Monday, April 21, 2008

Cocoa Lounge: Role Play

Biopics are all the rage these days.

With everyone from Beyonce' (Etta James) to Jesse L. Martin (Marvin Gaye) to Rita Marley (Bob Marley) in some stage of production on a film about the life of a celebrated star, Hollywood's fascination with the biopic isn't showing any sings of distress.

So, in our own personal salute to the trend, here are a few films we'd love to see get the greenlight. Dah-ling, these casting suggestions are powdered, lit and ready for their close-ups.

Cocoa Lounge: Role Play

Queen Latifah as Pearl Bailey

Pearl Bailey climbed her way from vaudeville to starring roles in such film classics as St. Louis Blues and Carmen Jones, with a sassy performance style equivalent to that of a pared-down, black Mae West. Her long career included many fascinating anecdotes including an appointment by President Nixon as the "Ambassador of Love," and singing 'He'll Understand' at Joan Crawford's Funeral.

Only one bold, actress wtih jazz-pipes could come close to filling Bailey's shoes and Queen Latifah is just about the only woman for the job.

Cocoa Lounge: Role Play

Kelly Rowland as Donna Summer

Donna Summer remains the highest of royalty in the disco genre: The Queen. During the explosive disco scene of the late 70s and early 80s, Summer's music fueled dance clubs around the country, including the infamous Club 54. The first African American ever to win a 'Rock' award at the Grammys, Donna Summer doesn't always get the respect she deserves in black music history; partly because disco is frequently lost in the shuffle between the post-Motown era and the birth of Hip Hop music.

Kelly Rowland has the look and energy of Donna Summer in her prime--not to mention the hair.

Cocoa Lounge: Role Play

Ledisi as Dinah Washington

Dinah Tells a Joke, a rare moment recorded when Dinah Washington wasn't singing (included on the Queen: The Music of Dinah Washington compilation) is a most hilarious glimpse into the fun-loving personality that captured the hearts of jazz fans world-wide. With a voice that is one of the most distinctive in jazz music, Washington quickly skyrocketed to music success, but her life was tragically cut short, at the age of 39, from an overdoes of sleeping medication.

Married a whopping seven times, Dinah's romantic resume' could make Elizabeth Taylor blush.

Ledisi, like Washington, possesses an infectious onstage personality and her voice, like Washington's, is a very rare treasure.


Anonymous said...

Dude Kelly does look like Donna Summer!

Anonymous said...

Good list.

Can I add mine...?

Alicia Keys as Lena Horne
Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin
Jill Scott as Billie Holiday
Erykah Badu as Nina Simone

And even though she's older now I think Loretta Divine would have made a excellent Dinah Washington. I bet she could still pull it off.

Anonymous said...

This list is right on.

And while we're adding--

The beautiful SY SMITH as DIANA ROSS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Salli Richardson - Vanity from Vanity 6?

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of Pearl Bailey but it looks like Latifah could be her granddaughter. Now I'm gonna have to google her. :)

Beauty Is Diverse said...

I will be checking out all these films

Unknown said...

You nailed a number of these stars and the biopic that they should star in. Oddly enough, Jesse L. Martin is the subject of my Wordless Wednesday meme today.

peace, Villager

Lenoxave said...

Your list is great! I especially dig Ledisi as Miss Dinah! That would be smokin'.

Eb the Celeb said...

Good picks... very good picks!

SayWord...Mel said...

Aretha Biopic is already in motion, and she knows who she wants, see here:

Q: And a movie?
A: For television. My autobiography, From These Roots. Hopefully it will happen early spring. I have verbal commitments from Billy Dee [Williams] to play my father, and Terrence Howard to play Smokey Robinson.

Q: Who’ll play you?
A: I’m not sure yet. Jennifer Hudson came to read for me. I also have an interest in Halle Berry possibly doing it. And Fantasia.

Anonymous said...

I like Ledisi, but I found a great lookalike for Dinah Washington; Taraji P. Henson. She's not a big name but I swear she is Dinah Washington's granddaughter with facial features. But I like the idea of Ledisi still. Mary J. Blige is already doing a bio-pic about Nina Simone but Erykah Badu would have been lovely in that role.

Viola said...

These are all so cool.

and maybe its just me but i also think jazmine Sullivan looks like Phyllis Hyman.. idk how great of an actresss Jazmine would be but they sure look alike

Viola said...

These are all so cool.

and maybe its just me but i also think jazmine Sullivan looks like Phyllis Hyman.. idk how great of an actresss Jazmine would be but they sure look alike

Gwen said...

It can't really work, I suppose like this.

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