Last night I hung out with Mo'Nique & Co at The Paradise Theater in the Boogie Down Bronx. I snagged two VIP passes and after many phone calls and emails to folks I wound up taking my girlfriend Muzette Charles with me to the show. As luck would have it Muzette got a flat tire on her way home and after she called and said she'd meet me there I jumped on the D train and took it up to Fordham Road. Although I lived in the Bronx for just about 12 years...I spent all of my free time walking back to Manhattan...lol..so I still don't know it all that well...however I AM familiar with The Paradise Theater because when I was a kid it was a big movie theater and we all used to go there to check out the latest flicks. In the last few years the building has been renovated but they kept all of the old (and beautiful) original architecture.
Doors opened at 7pm and showtime was to begin promptly at 9pm. I got up there at like 7:45 and there were a MILLION PEOPLE LINED UP WAITING TO GET IN!!! I kid you not...the number of folks waiting for Mo was ridiculous...lol...every F.A.T. girl in the city was at this theater ya'll! I picked up my passes and headed inside to wait for Muzette...the first person I ran into was a brother named Mark who is actually my Monster's close friend. He was nice enough to take a photo with me later on because he was working security and it was just crazy....they were confiscating CIGARETTES at the door....NO SMOKING IN THE BUILDING AT ALL!! I know there were MANY an angry person that night...with cigarettes costing upwards of like 7 bucks! As I stepped in to the main vestibule...I distinctly remember thinking to myself "damn, I must really be hungry...I can smell hot wings!"...as I walked around the lobby I began to chuckle inwardly because I realized that to the left of the entryway I saw that "Harlem Wing & Waffles" had set up shop in the lobby and were selling...I kid you not....Chicken & Waffles"....er...at a Comedy Concert?? What can I Say??? I LOVE MY PEOPLE!!!! No one else does it quite like we do!
Well, it was beginning to get really crowded and I realized that I had VIP passes but no seats...so I decided to come outside and wait for my friend and we could work it out later....I WAS hungry but I wasn't ABOUT to stand in that lobby eating chicken & waffles...sorry...the Diva in me emerged for a moment...lol.
I wound up walking back to Fordham Road and sitting in Burger King munching on fries while I waited for Muzie. She arrived a few moments later and after finishing up HER order of fries...lol...we walked back to the theater. We quickly bypassed the lines and got back inside real quick and this is where the confusion began. We went EVERYWHERE in that theater trying to figure out where in the hell we were supposed to go. We took the elevator to the top level, where the sky boxes were and quickly discovered that not only did we NOT belong up there...but we didn't want to sit in those tiny dark ass rooms, with no lighting and no partitions to keep you from falling off the balconies either. It was VERY dark up there and with NO SECURITY up there...it just didn't feel safe to me....not to mention that the people on the stage looked like little dots from those seats! (I would have been really mad if I had paid for those seats!).
So after much walking around in circles we finally wound up backstage...I have never been so relieved to see my girl KS! She had security escort us to the backstage area where we were given seats that were practically on stage. I KNOW the audience could see us because WE could see them CLEARLY from where we sat. Mo came down shortly after we got situated and gave me a big ole bear hug (She gives some of the best hugs ya'll!) we chatted for a moment then she went on to do her thing. The host for the evening was a comedian I had caught on the Bad Boys of Comedy and he was just hysterical...His name was Capone and he's really good. He was followed by George Wilborn...who's act I caught on the original Def Comedy Jam back in the day....And then Mo'Nique took the stage dressed in a sexy short black wrap dress and some hot red & Black pony skinned shoes. There was pandemonium in the auditorium the moment she took the stage. It made me glad that I WASN'T sitting in the audience with everybody else! Those chicks rushed that stage like they were crazy...one woman fainted at the sight of Mo and then almost passed out again when Mo' shook her hand! It was THAT crazy in there ya'll. I was trying to enjoy the show but I gotta be honest...the sound system at the Paradise Theater is a little cruddy and I don't know what could be heard from the front but most of what I heard in the back was pretty muffled. We were lucky enough to snag some free goodies backstage courtesy of Apple Bottoms...we both got a pair of jeans and Muzette gave me her shirt.
After the show wrapped we quickly headed to the dressing room so we could chat briefly with Mo' before she had to go back out and sign t-shirts that were on sale. We talked for a few moments about what's coming up for FAT Chance 2008 and we wanted to get some pics for the blog before we left too! I also ran into film producer Lisa Cortes backstage too! She's working on the movie adaptation of a book called "Push" which is featuring Mo'. It was an amazing book ya'll...you should check it out if you haven't read it yet.
We bid Mo', Ronda, KS, Bam & Henri farewell and began to make our way through the maze of passages to get back to the main lobby...on the way out we saw hundreds of people lined up waiting to get an autograph, a t-shirt or a picture with Mo'. And the thing I love the most about her is that I know that she'll stay until every person on that line has what they came to get....and that's really cool in my book!
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."