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NICE LACE: NIGERIAN MUSIC, FOLKLORES IN WASHINGTON DC

By NBF News
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Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
Major artistes from Nigeria's Nollywood industry as well as US-based Nigerian, African and American actors and actresses are expected to be part of the Nice Lace project featuring Prof. Chudi Uwazurike's off Broadway play, Eyere's Trumpet: From Broadway to Bar Beach. The play will be presented at the annual Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas' national convention at the Gaylord Resort, Washington DC.

The project, a collaboration between the ANPA and New Nigeria International Corporation - a US-based organisation which encourages Nigerians in the Diaspora to invest in Nigeria - will come up in July.

Featuring at various stages will be Nollywood stars like Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Jim Iyke, Ramsey Nouah, Liz Benson, Olu Jacobs, Bob Manuel and Pete Edochie.

The works of the New York-based award-winning novelist-playwright, Uwazurike, have, over the years, been interpreted by such American actors as Marsha Hamilton, Omar M'Sai, Daralyn Jay, Ahmat Jallo and Arthur French, among others.

In a statement, the President, ANPA, Dr. Julius Kpaduwa; and the Chief Executive Officer, NNIC, Dr. Dan Austin, said that the goal was to package Nigerian entertainment 'a little differently' so it could be delivered to international audiences.

The organisers note that the play, 'brimming with both satire, comedy and music is a celebration of a lost daughter in search of the Nigerian highlife heritage she feels so strongly about.'

'The 'Nice Lace Project,' acronym for Nigerian Invasion of Literal Arts, Culture and Entertainment centres on the concept of harvesting the huge talents of the Nigerian entertainment industry to harness gains in the international entertainment economy,' they said.

The US-based NNIC, the statement says, believes the Nigerian entertainment industry is ripe for sale to the world, 'from Nollywood to Nigerian contemporary music, from High life to Afro beat, from the Naija Reggae to the Najia Rap sensation of today - you name it. We believe we can package this for New York, Paris, and starting off our world tour here in Washington DC, capital of the world's largest economy, celebrating this cultural heritage with the best and brightest of the Nigerian American physicians, is an excellent start.'

The organisers said that the 'Nice Lace Project' would kick off with a 'home coming' event scheduled for Lagos, Nigeria, on June 18, 2010 at the Terra Club, Victoria Island, Lagos. This would be followed by the special performance at the ANPA Convention in Washington DC. The 'off Broadway show would run in Washington DC for two weeks and then Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and possibly on to Europe and the rest of the world,' they said.

Founded by Austin, who is also the president of Cignet Healthcare Inc, NNIC aims at encouraging Nigerians in the Diaspora to invest in Nigeria. The corporation also and sponsors the best of the African art and entertainment on world tours.

The play would be produced by Blaise Osondu and directed by Cash Nwachukwu who went through the tutelage of Ola Rotimi, Mekki Zewi, Jazz Amankulor, Ossie Enekwe, among others. The production is supported by the All Nigerian American Congress and its Arts Culture and Entertainment Committee chaired by Omolara Okunubi.