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Andrea Baptiste and comedian Kelly MacFarland – from the 1st season on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” – having a laugh at Tommy’s Comedy Lounge.

Comedian/actor, John Witherspoon, Audrey Evans and radio/TV personality, ‘Coach’ Willie Maye at W Boston on Dec. 5.

Comedian/actor, John Witherspoon, Audrey Evans and radio/TV personality, ‘Coach’ Willie Maye at W Boston on Dec. 5.

“Divas and Dons” Birthday Party, The Boondock Saints II: “All Saints Day” Movie Premiere

What a whirlwind of a week!  

During the Thanksgiving holidays, I attended a birthday party called “Divas and Dons” for good friend Audrey Evans at a private mansion in Rockland, MA. Guests were provided with valet service in the circular drive, coat check upon arrival and treated with hugs and kisses from the birthday girl herself!   The festivities throughout the three-story home kicked off at 6p.m. with a cocktail hour featuring tasty hors d’oeuvres, wonderful wine and colorful martinis. Cocktail hour was followed by a dinner of down-home southern cooking, more drinks, cake and, of course, dancing all night long!  

My travels at the beginning of last week took me to the picturesque city of Portland, Maine for the movie premiere of “All Saints Day” at Cinemagic Theater.  I drove up there to support good friend and comedian Bob Marley, (obviously, no, not that Bob Marley) who reprised his role as “Detective Greenly” in the sequel to the 1999 cult action hit “Boondock Saints.”  In the house for the premiere were not only friends, family and fans of Marley, but the guest list also included writer/director Troy Duffy, actors Sean Patrick Flannery, and Brian Mahoney, along with Governor John Baldacci and Olympic Snowboarding Gold Medalist Seth Wescott.  Following the premiere was the rockin’ afterparty at RiRa Irish Pub on Commercial Street in downtown Portland. The Guinness was on tap for the night!  

South African Wine Tasting

I’ve mentioned my love for Veuve Cliquot champagne but I don’t want to leave out my appreciation for a good bottle of wine.  As it so happens, I attended a South African wine tasting at the Artists for Humanity Epicenter in South Boston, founded by Rob Gibbs and Susan Rodgerson. I must say their location has a great open space to it, filled with tons of light, hardwood floors and colorful student paintings.  

The evening of culture, hosted by World Cup Boston 2010, ONEin3 and the City of Boston, featured a special tasting from Bon Vivant’s selection of fine South African wines, which perfectly complimented the hors d’oeuvres provided by Sebastian’s, especially the crab cake, which was whipped up right there on the spot. Mmm… so delicious!  The night also included a live painting exhibit that will launch a South African/Boston Youth Artist Exchange, and OrigiNation, an urban youth dance troupe, performed the “Diski Dance,” a craze that is taking South Africa by storm. Music was provided by DJ Joe Peters.

Color Magazine’s 2nd Annual All-Inclusive Awards

I was excited to attend Color Magazine’s 2nd Annual All-Inclusive Awards ceremony featuring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker as keynote speaker and his gorgeous wife and entrepreneur, Keisha Nash Whitaker (who’s originally from Lynn) at the newly renovated Marriott Boston Copley Hotel.  As we all know his body of work is absolutely amazing, especially his recent Oscar-winning portrayal of Idi Amin in the “Last King of Scotland.” Karen Holmes Ward, host and executive producer of CityLine, WCVB-TV’s weekly magazine, was the Mistress of Ceremonies and the co-emcee for the night was Alberto Vasallo III, vice president of El Mundo Newspaper.  Music was performed by students from the Boston Arts Academy. Before the event started, Lisa Simmons, founder of the Color of Film Collaborative, and I discreetly made our way over to Whitaker to have a few moments. He’s such a delightful and thoughtful person! Also, joining us that evening was Donna Latson Gittens of causemedia and Michael Ortiz from Ultra Beauty Shop in Jamaica Plain and, most important, stylist to Color Magazine publisher, Josefina Bonilla.

The All-Inclusive Awards recognized three organizations and leaders who have paved the way for change by embracing and fostering workforce diversity and inclusiveness in the areas of Leadership, Supplier Diversity and Change Agent.   Color Magazine gifted proceeds of the event to The Greater Boston Food Bank.

Saving the Health of the Community International Benefit Gospel Concert

Gospel Grammy winner and music legend Dr. Bobby Jones hosted a gospel choir competition last weekend at Whittier Street Health Center’s 6th Annual “Saving the Health of the Community International Benefit Gospel Concert” at Northeastern University’s Blackman Auditorium.

The event featured ten of the Greater Boston area’s best gospel choirs, including the Harmonizing Stars of Boston, an award-winning gospel quartet who are celebrating their 40th anniversary.  Dr. Jones is the host and executive producer of Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) “Bobby Jones Gospel,” the first and only nationally syndicated black gospel television show and the longest running gospel show on cable.   The event kicked off with a VIP reception to recognize and honor UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley for his deep commitment to serving the Boston community.  

And finally, I capped off the cold, rainy and snowy night with little bit of warmth (and a glass or two of Macallan) at the new W Boston, located right in the heart of the revitalized Theatre District. I met up with good friends, comedian and actor, John Witherspoon (who was in town performing at the Wilbur Theatre), ‘Coach’ Willie Maye and the dynamic Audrey Evans, in the intimate, underground bar and lounge, which overlooks Stuart Street. The W is one of my favorite hotels and there’s just something about them that I love.  It could be their exclusive use of Bliss products, the modern and comfortable rooms, or their legendary service, but I always have a great time whether I’m at a W in New York, Atlanta or now in Boston.

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