BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Marlon Wayans wins with ‘Respect,’ HBO Max special

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

Actor, writer, producer and comedian Marlon Wayans is experiencing an incredible run. After a pandemic-caused delay, audiences will finally get to see his critical performance as Aretha Franklin’s abusive first husband Ted White in the biopic “Respect” starring Jennifer Hudson as the Queen of Soul now in theaters nationwide.

In addition, the star of movies “White Chicks,” and the “Scary Movie” franchise; and TV series “In Living Color,” “The Wayans Bros.” and “Marlon,” unveils the first project from his overall deal with HBO Max.

In “Marlon Wayans: You Know What It Is,” we find out what is his life-long fear.

Exactly what you would expect: people with outie belly buttons. Marlon digs deeper to explore other fears as well, such as raising a daughter, dealing with a rebellious teenage son, and probably his greatest fear, the realization that his bad decisions are what tore his family apart. Marlon’s journey towards self-awareness can be encapsulated in the simple phrase “You know what it is.”

The stand-up comedy special premieres Aug. 19 on the streaming service.

AT THE MOVIES: When audiences first laid eyes on John Boyega in 2011’s “Attack The Block” it was like witnessing the rise of a young Denzel Washington. Since then, he has checked those boxes as a leading man in the last chapters of the “Star Wars” franchise and showed his range in director Steve McQueen’s 2020 award-winning “Small Axe” anthology series.

Now, Boyega gets to play a lawyer in “Naked Singularity,” a genre-bending legal drama with heavy hitters Ridley Scott (“Blade Runner,” “Alien,” “American Gangster”) and Dick Wolf (TV’s “Law & Order” series) among its executive producers.

Based on the PEN prize-winning novel “A Naked Singularity” by Sergio De La Pava, a former Manhattan district attorney with first-hand knowledge of the everyday travesties of justice in city courtrooms, this engaging film is both an ambitious, razor-sharp indictment of legal dysfunction and an entertaining, high-stakes heist.

Co-starring Olivia Cooke (“Bates Motel”), Bill Skarsgård (“It”), Ed Skrein (“If Beale Street Could Talk”), Tim Blake Nelson (“Watchmen”), Linda Lavin (“Alice”) and Kyle Mooney (“Saturday Night Live”); the Chase Palmer-directed movie is now playing at The Landmark at Westwood, Cinemark 18 & XD, theaters nationwide and on demand.   

RED CARPET WALK: Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” has its Hollywood premiere Aug. 16 at the El Capitan Theatre (and the TCL Chinese IMAX across the street). Grab your camera to catch the film’s stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Benedict Wong, Tim Roth and more arriving between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

CLIPPETTES: Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter H.E.R. (“I Can’t Breathe,” “Fight For You”) partners with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic Orchestra for her first-ever concerts with a full orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl Aug. 13 and 14

Also Aug. 13, critically acclaimed Chicago vocalist and former Raelette, Tammy McCann makes a rare West Coast stop with an all-star band including bassist John Clayton, guitarist Fareed Haque, pianist Tamir Hendelman and drummer Clayton Cameron at Catalina Jazz Club for a special preview performance of her forthcoming CD, “Southside Folk Tales”

Additionally, Uproar with Lil Wayne, Young Money and more is presented at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum; as Cypress Hill & Atmosphere with special guest Z-Trip are at the Shrine LA Outdoors; and soulful vocalist Will Downing with singing group DW3 are at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

Lizzo has released her first solo single since 2019’s “Cuz I Love You.” “Rumors” featuring her Atlantic Records label mate Cardi B is sure to be another hit

Legendary Brazilian bandleader Sergio Mendes, along with dancers, bring the spirit of Carnival to the Hollywood Bowl Aug. 15 where the Grammy and Oscar winner will fill the air with the samba, bossa nova and jazz hits like “Mas Que Nada” and “The Look of Love”

