Bronx, NY-The Lehman Center for The Performing Arts has been the revived borough’s epicenter of entertainment for the past forty-two years and it continues to prosper with pristine excellence. Known for its habitual landmarks, Botanical Gardens, Bronx Zoo and home of the World famous Bronx Bombers, its also known for its contribution to the Hip-Hop culture, artistry, and music.
In 1980, the Performing Arts Center opened its doors providing residents and visitors affordable diverse entertainment serving over 200,000 audience members annually alongside hosting high school graduation ceremonies and community events. On its 40th anniversary, the landmark was celebrated with a consummation ribbon ceremony to its $15.4 million dollar renovation project awarding it a Lincoln Center ambience with location convenience.
Saturday night commenced the grand reopening of the polished venue since the pandemic outbreak with none other than two of R&B’s most iconic artists of all-time, the legendary Howard Hewett and Stephanie Mills.
The lights dimming to the mellifluous tenor voice still mesmerizing womankind in its entirety was the ever-handsome Howard Hewett opening to sensuous romantic track “Show Me” captivating his sea of long-time listeners ensuing fine classics “I’m For Real”, “Once, Twice, Three Times”, taking brief intermissions reconnecting with admirers on life’s blessings.
Echoing the devotion of his fans, he took it back to his cherished Shalamar roots serenading timeless tracks “Second Time Around”, “Make that Move”, “A Night To Remember” and golden jem “This Is For The Lover In You” bursting the arena into an all out sing along before crooning his Gospel praised single off debut solo album I Commit To Love’s “Say Amen” closing his amazing seasoned finale.
Manifesting the show’s headliner was beyond remarkable. Beginning her career at age nine in the Broadway musical Maggie Flynn, winning six consecutive weeks at the World-Famous Apollo Theater at age eleven, returning to Broadway at fifteen taking the role of Dorothy in The Wiz and releasing five renowed #1 R&B hits, this powerhouse needed no introduction.
Performing her unsurpassed 1987 blazing single “(You’re Puttin’) A Rush On Me”, the incomparable Stephanie Mills was welcomed by a thunderous standing ovation that rocked the entire music hall. Continuing the momentum, she fused into multiplatinum greats “Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin”, “I Feel Good” and rhythm favored “Sweet Sensation” placing the Lehman Center in full-blown celebration mode.
Toning the excitement, she delivered flawlessly on “Power Of Love” with her incredibly talented back ground singers JPaul, Ralph Harmon and Jeremy King each vivaciously wailing notes so compelling it felt as if you were at heaven’s front door while cranking the heat on beloved jams “Two Hearts”, “Put Your Body In It”, “Comfort Of A Man”, “Secret Lady” and “Starlight”.
Concluding her by far most magnificent showcase to date, the invincible diva brought the house down on “Something In The Way”, Grammy Award winning “Never Knew Love Like This Before” and “Feel The Fire” before a heart-felt snippet of Marvin Sapp’s “Never would Have Made It” joined by her exclusive vocalist trio thanking fans ending with signature masterpiece “Home”. An extravagant production within a first-class setting.
Please visit: www.lehmancenter.org for must see upcoming events and show times.