James Baldwin’s bracingly relevant writings, which inspired the potent “I Am Not Your Negro,” also resonate deeply in “Chapter & Verse,” Jamal Joseph’s tough / tender portrait of an ex-con attempting to find redemption in modern-day  transitional Harlem.

Having served eight years in prison for “being stupid,” reformed gang leader S. Lance Ingram (the film’s co-screenwriter, Daniel Beaty) is trying to do the right thing, living clean in a halfway house and landing a delivery job for a food pantry.

Despite his best efforts, Lance encounters potential minefields at every Harlem corner — including his amorous supervisor Yolanda (a fiery Selenis Leyva) — offering the constant reminder that any misstep could land him back in the Green Haven Correctional Facility.

Things take a turn through his friendship with Ms. Maddy (the always terrific Loretta Devine), a spirited widow with a wry sense of humor and a troubled teen grandson who is headed down a path Lance knows only too well.

Filmmaker and Columbia professor Joseph, and playwright Beaty, in his feature writing and acting debut, infuse the movie with an intense New York City realism and an evocative street poetry that conjure up early John Cassavetes and Spike Lee.

But ultimately, it’s the voice of Baldwin, who more than 50 years  ago observed, “All over Harlem, Negro boys and girls are growing into stunted maturity, trying desperately to find a place to stand,” that rings out clearly in this deeply affecting drama.

'Chapter & Verse

Rating: R, for language, drug use, some violence and sexuality 

Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Playing: Cinemark 18, Los Angeles

 Special post-event press release - 

[New York, NY- May 7, 2018 ] – On Saturday, May 5th 2018, Take Wing And Soar Productions (TWASInc), an award winning, Harlem-based, professional Theater Arts Corporation held its Fifteenth Anniversary Gala Celebration, the TAKE WING AND SOAR SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE AWARDS, at Columbia University’s Lerner Hall Roone Arledge Auditorium.  The elegant afternoon featured esteemed hosts, talented classical actor/singers and the Volunteer Divas who were joined by approximately 120 business leaders, artists, patrons, volunteers, friends and alumni. 

The pre-brunch cocktail hour was abuzz with people from all walks of life showing support of TWASInc’s cause against exclusion and towards understanding, advancement and unity in the arts.  The delicious brunch was preceded by a welcome address from TWASInc’s board officer, the Honorable Rev. W. Franc Perry, who read a wonderful letter from our esteemed Mayor of New York, followed by the first award of the afternoon, The Earl Hyman Award for Excellence in Classical Acting, which was presented to classical actor John Douglas Thompson.  Mimosas flowed during the brunch networking hour while guests learned about each other and the organization. A Silent auction and a raffle signup followed and then the guests were directed to the main program. A welcome address by TWAS Alum Mary Hodgesand Honorary Co-Chair Tom Martin introduced our esteemed hosts.  A recapitulation of TWASInc’s history and purpose kicked off the event, presented by the mistress and master and of ceremonies, Tony award winning actress Trezana Beverley and Classical Actor Michael Early. 

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