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Lauryn Hill at the Wilbur Theatre. (Photo: Liz Papi)

Author: Liz PapiLauryn Hill at the Wilbur Theatre.

Bell Biv DeVoe

BBD was back in Boston but this time their show was at the Wilbur Theatre. Even though I saw them this past July when they played at the Showcase in Foxboro, I had to go see them again. Part of the reason is that their music brings me back to the glory days of WILD.

They performed all the hits like “Poison,” “Do Me!” and “When Will I See You Smile Again?” Plus they did a medley of a few New Edition songs like “Candy Girl,” “Cool It Now” and “Is This the End.” It was a fun and lively show and the hometown crowd appreciated BBD’s energy and nostalgia.

One of the best parts of the show was when they did a 20-minute set to “Poison.” They even brought some members of the crowd to dance on stage. Guess who was one of the chosen ones?

Yup, our very own, man-about-town George “Chip” Greenidge. It was absolutely hilarious when Chip hit the stage “in the zone.”  I wish I had taken a picture but I was so engrossed in watching him dance and move. For a six-foot plus man, he glided on the stage. I almost lost it when he did the running man. Wow! He held it down and the crowd absolutely loved it! It was a good show to bring in the holidays!

Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Oh, what a night!  And, what a night it was!  I had heard nothing but great reviews about the smash Broadway musical “Jersey Boys” and I was excited to attend the press opening at the Colonial Theatre. It is the story of a group of blue-collar guys — Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi — from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey and how they  became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs and sold 175 million records worldwide — all before they were 30.

I was captivated by the music and the story from the beginning. When the show opened with “Ces Soirees-La,” the French version of “Oh, What a Night,” I was slightly amazed that I knew most of the words to their biggest hits from “Earth Angel” and “My Eyes Adored You” to “Let’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got)” and “Working My Way Back to You.”

Their music is absolutely timeless and you couldn’t help but sing-along. I know I was throughout the performance. It was a fun and fabulous show and the audience left the theatre happy and humming to their music. If you get a chance this is a show that’s great for the whole family. 

Ms. Lauryn Hill

A once-in-a-blue moon opportunity came up to see Ms. Lauryn Hill in concert at the Wilbur and you know I had to see her live. I arrived at the theatre and lucky for me she hadn’t gone on stage yet, even though she was scheduled to go on at 9 p.m.  She didn’t hit the stage until just after 11 p.m.

The crowd began chanting “Lauryn, Lauryn,” and when she finally appeared the fans roared with approval. Ms. Hill was backed by an eight-piece band and three back-up singers. She opened with Bob Marley’s “Forever Loving Jah” and throughout the one and half-hour set followed with hits from “The Mis-

education of Lauryn Hill” — “When It Hurts So Bad,” “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “To Zion.” Her band was tight and she commanded them like a maestro, but it was difficult to hear her during the show.

I wasn’t sure if it was the sound or something was up with her voice but she clarified it when she said that she was fighting a cold and later said “that she hadn’t sung in awhile.” But that didn’t deter the crowd from soaking it all in.

The songs were laced with a more of a rock-ish vibe then RandB, but the head-bobbing, Lauryn-lovin’ crowd was just vibing to her anyway. They went absolutely bananas when she sang “Killing Me Softly With His Song.” If this show was a preview of what’s to come, I definitely can’t wait to see her when she goes on tour in 2011. 

The Roxbury Unseen Success Project

My holiday week continued at Hibernian Hall with attending a film premiere showcasing Roxbury’s arts, culture and nightlife scene. The film highlighted internationally renowned Boston artist Paul Goodnight along with Wally’s and Slade’s, which also included tidbits about some of the era’s nightclubs like Paul Mall’s and the Savoy from back in the day. The documentary also featured several arts organizations including the Roxbury Film Festival, BalletRox and Black Nativity.  

Despite the snowstorm, it was well attended and there to support the premiere was Dr. Edmond Barry Gaither, Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists executive director, Mel King, PR maven Kelley Chunn, Tito Jackson, Lisa Simmons and Steve Tompkins. The event was catered by Seasoned with Soul (their food was dee-lish!) and music was provided by Jammin’ Joe Johnson.

Coming Up

The Roots perform tonight (Dec. 30) at 8 p.m. at Showcase Live in Foxboro.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve and First Night with The Color of Film Collaborative. The Color of Film will screen several films from the Roxbury International Film Festival including “The Cycle” and “American Faust: From Condi to Neo Condi” at the Stuart Street Playhouse beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The Wilbur Theatre presents a second show with the infamous Wu- Tang Clan on Monday, Jan. 3.

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