BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Will Packer gets ready to rock 94th Oscars

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

Producer Will Packer is making good on his mission to turn the 94th Oscars, hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes, airing live March 27 on ABC from the Dolby Theatre into the most entertaining edition ever.

Among the growing list of presenters tapped to appear are stars Tyler Perry, Daniel Kaluuya (last year’s Best Supporting Actor winner for “Judas and the Black Messiah”), Wesley Snipes, Tiffany Haddish, Chris Rock, Rosie Perez, Ruth E. Carter (Oscar-winning costume designer of “Black Panther”), Tracee Ellis Ross, John Travolta, John Leguizamo, Bill Murray, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Woody Harrelson, Rami Malek, Zoë Kravitz, DJ Khaled, H.E.R., “The Little Mermaid” star Halle Bailey and Sir Anthony Hopkins (who was a no show to accept last year’s Best Actor award for “The Father”).

Some of Packer’s innovations include the return of a live orchestra led by music director Adam Blackstone (hot off fulfilling those duties for the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show) accompanied by an all-star band consisting of percussionist/singer Sheila E, pianist Robert Glasper and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, alongside DJ D-Nice who will also spin at the post-awards Governor’s Ball.

In addition, Variety is reporting that Beyoncé may sing the Oscar-nominated “Be Alive” from “King Richard” from the Compton tennis courts where Richard Williams taught his daughters Venus and Serena Williams the sport.

If this is true, she will join other confirmed Best Song nominees Billie Eilish and Finneas (performing the James Bond theme “No Time to Die”).

The suspense factor will kick in as viewers tune to see if “King Richard” frontrunner Will Smith will best former favorites Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”) and Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”).

And what will Samuel L. Jackson say upon accepting an honorary Oscar?

Should Smith’s co-star, the nominated Best Actress Aunjanue Ellis not get recognized, Essence has her back.

She, along with Nia Long, Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”) and Chanté Adams (“A Journal for Jordan”) will be feted at their Black Women in Hollywood event, streaming the following day at 4 p.m. at essence.com and essencestudios.com.

TICKET WATCH: “TINA – The Tina Turner Musical” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” starring Richard Thomas are some off the productions headed to the Pantages Theatre (June 13-July 9, 2023). Visit BroadwayInHollywood.com for more.

Reggaetón star Daddy Yankee announced his retirement at the age of 45 after a final tour in support of a just-released album “Legendaddy.” The pioneer, who peaked with 2017’s record-breaking single “Despacito,” with Luis Fonsi and Justin Bieber, has Aug. 13 penned in for The Forum.

Meanwhile in a reverse trend, 80-year-old George Clinton revealed he’s coming back for One Nation Under A Groove Tour 2022 with guest stars on select dates to include Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Fishbone, Fantastic Negrito, Soul Rebels and more. Key stops (with tickets at Ticketmaster) are set for Las Vegas (Aug. 13), Inglewood’s YouTube Theater (Aug. 17) and the sendoff at Napa’s Charles Krug Winery.

TASTY QUIP: “I am not a person of religious faith, but for me, film has often been a sacred text that has spurred me to follow what [Abraham Lincoln] called the ‘better angels of our nature. In 1963, I sat on Abraham Lincoln’s steps, only a few feet from [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.]. I was there. … Thanks to an invitation from Harry Belafonte, I was there to hear the preacher’s dream. In seasons when profits fall silent and statesmen reign, thankfully, filmmakers keep on preaching and never stop advocating for matters of equity and justice.” – RITA MORENO after being honored for her social activism at the Producers Guild Awards

CLIPPETTES: Panic in L.A. featuring Goodie Mob (Cee-Lo Green, Big Gipp, Khujo & T-Mo), Derrick Carter, Lyric Jones (Live) + Mr. Choc & Rhettmatic of the Beat Junkies leads a night of music March 25 at 1720

The evening also finds Lucky Daye with Joyce Wrice at The Novo; Thievery Corporation at Pomona’s Fox Theatre; Collie Buddz & Brother Ali with Mally at The Observatory; jazz drumming great Mike Clark & The Sugar Sounds at Jam In The Van; hip hop group The Outlawz at Catch One; and comedian Jo Koy kicking off a two-night stand at The Forum

David Alan Grier, Louis Gossett Jr., Tamela Mann, Deon Cole, Stephen Hill and Ciara have been added to the upcoming film version of the Broadway musical “The Color Purple” with Fantasia Barrino reprising her role as Celie

