The cast of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"

Last week I jump started my weekend by attending the 7th Annual Charlotte Black Film Festival at Studio Movie Grill (Uptown) with a premiere of the film “Illicit,” a hot thriller based on a couple finding out that starting an extramarital affair is a lot easier than ending it.

“Illicit” will be in theaters next moth. Keep a look out for this one. I was blown away!

Chances are you were not at Ovens Auditorium this past weekend for the Johnny Mathis concert. Yes, my friends laughed at me, and a few even were surprised to learn that Johnny is still around.

Johnny Mathis and Gino Vannelli are two singers on my bucket list. I attend quite a few concerts, and I must say this was one of the best shows I’ve ever experienced…like in my entire life. Mathis’ voice was crystal clear and soothing.  I’m a people watcher, and as I gazed around the theater in my orchestra-row seat, I noticed a lot of couples holding hands, a few groups of single women crying, and a younger patron who held what looked to be her grandma in her arms. I have to admit I was also teary-eyed as I sat listening to his magical performance.

I’m certainly glad I didn’t think twice about any of my friends’ thoughts that evening about attending the sold out concert. I would have never guessed in a million years I would swoon over an 81-year-old man. I did, and I’m certain that I wasn’t alone.

The August Wilson play, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” presented by CPCC Theatre, runs through Sunday. Wilson’s work is always powerful and intense. The cast does a phenomenal job, and I hope you manage to attend one of the few remaining shows. I loved it!

Check out my weekend picks.


Cigar & Wine Soiree — Enjoy wine-and-cigar pairings featuring artisan wines. Network and connect with other entrepreneurs and professionals. This event is free to attend. A $5 donation or a new school supply is suggested for Classroom Central, an organization serving students and teachers in high-poverty school districts. Location: Cigars Etc 2 (9007 Monroe Rd).Time: 7 p.m. -10 p.m. More info


The Center Stage Comedy Tour — The first comedic tour for Center Stage comedy featuring the best stand-up artists appears this weekend on Charlotte. Get your laugh on with heavy-hitter Sommore, Arnez J, John Witherspoon, and Tommy Davidson. The show will be at Ovens Auditorium (2700 Independence Boulevard). Tickets are going fast. Time: Doors open at 7 p.m. Showtime 8 p.m. More info: 800-745-3000 or go online at


Wine, Women and Wealth — Enjoy wine and networking while learning about purchasing, selling and investing in real estate. Gain tips on how to build your own wealth with Crystalyn the Realtor. This event is free. Registration is required. Location: Hair by Tina Salon (8318 Pineville-Matthews Road, suite 270). Time: 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. More info

To see a larger listing of local events, visit the Qcitymetro events page at

Toni Baker-Tyson is a social butterfly. Her entertainment picks are published each Thursday on Email Toni at, or join her Chocolate Social Network, a group for the mature (40-plus) but young at heart.

Toni Baker-Tyson is an entertainment columnist for She enjoys being a social butterfly out on the town, loves live music, the arts, and foreign films. Her passion is volunteering with the...