January 24, 2008...
For more than 21 years, Les Miserables inspired Broadway audiences with its tale of paroled convict Jean Valjean, the police inspector who's obsessed with finding him, and Cosette - the young girl whose mother turns to prostitution to support her. It's a story about loyalty, honesty, friendship and forgiveness. About fighting adversity and doing what's right. Les Mis was part of the European invasion of Broadway in the 1980's, along with shows like Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon. Highschooler Daniel Jackson saw Les Mis for the first time when it came to Birmingham in 2002. This week, Jackson and a cast of young actors from across North Central Alabama bring Les Mis to the stage at Birmingham's Virginia Samford Theatre. WBHM's Tanya Ott has their story.
In Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, author Warren St. John traveled the roads with Alabama football fanatics, but for his next book he takes on the "other" football. St. John follows the fortunes of the Fugees, a soccer team from a small Georgia town. Not just any soccer team - the young players are refugees from numerous third world countries. St. John's articles for the New York Times tell the tale of children and their families who come to America with just the clothes on their backs and are expected to assimilate into the local scene with little help from the government.
New York Times reporter and Birmingham native Warren St. John is writing a book on the Fugees of Clarkston, GA. St. John speaks in the Cabaniss Fine Arts Center at Altamont School Tuesday evening.
For more than a decade, the West African nation of Sierra Leone was nothing like the lush tropical paradise a postcard might suggest. Civil war broke out in 1991, forcing hundreds of thousands into neighboring Guinea. Yet in the midst of unimaginable atrocities, six refugees found solace through music. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars composed songs about their experiences and once the fighting ended in 2002, they recorded an album. They've since been profiled in a documentary and gained international recognition. The group will be in Birmingham this weekend. WBHM's Andrew Yeager spoke with Alhaji Jeffrey Kamara, better known as Black Nature - the youngest member of the group.
Black Nature of Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. The group performs Sunday evening in the Carver Theatre at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Banker White co-directed a film that follows the Refugee All Stars from life in the camps to the recording studio.
To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.
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Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall, with reporting this week from Andrew Yeager and help from Islara Vazquez and Russell Lewis. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next week.