Gloria Gaynor and the Commodores with DJ Jazzy Jeff spinning are part of the virtual Daybreaker Live! Motown Dance Party on March 26 from 8-10 a.m. Register in advance at celebratesyou.aarp.org/

Later, Carl Thomas and Case headline at the Saban Theatre; and rappers Latto and Benny The Butcher are at The Novo and The Observatory, respectively

The just-released soundtrack for that Disney+ remake of “Cheaper By The Dozen” starring Gabrielle Union contains a first-time duet pairing Brandy with her 19-year-old daughter Sy’Rai called “Nothing Without You”

Stand-up comedian, actress and writer Nika King (currently seen as the mother of Zendaya’s Rue on “Euphoria”) takes the stage of the Hollywood Improv March 27

Gregory Porter, Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, Emeli Sandé, and Nile Rodgers & Chic are but a few of the artists performing for the benefit Concert for Ukraine on March 29 to be broadcast on British television outlets ITV and STV

That date also has Fishbone lead vocalist and saxophonist Angelo Moore’s Dr. Madd Vibe & the Missin’ Links at Whiskey A Go Go; Ghanaian electronic/rap/highlife icon Ata Kak at the Lodge Room; and Cory Henry at The Fonda

Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther”) is producing the fact-based 9/11 whistleblower thriller “I Helped Destroy People” to star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Watchmen” and the upcoming “Ambulance”)

Elusive hip hop legend Jay Electronica hits 1720 on March 30 for his first show in L.A. since releasing his debut album “A Written Testimony;” while Zimbabwe-born singer/rapper Tkay Maidza is at The Roxy

Tyler The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost Tour with Kali Uchis, Vince Staples and Teezo Touchdown stops March 31 at Crypto.Com Arena; as London, England’s Shygirl rules at the Regent Theater

TASTY QUIP: “We all think about these kinds of movies as it pertains to Black people, slavery in history in America and immediately puts you in this oppressive state of mind. … I think the thing is, is not shy away from the past and history because there is so much to learn there, but how can we specifically tell a story in a way for the youth to still want to be involved. For them to be able to say, this is the foundation of where I came from. This is the foundation of resilience, pride and hope and faith to move forward. That is the hope we have with ‘Alice.’” – KEKE PALMER on “The Talk” discussing her new film with Common

IN MEMORIUM: Comedian/actor, writer and TV director SCOEY MITCHILL, who frequently appeared during the ’70s and ’80s on variety shows, game shows such as “The Match Game” and many sitcoms including “Rhoda,” “The Odd Couple” and a landmark Black TV version of “Barefoot in The Park” died March 19 at the age of 92. He is survived by sister, Mary Warren (retired) and brother, jazz pianist Billy Mitchell.

TC ON TV: March 25 – “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls” (Prime Video): A new unscripted series following the global superstar’s hunt for confident, bad-ass plus-sized women to join the elite ranks of her dancers for her world tour. “Bridgerton” (Netflix): The second season of Shonda Rhimes’ hit Regency-era series returns sans heartthrob Regé-Jean Page. “Ellen” (Syn): Leslie Jones, Samuel L. JacksonTamron Hall” (Syn): Rachael Ray, Kandi Burruss, Aaron Sanchez “Live Is Shorts: Oscars 2022 (Disney): The brand’s animated nominated shorts are featured. “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Desus & Mero

March 26 – “A Second Chance At Love” (Hallmark): It’s an “E.R.” reunion as Gloria Reuben and Eriq La Salle star in this tale about divorced parents getting set up by their daughter on a blind date app.

March 27 – “Unsung” (TV1): Pete Rock “Uncensored” (TV1): Taye Diggs

March 28 – “Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o” (Smithsonian): A documentary traveling to Benin, West Africa to discover more about the Agoji army who inspired the fierce Dora Milaje fighters of “Marvel’s Black Panther.”

March 29 – “Nick Cannon Presents Wild ‘N Out” (VH1): Eric Bellinger “Name That Tune” (Fox): Former NFL Super Bowl champs Vernon Davis and Victor Cruz go head-to-head for charity.

March 30 – “Moon Knight” (Disney+): Oscar Isaac stars as the mysterious mercenary with dissociative identity disorder.

March 31 – “How We Roll” (CBS): Pete Holmes heads this sitcom based on the life of pro bowler Tom Smallwood with Chi McBride and Tahj Mowry recurring. “Fast Foodies (Tru): The Lucas Brothers

END QUOTE: “If your dream only includes you, it’s too small.” – AVA DUVERNAY on “CBS Mornings”

 

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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