Samuel L. Jackson spent the weekend in Atlanta visiting with his good friend Kenny Leon, and once again claimed the coveted "Kenny Cup" at the annual "Greens in the Day, Blues in the Night" fundraiser.
The event, featuring a daytime golf tournament and evening gala, benefited the August Wilson Monologue Competition at True Colors Theatre Company, where Leon is artistic director. The tournament was held at Bear's Best Atlanta in Suwanee, and the gala was held at a private residence in Buckhead.
Actress Anna Horsford, who served as emcee, saluted Leon for staying true to his rustic roots and for using his influence in the arts community to inspire others.
“We have to celebrate that barefoot country boy,” she said. “Kenny decided to share his stardom.”
A Florida native who calls Atlanta home when he's not in New York, Leon has been directing "A Raisin in the Sun" starring Denzel Washington. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended a performance of the Broadway production last month, The Wall Street Journal reported. (It plays through June 15, in case you have a trip to New York planned soon.)
The weekend’s events were geared toward supporting young people with a love of theater.
“We are here to support our educational program,” Leon said. The August Wilson program “offers students from low-income neighborhoods, where arts programs are minimal to nonexistent due to budget constraints, the opportunity to study theater,” according to True Colors. Participating cities include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles.
The program, named for the famous late playwright, honors Wilson’s credo: “America belongs to all of us,” Leon said.
But the Kenny Cup, alas, belongs to his friendly rival for another year.
“Sam Jackson, come accept this trophy please,” Leon said.
Jackson, who was in Atlanta earlier this year filming "Cell" with John Cusack, was gracious in triumph.
“Thank you all for being here and celebrating our victory, as usual. We’re hoping for stiffer competition next year,” he quipped. “It’s always great to come down here. As long as Kenny keeps having this and keeps offering these Kenny Cups, we’ll keep coming down and taking them back to the West Coast!”
Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson to film in Atlanta
Atlanta movie filming continues apace this spring with "Triple Nine," starring Gal Gadot, Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Teresa Palmer, Norman Reedus, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Peña and others. The plot, per imdb: "A group of corrupt police officers is blackmailed into pulling off a seemingly impossible heist. They plot the murder of a rookie police officer in order to orchestrate a '999,' code for 'officer down,' to pull off the heist across town."
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