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Josephine Baker

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By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2013
The chanteuse Josephine Baker was the toast of Paris during the Roaring '20s and 1930s. She was exotic. She was sultry. She was chic. She was the highest-paid pre-World War II entertainer in Europe. She was, above all else, sui generis. Her life is about to become a Broadway musical, aptly named "Josephine," that will open in late fall or early 2014. It will be produced and developed by Baltimore native Ken Waissman. Baker was, as the French say, the personification of le jazz hot , which she is credited with introducing to Paris when she opened Oct. 2, 1925, in La Revue Negre, a cabaret show she had taken abroad.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2013
The chanteuse Josephine Baker was the toast of Paris during the Roaring '20s and 1930s. She was exotic. She was sultry. She was chic. She was the highest-paid pre-World War II entertainer in Europe. She was, above all else, sui generis. Her life is about to become a Broadway musical, aptly named "Josephine," that will open in late fall or early 2014. It will be produced and developed by Baltimore native Ken Waissman. Baker was, as the French say, the personification of le jazz hot , which she is credited with introducing to Paris when she opened Oct. 2, 1925, in La Revue Negre, a cabaret show she had taken abroad.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | July 19, 1991
Perennial Emmy winners "L.A. Law," "Cheers" and "Murphy Brown" got the most Emmy nominations yesterday with 14 each.But the biggest buzz over the announcement of nominations for the 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards was about the 12 nominations for HBO's film, "The Josephine Baker Story," and about the nomination that "The Simpsons" once again did not get.HBO's story of the black dancer and singer who lived most of her life in Europe was the second most...
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By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,Sun Art Critic | December 19, 2007
What do Josephine Baker, Amelie Matisse and Lili Marlene have in common? Aside from their aura of European sophistication and glamour, they're all featured subjects in New Paintings, a lively exhibition of recent work by Baltimore master Grace Hartigan at C. Grimaldis Gallery. Over the years, Hartigan has repeatedly returned for inspiration to famous women from history, legend and the history of art. She was a leading member of the New York School of Abstract-Expressionist painters during the 1950s, and her subsequent work remains an inventive mix of delightful human forms and pure abstraction.
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By SYLVIA BADGER | March 15, 1991
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Tomorrow night, HBO subscribers all over the country can tune in "The Josephine Baker Story," starring Lynn Whitfield, ("The Women of Brewster Place" and "Equal Justice") at 8 p.m. (The show will be aired at off and on through April 5.) The film traces the life of a woman born in a St. Louis ghetto who rose to become the toast of Europe in the '20s. More than 1,000 Baltimoreans got a sneak preview of the film at the Meyerhoff at a recent benefit for the Baltimore Metropolitan Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | March 15, 1991
"The Josephine Baker Story," which airs at 8 tomorrow night on HBO, is a lot like a photo album. It is a series of snapshots from the life of the black dancer and singer, who was born in 1906 in St. Louis and died in 1975 in Paris on the second night of a triumphant 50th anniversary comeback concert series.Some of the snapshots are arresting, some evocative. But they never manage to convey anything more than the surface or the flat, one-dimensional image. The real texture and deeper currents of her life and times are barely suggested.
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By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,Evening Sun Staff | March 14, 1991
BY THE STANDARDS of biography, HBO's ambitious "Th Josephine Baker Story" is very good. It presents for our thorough consideration a poorly remembered yet complex and fascinating historical figure, the American-born expatriate chanteuse who became a European sensation as La Venus Negre (the black Venus).By the standards of big-scale musical TV movies, however, the $9 million world premiere movie is merely pretty good.Putting the demands of those genres together, you get an absorbing, lavishly produced 2 1/2 hours of original television.
NEWS
By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | March 2, 1997
WASHINGTON -- During the 1920s, a unique form of American music, a fascination with black culture and a beguiling African-American stage star all combined to hold the celebrated cultural capital of the world in near total rapture.The time was the Jazz Age in Paris, and its undisputed queen was the icon of the era, Josephine Baker (1906-1975).hTC Today, Baker, the Charleston and the dynamic jazz music - which took Paris by storm during the Roaring Twenties - are spotlighted in a new display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.
NEWS
By Susan Spano and Susan Spano,Los Angeles Times | October 8, 2006
CASTELNAUD-LA-CHAPELLE, FRANCE -- It was, as the French say, un coup de coeur -- something like love at first sight, but stronger -- when Josephine Baker saw Chateau des Milandes above the Dordogne River in southwestern France. It was 1937. She was the black waif from St. Louis who had taken Paris by storm and still reigned supreme, dancing to hot jazz in little more than sequins and feathers. Photographers snapped her picture when she strolled the Champs-Elysees with her pet cheetah, Chiquita; Jean Cocteau celebrated her in verse; and mystery writer Georges Simenon fell in love with her. Most Americans remember her only as the black Cinderella who left a racially segregated United States and found stardom and acceptance in France.
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By Robin Westen and Robin Westen,Special to the Sun | February 14, 1994
No man can resist the seductress.Since the beginning of time, men have flown into the femme fatale's arms like bees to a honeysuckle.Once under her spell, smitten guys give her everything -- their hearts, their money, their health plan.Naturally, we'd all love to possess a little (or a lot) of the seductress in ourselves.What's her secret?Let's learn from history's hottest ladies:* CLEOPATRA. The last queen of Egypt, Cleopatra embodied decadence, cunning and exotic beauty.Historians say Cleopatra staged various forms of debauchery.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,sun theater critic | January 18, 2007
You might say that the musical Bricktop was born in a trunk. The trunk had belonged to an African-American singer named Ada "Bricktop" Smith and was purchased a few years ago by the library at Atlanta's Emory University, which is where native Baltimore playwright Calvin A. Ramsey saw it. Ramsey had never heard of the singer, but when he started going through her trunk, he says, "I saw all these telegrams from Cole Porter, letters from Arlene Francis and...