It’s Nick Cannon Week at Redbox as two of his movies are debuting at the DVD service: “The Misfits” with Pierce Brosnan and Jamie Chung; and his directorial debut “She Ball” with Evan Ross, DC Young Fly, Cedric the Entertainer, Faizon Love, Luenell, Marla Gibbs and Chris Brown …

Grammy-winning acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela hit The Fort Aug. 18 with fan favorites and selections from their most recent album “Mettavolution,” as well as new EP “Jazz” covering songs by Snarky Puppy and Kamasi Washington …

Chef Angela Means Kaaya, who many recognize from her iconic role as Felisha in “Friday,” is expanding her Jackfruit Café empire of vegan soul food choices by adding a location near USC.  Visit www.jackfruitcafe.com for details.

TASTY QUIP: “My awareness like Keanu in ‘The Matrix.’ I’m saving souls and y’all complaining about my lateness.” – LAURYN HILL on Nas’ “Nobody” off his new “King’s Disease II”

TC ON TV: Aug. 13 – “Beckett” (Netflix): John David Washington stars as an American tourist on the run in Greece after a tragic accident plunges him into a political conspiracy that makes him a target for assassination.  “Modern Love” (Amazon): Sophie Okonedo (“The Secret Life of Bees”), Dominique Fishback (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Gbenga Akinnagbe (“The Wire”) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”) are among the cast members of the second season of the anthology series based on the popular New York Times column. “Friday Night Vibes” (TBS): George Clinton and civil rights attorney Ben Crump join hosts Tiffany Haddish and Deon Cole for this week’s double feature of “Suicide Squad” and ”Wild Wild West.”

Aug. 15 – “Heels” (Starz): Set in the world of independent professional wrestling, the new series features Stephen Amell (“Arrow”) and Allen Maldonado (“The Last OG”).  “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC): Deon Cole (“black-ish”) vs. Tisha Campbell (“Martin”)

Aug. 16 – “Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox): 21-year-old Richmond, Virginia chef Steven Glenn has been near perfection, but trailers hint he may be derailed tonight by a showmance with line cook Brynn Gibson. The Celebrity Dating Game” (ABC): Marcus Scribner (“black-ish”) gets the hookup in the season finale.

Aug. 18 – “What if…?” (Disney+): The final performance of Chadwick Boseman is captured in this animated episode that positions T’Challa to become Star-Lord of the Guardians of the Galaxy instead of Black Panther. Jeffrey Wright narrates as The Watcher. “Nine Perfect Strangers” (HULU): Based on the New York Times bestselling book by author Liane Moriarty, the series with Nicole Kidman, Regina Hall, Bobby Cannavale, Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans, Manny Jacinto and Tiffany Boone takes place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation. “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens” (Comedy): A second season of the hit comedy series inspired by its star’s real-life growing up in Queens. BD Wong, Bowen Yang, Jennifer Esposito and Lori Tan Chinn as Grandma keep the laughs coming.

Aug. 19 – “Eyes On The Prize: Hallowed Ground” (HBO Max): This documentary special, from a production team including Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors and director Sophia Nahli Allison honors Henry Hampton’s masterpiece “Eyes On The Prize (1987-1990) and conjures ancestral memories, activates the radical imagination and explores the profound journey for Black liberation through the voices of the movement. “Sweet Life: Los Angeles” (HBO Max): Issa Rae is the guiding force behind this nine-episode docu-series promising to give an honest and unique look into what it means to be young, Black, and in constant pursuit of one’s dreams in the heart of South L.A. “Beat Shazam” (Fox): Three teams of BFFs put their friendships on the line as they take on the Queen B to win the grand prize of $1 million in the all-new “Battle for Beyoncé!” season finale.

TASTY QUIP: “With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love and laugh again. I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible. I’ve been in the studio for a year and a half. There’s nothing like the amount of love, passion and healing that I feel in the recording studio. After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was 9 years old. Yes, the music is coming!” – BEYONCE to Harper’s Bazaar.

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

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