BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Keys, Badu announce plans to return to stage

By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

A pair of Grammy Award-winning global superstars, Alicia Keys and Erykah Badu, both announced summer tours this week with a twist.

Keys is going out, for the first time ever, in a 360-degree, “in the round” production setup, which will allow fans to experience her live performance in an entirely new and exhilarating way.

Of the staging, Keys says, “The ‘Keys to the Summer Tour’ is going to be completely unforgettable and unmissable. I describe it as a celebration of freedom and self-liberation. It’s going to be colorful, magical and will light up your body, soul and all of your senses.

“This is my first time creating a 360 experience and we’ve made sure it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. I’m so excited to see y’all this summer.”

Produced by Live Nation, the tour begins June 28 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and concludes Aug. 2 at the Kia Forum. Tickets are available to the public April 21 at 9 a.m. through Ticketmaster, with vipnation.com offering the chance to join Keys in an exclusive, intimate and inspirational “Soulcare Session” before the show.

Tickets are now available for Badu’s “The Unfollow Me Tour” with Yasiin Bey (the artist formerly known as Mos Def), and “more extraordinary guests.”

It heads for 25 U.S. cities, starting in San Antonio, Texas in June with a Crypto.com Arena date June 17.  For more info visit unfollowmetour.com.

STAGE LIGHTS: T.J. Wilkins (“The Voice”) and Shanice (“I Love Your Smile,” “Saving Forever for You;” yes, that Shanice) are Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in “44 – The Unofficial, Unsanctioned Obama Musical” at the Bourbon Room through May 20. The book, music, lyrics and direction are by Eli Bauman with a song assist by Jon “Bowzer” Bauman (yes, that Bowzer from the group that spawned the variety show “Sha Na Na”).

“New Jack City Live,” the movie-based play by Je’Caryous Johnson, starring Gary Dourdan, Allen Payne, Flex (yes, that Flex) Alexander, and Treach from Naughty By Nature, is back for a two-day run at the Orpheum Theatre April 21-22.

RED CARPET WALK: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista and more are slated for the Hollywood premiere of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” April 27 at the El Capitan Theatre & the Dolby Theatre. Things should blast off around 6 p.m.

TASTY QUIP: “Two things I can say publicly that I do not like: Black History Month is an insult. You’re going to relegate my history to a month? I don’t subscribe to that title. Black people have had different titles all the way back to the ‘N-word’ and I do not know how these things get such a grip, but everyone uses ‘African-American.’ What does it really mean? Most Black people in this part of the world are mongrels. And you say ‘Africa,’ as if it’s a country when it’s a continent, like Europe.” – MORGAN FREEMAN to The Sunday Times

CLIPPETTES: Idris Elba is going to serve as an executive producer and star of “Knuckles,” reprising his role in a “Sonic the Hedgehog” spinoff series for Paramount+. Tika Sumpter (“The Haves and the Have Nots”) will return as Maddie and Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi will recur …

Tananarive Due (“The Wishing Pool and Other Stories”), Stacey Abrams (“Stacy’s Remarkable Books”), Jemele Hill (“Uphill: A Memoir”), and Tamera Mowry-Housley (“You Should Sit Down For This”), are some of the authors set for April 22-23 at the LA Times Festival of Books held in various locations …

What a difference an Oscar makes. Reigning Best Actress Michele Yeoh’s “Star Trek” spin-off series will now be a movie for Paramount+. She returns as the popular Emperor Philippa Georgiou …

Andrew Bees (lead vocalist of Black Uhuru) teams with Zivanai Masango and King Hopeton for a show at The Venice West on April 23, as Wayne Brady’s Made Up Mix Tape plays the Bourbon Room (and April 26 at the Hollywood Improv) …

You are invited April 24 to the iHeartRadio Theater for the live taping of the fourth annual “Can’t Cancel Pride” fundraiser for the LGBTQ+ community. Free tickets for the JoJo Siwa-hosted event, featuring performances and appearances from Billy Porter, Big Freedia, Ciara, Adam Lambert, Kesha and more, are at 1iota.com …

Also that evening Brooklyn funk/rock ensemble Phony Ppl hits The Constellation Room at The Observatory (as well as April 26 at the Troubadour) …

Coco Jones sings at The Peppermint Club April 26-27 (which also happens to be the day her “Bel-Air” series ends its second season on Peacock) …

Opera star J’Nai Bridges and Grammy Award-winning drummer and jazz trailblazer Ulysses Owens Jr. collaborate on “Notes on Hope,” which includes French art songs, jazz and spirituals from Debussy, Ravel, Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams, and more April 27 at The Wallis Center. Later, Masego’s “You Never Visit Me Tour” comes to The Wiltern.

