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Table Talk w/Kala Moses Baxter of ’74 Seconds…To Judgement’

There’s plays……….

…….and then there’s this play, the simply-yet-powerfully titled, 74 Seconds….to Judgement

Wonderfully penned by Philadelphia playwright Kash Goins (get to know him), it’s a local theater pearl clutch worthy story about a jury of 6 who have been in pure deadlock for a week straight as they undoubtably struggle to decide what is ‘justifiable homicide‘ in a headline grabbing murder trial. 

As relevant as it is, well, pure relevant in today’s frustratingly divided times, it’s not just a must see for you, you, and you (yes, you), but indeed for all of us with major emphasis on the word all….seriously, everyone must go see this play. 

Actually, you can go see 74 Seconds..To Judgement as its taken a hold of the stage and the box office at the Arden Theatre Company (right there in Old City!) tonight through Sunday, March 3rd. And if the many sold out dates on the way are indication, you shouldn’t waste any time in getting those tickets here

The beautifully talented Kala Moses Baxter is just one of the six incredibly gifted actors who are straight owning this production each and every night, and she was gracious enough to take a seat at the Philly Mixtape tea table amongst her busy schedule, where she spilled tea about everything we need to take a sip for for when it comes to 74 Seconds…To Judgement

Again..go see this show…your 2019 life and beyond will thank you. 

Okay, so before we break some local theater mugs about this insanely powerful show, I just want to sip it back for a moment about how you got your start in the acting and entertainment business… I started attending classes at the original Freedom Theater when I was 10 years old. As a child, I wanted to be so many different things…I wanted to be a private eye, all of these different things! Then I realized I just wanted to pretend to be them! And I loved being on stage and in front of people, especially making them laugh. Eventually, I finally decided in my junior year of college that theater was going to be my major…and I’m so thankful that I did!! 

Now, onto 74 Seconds…To Judgement.’ I had the esteemed privilege of watching you and your truly incredible cast mates own the stage with this pulsating production, and all I have to say is…wow. But, if there’s one question that’s truly burning my mind…I just have to know…how much Law & Order did you guys watch to mentally prepare and keep it so authentic?? Actually….we didn’t watch a whole bunch of Law & Order! A lot of our prep work was researching a lot of the cases that have dealt with ‘justifiable homicide’ in terms of dealing with African Americans who were killed and the verdict would come out not guilty. We also studied a lot of the laws as well. The law that we’re using in the play is a Florida law that is about 200 years old, and is the same one that was used in the Trayvon Martin case. The playwright also provided us with a lot of information, and for me personally, And I also knew a great deal [about these cases] when they happened, but to revisit them for this particular play was important for not just me, but for my character. 

What is hard to dig so deep for this role? Were you able to separate your emotions from the acting? You know what, I didn’t separate myself the acting from myself emotionally. As actors, that’s not really something that we’re able to do….we have to bring our emotion with us. Even in those moments where I’m speaking to [Travoye Joyner‘s character] Brandon, there’s a moment where [we’re acting] and he’s playing my son. I have two stepsons and I always think of their lives as young black men and the possibility that they could go out one night and not come home alive. That [scenario] was real for me, and also watching the pain of the mother that had lost their children, especially Valerie Castile….I watched her a lot. In these moments [in the play] deciding as an actress that it’s real for me in that moment, especially for that character. 

Okay, so…there’s a moment in the play…and without giving anything away here because everyone must see it for themselves….where two of the “jurors” get into a slight altercation…okay, big altercation. How intense is it for the cast in that moment? It’s a true turning point in the story, without a doubt… It’s difficult! You can imagine that if this really happened…I would have been like..I’m not doing, I got to go! For that moment, we had stage combat, we have a gentleman named Alex that came in and worked with us. So, as an actor, I’m able to say that we’re all safe and that is important to me. That’s probably a portion [of the show] that in the moment I’m pretending it was real. 

All intensity of the show aside, how does the cast let loose after each show? Are you able to at least go out and enjoy a cocktail for a job well done?? We haven’t done it yet, but we’re looking forward to getting together and going out afterwards! Usually, we’re in the dressing room and we’re laughing and talking with each other. We’re a pretty close knit group of people who some of us knew each other, but [everyone else] bonded quickly, which has been great. We also shared our different stories of racism, biases and what we learned growing up. That made a big difference, and of course being able to trust each other. We are looking forward to going out, but we’re all just so tired after each show! 

A question I love to ask anyone and everyone….what kind of music is rockin’ your world right now? Actually, my husband and I have an urban gospel radio show called Those Baxters….and we’re syndicated across the country! It’s a mix of Christian hip hop and R&B with some great beats behind them, and that’s what we mostly listen to and hope all of our fans enjoy it, too! 