NEWS
By Susan Spano and Susan Spano,Los Angeles Times | October 8, 2006
CASTELNAUD-LA-CHAPELLE, FRANCE -- It was, as the French say, un coup de coeur -- something like love at first sight, but stronger -- when Josephine Baker saw Chateau des Milandes above the Dordogne River in southwestern France. It was 1937. She was the black waif from St. Louis who had taken Paris by storm and still reigned supreme, dancing to hot jazz in little more than sequins and feathers. Photographers snapped her picture when she strolled the Champs-Elysees with her pet cheetah, Chiquita; Jean Cocteau celebrated her in verse; and mystery writer Georges Simenon fell in love with her. Most Americans remember her only as the black Cinderella who left a racially segregated United States and found stardom and acceptance in France.
FEATURES
By J. WYNN ROUSUCK and J. WYNN ROUSUCK,SUN THEATER CRITIC | November 3, 2005
Do you believe in predestination? Time machines? Intelligently written and acted plays? Never mind if you answered "no" to the first two questions. The third describes director Kasi Campbell's production of Richard Greenberg's The Violet Hour, which is receiving its regional premiere at Rep Stage in Columbia. Whether or not it changes your views of determinism or temporal dimensions, it's intellectually and emotionally stimulating theater - with a few laughs along the way. Greenberg, who won the 2003 Tony Award for Take Me Out, is a writer with impressively catholic interests.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | March 17, 2005
Nothing is sacred in George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum - not the beautiful people in Ebony magazine, not Josephine Baker and especially not that iconic American drama A Raisin in the Sun. It took Arena Players nearly 20 years to produce this edgy series of satiric vignettes. In the interim, Wolfe has achieved prominence as author and director of Jelly's Last Jam and Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk, as well as, for more than a decade, producer of the prestigious New York Shakespeare Festival.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 15, 2002
Kiss Me Kate, the 1953 backstage comedy about the dueling lovers starring in a musical version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, will be this weekend's Saturday matinee at the Charles. But wait, there's more! As if it isn't enough to get a rare chance to see this old-fashioned movie musical on the big screen, you'll also get to see it in 3-D, as the filmmakers originally intended. The former husband-and-wife team of Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson star here, as - and what a stretch this is!
NEWS
By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | March 2, 1997
WASHINGTON -- During the 1920s, a unique form of American music, a fascination with black culture and a beguiling African-American stage star all combined to hold the celebrated cultural capital of the world in near total rapture.The time was the Jazz Age in Paris, and its undisputed queen was the icon of the era, Josephine Baker (1906-1975).hTC Today, Baker, the Charleston and the dynamic jazz music - which took Paris by storm during the Roaring Twenties - are spotlighted in a new display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.
NEWS
November 8, 1993
LONDON -- American-born jazz singer Adelaide Hall, who shared the stage with Duke Ellington and other jazz stars, died in London yesterday at the age of 92, a hospital spokesman said.Born in New York, she was the daughter of a music professor and first performed on stage at 14. Her credits include appearing in the London stage premiere of "Kiss me Kate" as well as Ellington's "Chocolate Kiddies" with Josephine Baker.
FEATURES
By Los Angeles Daily News | November 14, 1991
HBO's comedy series "Dream On," about the adventures of a book editor whose life is influenced by old movies and TV shows, led the list of nominations for the Awards for Cable Excellence with 13.In all, HBO captured the most nominations with 102, including 11 each for "Tales From the Crypt," its horror anthology series, and "The Josephine Baker Story" its original movie starring Lynn Whitfield as the legendary chanteuse.Winners will be announced during a live, televised ceremony from Hollywood's Pantages Theater at 6 p.m. on Jan. 12, which will be carried exclusively on cable channel TNT.The 374 nominees in 84 categories were culled from a record 1,827 entries.
NEWS
January 7, 1995
Francis Lopez, 78, the king of French operetta who composed more than 40 popular works and 1,000 tunes, died Thursday of internal bleeding in Paris. His operettas include "La Belle de Cadix," "Andalousie" and "Mediterranee." He became popular during the German occupation in World War II, writing double-edged lyrics reflecting the somber times. In the 1950s and '60s, he composed songs sung by Luis Mariano, Tino Rossi, Maurice Chevalier and Josephine Baker.Ben R. Rich, 69, who helped to design the U-2 spy plane, the SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117A stealth fighter at Lockheed Corp.
NEWS
By TIM WARREN Title: "Josephine: The Hungry Heart" Authors: Jean-Claude Baker and Chris Chase Publisher: Random House Length, price: 532 pages, $27.50 and TIM WARREN Title: "Josephine: The Hungry Heart" Authors: Jean-Claude Baker and Chris Chase Publisher: Random House Length, price: 532 pages, $27.50,LOS ANGELES TIMES Title: "Torsos" Authors: John Peyton Cooke Publisher: Mysterious Press Length, price: 352 pages, $19.95 KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | April 3, 1994
Title: "Dances With Trout"Author: John GierachPublisher: Simon & SchusterLength, price: 205 pages, $21 John Gierach knows he's got just about the best job in America: He goes fishing a lot and then he writes about it. He lives in a little cabin near the St. Vrain River in Northern Colorado -- no kids, no time clock to punch. His hours are spent fishing for big Colorado rainbow trout or Alaskan grayling, or hunting snowshoe hares in the Rockies, or tying flies. If he's tired, he reads a lot.He also is one terrific writer, as he shows in "Dances With Trout," his eighth collection of outdoors pieces.
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