TASTY QUIP: “I don’t know why Latinx is contentious, but it’s contentious. People get so riled up about it. To me it’s ridiculous. Just the fact that we have a name and that we’re checking a box is huge. I mean, I know none of us want to be checking boxes. None of us want to be constantly talking about race, but you have to, because otherwise you get excluded. Your communities don’t get funding. Your schools don’t get funded — unless you check that box and vote. You know what I mean?” – JOHN LEGUIZAMO of MSNBC’s “Leguizamo Does America” to The Hollywood Reporter

TC ON TV: April 21 – “Dear Mama” (FX/Hulu): A five-part docu-series executive-produced and directed by Allen Hughes (“Menace II Society”), which explores the lives and legacies of mother and son, Afeni and Tupac Shakur. “First Take” (ESPN): Mike Tyson, the 56-year-old former boxing champion who says he could be persuaded to fight Evander Holyfield or Roy Jones Jr., stops by. “Ghosted” (Apple TV+): A romantic, action-comedy movie starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas. “Next At The Kennedy Center” (PBS): “Continuum: Jason Moran Christian McBride” showcases the modern jazz pianist and bassist together performing music by Thelonious Monk, Charles MingusGeri Allen and Louis Armstrong in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO): “What Kind of Medicine Does Dr. King Practice?”

April 22 – “Ada Twist, Scientist” (Netflix): The pint-sized scientist and her pals are back with Susan Kelechi Watson (“This Is Us”) and Taye Diggs voicing the parents. “Chasing The Rains” (BBCA): Adjoa Andoh (“Bridgerton”) narrates this three-part series taking viewers on a journey into rarely filmed areas of the wild lands of Kenya in Africa, timed to premiere on Earth Day.

April 23 – “Unsung” (TV1): “Best In Black – Activists” “Uncensored” (TV1): Eric Benét 

April 24 – “Jennifer Hudson” (Syn): Seal “That’s My Jam” (NBC): Kenan Thompson Big Boi vs. Kesha & Renee Elise Goldsberry 

April 25 – “Family Legacy” (Paramount+): Narrated by actor and music artist Quincy Brown, each half hour of the five-episode series will feature the children of legendary music artists and bands including Boyz II Men, TLC, Biggie Smalls, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Brandy and more, reliving some of entertainment’s most iconic moments and giving viewers an intimate look at their favorite artists. “Jennifer Hudson” (Syn): Swizz Beatz, Jody Watley and gymnast Jordan Chiles

April 26 – “Sam – A Saxon” (Hulu): A gripping look at Samuel Meffire, the first Black policeman in East Germany, and his fight to overcome the system in an intensely prejudiced society. He became the face of an anti-racism campaign and a symbol of a new Germany, before an abrupt downfall led to his incarceration. “Saint X” (Hulu): Dee Rees (“Mudbound,” “Bessie”) directed some of this series exploring how a young woman’s mysterious death during an idyllic Caribbean vacation and its ripple effect. “Awkwafinais Nora From Queens” (Comedy): A third season of the comic/actress’ outrageous autobiographical comedy series with scene-stealers BD Wong, Bowen Yang and Lori Tan Chinn (as Grandma).

April 27 – “Sweet Tooth” (Netflix): This critically acclaimed dystopian fairy tale earned Nonso Anozie an Emmy for “Outstanding Supporting Performance” as the protector of a lovable boy who’s half-human and half-deer. “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out” (VH1): Armani White/Ms. Pat “The Last Last Late Late Show with James Corden Carpool Karaoke Special” (CBS): With the host and Tom Cruise performing in “The Lion King” at the Pantages. “Celebrity Prank Wars” (E!): Anthony Anderson vs. Joel McHale “The Best of All The Smoke with Matt Barnes Stephen Jackson” (SHO): Will Smith 

END QUOTE: “Rich kids don’t do s–t for money. They do things based on if it’s gonna make them happy. Like, that’s really what I realized this last go-around. I made a lot of money, and it wasn’t that I was depressed or anything like that, but I realized it’s the people I was around that mattered. It’s the food I was able to eat. It’s the processes I was a part of that made me happy. People don’t get quality anymore and they need a filter.” – DONALD GLOVER to GQ

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly 1 million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.