One last sip, now that we’re somehow already in February, there’s no denying that the year is officially moving along. So, sum up your 2019 ambition in one word or phrase… Inspirational. 

And there you have it. Thank you, Ms. Kala Moses Baxter

For much more insight about 74 Seconds…To Judgement, check this out…now

Are you a local or legendary entertainer out there who’s living and owning your best life? Well, then…take a seat at the table with Philly Mixtape right here and here and let’s talk it up!! 

Table Talk cover photo courtesy of bbmediarelations and the Arden Theatre Company 

Video clip courtesy of YouTube & Fox 

 

 

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Table Talk w/DJ Chris Urban

What do Franky Bradley‘s, L’Etage, Tavern on Camac and Positano Coast all have in common? 

Besides being all fabulous Philly places to go and get your party on and stuff, they’re also all of the places that one of the City of Brotherly Love’s hardest werkin’ DJs, Mr. Chris Urban, serves out his unique buffet of beats every weekend for all of us to get down to….

….and that we most certainly do when it comes to this explosive DJ Daddy

You may also find Chris at the address of 1724 Passyunk Avenue, which has quickly become well-known around the town as iLL Exotics, a joint small business venture he shares with his partner, the equally yaaas, Mr. Franco Franchina

And what might one find there, you might ask? How about an incredible collection of the sexiest plants, reptiles and amphibians that you’ll ever get to be all sorts of up-and-close-and-personal with. Intrigued? You absolutely should be. 

But what really makes DJ Chris Urban a true class act in this groovy city of ours is that, quite simply….he’s just a really, really good guy, bro. 

You’ll all get to pick his cheery vibe up right away as the superstar beat maestro took time from his busy slaying-our-lives schedule for a little Philly Mixtape Table Talk action where he threw mugs across the room and spilled all about his business, and of course, those beats. 

Now, take a seat, actually, get on the local dance floors because DJ Chris Urban is speaking…and the whole entire city of Philadelphia has certainly been listening. 

Okay, so crackin’ open this Mariah approved cupboard of hot tea on such a winter’s day, let’s pour it out and heat things up with a little business biz…about your growing small business, iLL Exotics. Basically…who, what, where, when and why? Spill it all….  ILLExotics is the baby of my partner, Franco, and I. We specialize in house plants, captive bred reptiles & amphibians and everything to house  and successful care for one! We launched our website (check this…now) at the top of 2018 and opened our brick and mortar mid-June at 1724 East Passyunk ave. [It’s] located inside Floral & Fauna, a shared space with our florist friend Creations by Coppola. We have BYO Terrarium building classes in our space every weekend that you can sign up for on our website as well as educational outreach bringing all the cool things in our store to schools in the Philadelphia area to share our passion with future generations! 
What has your experience been like with the rollout this past year?  In complete honesty it’s been hectic! The ball is rolling and we are doing our best to keep up with it. The neighborhood has been super supportive, and we have a lot of big plans for the future. 
Okay….time to hit the floor with some grooves. It’s also a new year, so it’s time to keep the motivation gang. What’s one album or albums that you blast off to keep your creative self fresh and ready?  Not really an album yet–hopefully she has one in store for us soon–but “Made for Now” by Miss Janet Jackson has been my track for this new year. I’ve got several fire remixes that I drop occasionally in the club … but if you’re looking for motivation in this new year, Janet won’t let you down. 

What words of wisdom would you give to the aspiring DJs out there who may be picking up those coveted headphones for the first time this year?  If this is your first time on the decks – dive in and learn your instrument and craft. Practice your fundamentals till its effortless and muscle memory, that’s a great start.
So, I’ve been sewin’ my former DJ oats lately and have been diving through the ol’ collection…and I’m sure you can agree…there’s nothing better! So, what are some of your favorite throwbacks that you think all of the kiddies and kweens of the world should get down to right now?
…….Ciara/”1,2 Step”

…..Missy Elliot/CiCi/Fatman Scoop/”Lose Control”

…….Mary J Blige/”Real Love”/Biggie Remix 

And of course where can everybody witness you serve it out this year and any future floor ownership plans you can spill…now.
1st and 4th Fridays at Franky Bradleys (10 pm)………..2nd and 3rd Fridays at Tavern on Camac (10 pm)………Saturdays at L’Etage (10 pm)……..Sundays for Bottomless Brunch at Positano Coast (12pm-4pm). 
One last sip…describe your 2019 agenda in one word or phrase. Rise Above & Slay.
And there you have it. Now, let’s dance along with DJ Chris Urban for the rest of our motha f@#kin’ lives, shall we? Always. 

