Ladies Night Out V at the Guild Theater
Terry Moore Presents brought Ladies Night Out V to the Historic Guild Theater in Oak Park this past Friday night. This final show of the summer series at the Guild lived up to its billing as a red carpet event complete with celebrity VIP guests and a fantastic show.
“We really wanted to show our appreciation to Sacramento for all of the support we’ve received this year by ending the summer with a special event,” stated Moore.
“The most satisfying part of the evening was looking out over the audience and seeing everyone enjoying themselves and having a good time,” said Moore.
The special guest host for the red carpet extravaganza was Courtney Dempsey of Channel 31’s “Good Day Sacramento” morning show. Moore’s choice of Dempsey to host the show proved to be the right one. Smartly outfitted in an all white dress, Dempsey brought to the stage her unique combination of elegance, charm, polish, and wit.
The Sacramento Soul Line Dancers charged the atmosphere in the theater with electricity before with curtains opened to start the event by showing off their synchronized line dance moves to Mary J. Blige’s “Just Fine” and V.I.C.’s “Wobble Baby Wobble.”
The evening’s house band Ear Candy started playing Bobby Calwell’s hit “What You Won’t Do For Love” before the curtains opened with local R&B singer Tony R. peeking out first on the vocals before the curtains opened to start the show.
Tony R. then had the pleasure of introducing Dempsey to the audience who immediately encouraged the crowd to relax and get comfortable while commenting on the soul line dancers and describing the lineup of entertainment scheduled for the evening. Dempsey acknowledged and thanked Moore for all of his efforts to put together the series of events showcasing all of the local talent in Sacramento and providing an opportunity for artists to build a following locally as the foundation before moving forward in their careers.
The Lady Jaz Project opened the show with its’ unique style of gospel, funk, urban contemporary music. The band features Lady Jaz on the lead vocals with backup singers Sharhonda Ruffin and Arameya Scott, Rick Smith on guitar, Willie G. Martin Jr. on the bass, and Robert Scott on the drums.
The band played four original songs in its set. “What’s His Name,” “Better Than That,” “One on One,” and “Solider Song.” Lady Jaz demonstrated her strong vocals and a powerful stage presence throughout the set, but the crowd really got moving and motivated with swaying and hands clapping on the final number as their dance step routines mimicked soldiers on the march.
In a surprise addition to the program, Dempsey brought out the men of Sacramento Soul Line Dancers to show off their moves to Usher’s track, “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home).” Each member displayed their own individual style while staying in step with the others which lent an air of spontaneity to the well rehearsed dance routine.
The ladies in the predominately female crowd moved to the aisles and started to groove along with the men on stage who were all sharp dressed in an array of fashionable suits, ties and dress hats. After the number, everyone in the audience rose and gave the dances a standing ovation in appreciation of their entertaining performance.
J.D. Sanders described the purpose of the Sacramento Soul Line Dancers as, “A way to have fun, maintain good health, and make new friends,” when speaking of the weekly practice sessions every Thursday night at the Touch of Class from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the many events where they perform throughout the Sacramento region.
Accomplished local comedian Andre Bailey showed off his comedic chops and demonstrated why he has been featured everywhere from the Apollo Theater to Laughs Unlimited when he took the stage to tickle the funny bones of the Ladies Night Out audience.
Poking fun at everything from Oak Park to airport security x-ray machines to members of small churches to Wocka Flocka Flame, Bailey visibly enjoyed himself by laughing along with the crowd at his own jokes.
Event founder Terry Moore stepped up to the stage to acknowledge some of the celebrity V.I.P’s in attendance and to pass out some door prizes to the guests who were seated in the V.I.P. seating with the help of host Dempsey.
Dempsey introduced R& B singer Kaleo Ross who began his set with “Blackstreet’s Before I Let You Go,” before launching directly into his recently released single ‘Supaman.” Kaleo responded to cheers and loud applause from the audience as he appeared to feeding off of their encouragement as he sang the difficult notes in both of the tracks.
Much to the surprise of the audience, House Band Ear Candy reappeared on stage behind Kaleo as he announced a special collaboration. As the music played and Kaleo used his voice as an instrument, the voice of Terry Moore came over the loudspeakers as he read one of his newest love poems, “Married Kind of Love,” from offstage, much to the delight of the audience.
In response to the crowd’s demand for more, Moore then came on stage and joined Kaleo and recited his well loved poem, “12 Things I’ll Do to Keep You,” with Kaleo singing ad lib’s of the lines between each of the verses.
Throughout the performance of the combination of poetry and singing, Ear Candy band leader and lead guitarist Norman McDaniel showed his skill and experience on the Roland synthesized guitar.
