noir elements”, it’s breath-taking. That’s no exaggeration.

Devil in a Blue DressI don’t know why “Devil” didn’t become a HUGE hit. It’s film noir Afro-Sheen. I’ve also read almost all of Raymond Chandler’s books, so I appreciate the genre. Also on my to-do list is “Unbroken”. I’d never heard of Louis Zamperini, but just hearing a little bit of his life story is jaw-dropping stuff. How could we know so much miscellaneous stuff and never know about a genuine hero. Beats me. But we don’t promote heroes these days, so I get it. Also on the docket is “High Cotton” by Darryl Pinckney. It’s from the early ’90’s, but I was intrigued so we’ll see. And who says Playwrights don’t read any plays — I’ve staring at “Copenhagen” by Michael Frayn right this moment! It asks great big questions and Frayn wrote another favorite, “Noises Off” (about backstage life in a hit play, well the cast may or may not think it’s a hit play). The audience may be suffering from the same dilemma…….

I also finished writing a short play called “Bagel Shop Smear.” It’s about an incident that happened with a co-worker of mine. It was something I overheard at an office gathering, and the next day asked her about it. This is how I get ideas. Anyway, my co-worker and her longtime boyfriend went to a bagel shop and were approached by the owner. He, playfully, wondered why she was with her paramour, suggesting she could do better. But at the real heart of the interaction are questions, raised by the owner — pondered by the couple — of moving forward as a “Jewish” couple, if that’s what they’re to be? Would this happen? Is this something to be considered? A few “innocent” comments from the owner and the couple realized this was an uncomfortable exchange that hit a bit too close to home.

So that’s all in play this Holiday. But above all, here’s my own 2 cents on the best movie I’ve seen in a good, long while — “Birdman”. Easily the HIPEST movie you’ll see in years. I’m not giving any description, there’s enough out there already. But, the soundtrack ALONE (think jazz drumming) will make you aware that you’ve entered a world that you and Miles Davis (along with a few other true hipsters) could occupy. Yeah, it’s the complete realm of all things cool, baby.

Michael Keaton