Are you dying for a little Table Talk with Philly Mixtape? (it’s like The View, but music instead of politics)
Then join the pham right here and here and let’s destroy some Lennox! 
Cover photo courtesy of DJ Chris Urban, bro 

 

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Table Talk w/Marti Gould Cummings

Stunning………fierce drag diva…….political activist…….hilarious comedian…..loving husband…..trailblazer…..pioneer and….yes, bitch……this year’s rightful snatcher of the Entertainer of the Year Award at this past Monday night’s Glam Awards in New York City

Yes, kids, kweens, guys and gals from the all around the just-be-who-you-be globe, these are just some of the many, many accomplishments acquired on the local drag and-then-some resume of not just one of the hardest working queens in NYC…..but of the whole entire country, Marti Gould Cummings

But perhaps Ms. Cummings greatest accomplishment is that voice.

And it’s not just a voice that knows how to slay a jazzed up rendition of a Brit Brit classic (keep spilling), but a voice that has reached across the political world and has inspired others to be who you are and to be heard like nobody’s f@@king business…and she’s certainly doing one hell of a fabulous job.

Of course, it’s all while slaying our drag entertainment lives at the same time. 

Ms. Cummings was also ridiculously kind enough to show a little NYC-to-Philly love and took time out of her slaying schedule to spill some tea with Philly Mixtape, where the two of us sat around the table and read tea leaves about humble beginnings, The Glam Awards, where this is all heading, and just why, oh, why it’s just so important for you (yes, you) to keep finding that voice and let it reach from beyond the distance….

…….because that’s exactly what she’s doing for all of us. So, take a seat, take a sip, and get to know this extraordinary East Coast owning talent…you’ll certainly be glad you did. 

Kicking off our spill, and first, I personally appreciate you showing a little NYC-to-Philly love on the site! Okay, so….how did the fabulous world of Marti Gould Cummings all come to be?  Oh, gurl…it all started on a farm in Maryland and then I landed in NYC right out of high school. I accidentally fell into drag and it changed my life! 

Let’s break some fine mugs about The Glam Awards in NYC that were held and served this past Monday night……….condragulations on taking home the Entertainer of the Year Award! Spill on just how was the show in all of its fabulousness…..and what went through your mind when you heard your name called? The show was lit! It was so major having bob the drag queen and peppermint there as host. I loved getting to see so many from our community gathered in one space. The performances slayed and showed how powerful and diverse NYC nightlife is. When my name was called I felt a wave of joy through my entire body. It was an overwhelming moment of gratitude. 

The last part of your acceptance speech was very heart warming and moved this butch kween to a tear or twelve. –thank you. Without my damn self ruining its magic, send that message for the kids about the powerful words you served… I spoke about a moment of going to my home town in drag and meeting young people there who are coming to terms with their own identity as queer.  We never know the impact of our drag. Drag is powerful and important.

Okay, gurl, let’s gab about Andy Cohen. You’ve been to the Clubhouse for WWHL …and I just have to know….is it big? The studio, I mean, well, maybe….spill your tales of Ms. Andy….It is actually a very,very small room but looks big on TV! It’s always a lot of fun being there. Getting to be on TV with Goldie Hawn and Carol Burnett was insane and wild!

And then there was a video of you I saw of you werkin’ those vocals out to a jazzed up version of “Oops..I Did it Again,” if I’m not mistaken? What was going on there?  At the beginning of January,  I was performing at Lincoln center as part of the Big Apple circus series they were doing with queer artist. My husband, Mr. Blake Allen, arranged all of the music and conducted the band! 

Okay, onto a serious sip..and it’s all about owning your voice, and you certainly do. Why is it so important for not just you, but for everyone to be heard?  I always say the election may be over, but the revolution has just begun. We must stay loud and visible and not allow history to repeat itself.

Do you think we’ll ever get the fuck out of this..mess?  I think the young people will safe our nation and world.

What else is on your 2019 agenda this year? I can imagine…everythang.  Oh God, stay tuned! 

Sum up your 2019 ambitions and goals in one word or sassy little phrase….   Be booked, blessed, beautiful and don’t be afraid to speak out! 

One last sip….when are you coming to Philly? I hope soon! 

Cover photo courtesy of Ms. Marti Gould Cummings

For much more with Marti, sashay on over to her website and Insta pages right here and here! 

And for much more shenanigans like this all year-long and beyond, follow Philly Mixtape right here and here