With band members Brother Gary on the bass, Lemont Kelsey on percussion, Ray Shamsid-Deen on drums, with both Karen Westbrook and Jordon Tholmer on the keyboards, the group played jam session style and never missed a beat. Moore, Kaleo, and Ear Candy all entertained the audience as a unit making it appear as if they had been doing it together for years.
Ear Candy brought the volume down while playing Bobby Caldwell’s hit song “What You Won’t Do for Love” in the background as Dempsey briefly appeared on stage to introduce singer Yardley Griffin, Jr.
Griffin and Ear Candy picked up the volume as the jam session continued with guitarist McDaniel leading the band with various arrangements of the Caldwell track including one with a reggae beat.
Griffin then introduced himself and showed a great deal of personality and stage presence as he joked with the crowd before he amped up the energy in the theater by singing “The Truth” by India.Arie. The ladies in the crowd responding by waving the carnations in the air concert style that Dempsey passed out earlier in the evening from the stage with the help of the ushers courtesy of event sponsor G.Rossi & Co., Florists.
After Griffin had the crowd clapping along with a bluesy song entitled “Get On Away From Me,” he took a moment to explain his roots in gospel music and to compliment the crowd for being one of the best live audiences he had ever performed in front of in his career.
Everyone in the theater responded enthusiastically by standing on their feet and singing along the chorus to Griffin’s earnest rendition of Fred Hammond’s song, “We’re Blessed,” to finish out his set
During the intermission a few audience members, including some small children, joined in on stage with the Sacramento Soul Line Dancers who were demonstrating their line dance routine to “Cupid’s Shuffle” by Cupid.
In the lobby Simply Southern Café owners Lynnis Woods Mullins and Michael Mullins, offered plates of fish, chicken, or ribs with side orders of green beans and salad along with a drink.
While waiting in line to be served, patrons were browsing through the selections offered by vendors including Traci Lynn fashion Jewelry offered by Zina Beard, Mary Kay Cosmetics offered by Mary Kay Beauty Consultants Lolita Johnson Hopkins and Nadia Olivian, and fashions offered by African American Expressions.
During the intermission, celebrity V.I.P. guest Amar Khalil, lead singer of Tony! Toni! Toné! stated,
“This is a great event, how they got it together and got everybody to come. The food is fabulous and the talent is really good. I’m enjoying myself.”
Samoria Lamuse stated, “I like this atmosphere and I feel really comfortable being able to move around without being restricted to enjoy the food.”
“This event is nicely put together,”Lamuse said.
When the show resumed, high energy dancer Ozala showed the ladies how to stay fit with a lively demonstration of Zumba.
Dempsey then introduced by designer and image consultant LaTanya DeNine, who in turn presented a brief fashion show featuring original creations from her de Neuf clothing line.
Comedian Dru Burks came to the stage and immediately began teasing everybody in the theater from the “skinny women” in the audience to the Sacramento Soul Line men whom he referred to as “The Five Heartbeats.”
Burks told event founder Terry Moore that the lobby reminded him of a church picnic during the intermission before he went on reprove the ladies for “facebook trickery” by only putting head shots on their facebook pages.
Dempsey then warmly introduced her long-time friend, poet Sean King, after she described the reputation for being an intellectual he earned at Sacramento State during their time on campus together.
King departed from the thought provoking poetry that is his stock in trade and recited two of his love poems, “Bit the Apple” and “You Inspire Me,” in keeping with the theme of love that is a part of Ladies Night Out.
Poet, singer, and actor Noah Hayes, aka, Supernova, then took the stage and honored his wife with his love poem, “You…” before reciting another love piece entitled “I’ve Seen My Future.”
Supernova then demonstrated his versatility as an entertainer by singing “My Cherrie Amor” by Stevie Wonder and “Ordinary People” by John Legend. He finished his set by singing the gospel standard ‘How Great Is Our God” to the highly appreciative audience.
After host Dempsey closed out the show by thanking the audience, the Sacramento Soul Line Dancers capped off the evening a final line dance to “Work It Like a Pro” by Roi Anthony featuring Cupid.
Former V101.1 radio D.J. Lee Perkins commented regarding the evening of entertainment,
“This was an excellent show and it’s great for families. Its’ better that the club scene and it had some real quality entertainment.”
“I had an absolutely wonderful time.” said Denise Henderson.
This event reminds me of the good times I had on the east coast- I’m impressed,” Henderson stated.
The Ladies Night Out series will resume after a two month hiatus on November 12, 2011, with a brand new show featuring more of Sacramento’s local talent
Be sure to contact Terry Moore well in advance at (916) 208-POET or firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase your tickets. The event is guaranteed to be another inspirational and fun evening of entertainment.
Disclosure: Othello Curry was an active participant in this week's Ladies Night Out Event. Othello worked as a member of the event staff.