Swag Snap of the Week: Tone Bell

Rising film, television and comedy star Tone Bell with got love from his cousin Rasia before he took the stage for his headlining set at Helium Comedy Club Saturday. Bell is one of the co-stars of the hit film “Little” and star of his own comedy special on Showtime. Because his dad is a native, he spent his summers in the region and often visits family here during the holidays.

Comedy clutch from a St. Louis cousin. As much as I hated to do it, I had to break my self-imposed hiatus from Helium to check out  comedian and actor Tone Bell’s “Petty for a Purpose” Tour Saturday night. And while the employees (except for Jill Lovings -who always has my back) reminded my why I don’t like going there anymore, I’m glad I trusted my instinct to put my lust for fine and funny ahead of my principles. Tone might not be a household name yet – but give him time. He’s been on more than a handful of recent short-lived sitcoms and caught my attention when he stood in for Trevor Noah’s opening act at UMSL’s Mirth Day Comedy Festival. The fact that he is exceptionally hands some had my attention. The fact that he was hee-larious kept my attention. Well, he came through in the clutch again – this time for Helium as a replacement for some general population comic I had never heard of. I got to the club early, because the new folks at Helium stay being extra like I’m coming through for my own giggles and not to be of service to readers – and them with the publicity. Tone was walking around the dining area and bar chatting it up with folks when I found out his daddy is from St. Louis and he spent all his summers here. So, he’s fine, funny and a summertime/holiday homie…I’m officially a fan girl. I’d claim him as my cousin, but it might make things weird considering how I go on and on about how much I’m attracted to him. By the time I finished going back and forth with Helium staff, his friend and opening act Rojo Perez was already on stage. What I saw of him was hilarious too – especially when he talked about playing a college in a venue in a space with a 1200 seating capacity where only 8 folks stayed to hear his set. Tone had me hollering. And since I’m talking about cousins, Tone’s came through in the clutch too and packed Helium out. I probably would have been a wreck performing with folks that use to beat me on Streetfighter as a kid. I thought the bonus bit about the club brawl on the eve of his eye surgery was a bit drawn out, but everything else was a kee-kee, hoot and a holler. And speaking of that surgery, how you gonna tell that whole long story and never give us the details on your eye? You essentially did to us, what the man with one arm did to you! But seriously, be looking out for Tone, because he’s an additional 13 episodes order away from super stardom. Don’t believe me, check out the chemistry between him and Issa Rae in “Little.” You will get your whole entire life!

The Energy continues. After more than my fair share of nightlife busts this weekend, Energy at Blue was about the only sure thing. I called myself stopping by a “throwback 90s party” that should have named itself a “Backstreet Boys and NSync Back In The Day Jam” so I could have understood that I didn’t fit the demo. Oh well, Saturday night I made it to the place to be when I stopped by Blue for the latest installment of Energy. Because I’m not all the way sure on every single promoter who was involved – and they can be rightfully sensitive when they are left off on a win but quiet as church mice when the venture is a bust – I won’t name individuals. But all of y’all (and that means everybody involved) had it crackin’! And that’s the second time the folks didn’t seem to be the least bit bothered to come out despite a ferocious wind storm. Energy has made its rounds at several clubs around the region over the past couple of years and every venue – including its current host, Blue – the series is victorious.

Made Moguls making a difference. On Sunday I stopped by the Embassy Suites in Bridgeton to seem some of my beloved folks in their best attire for the Made Moguls 5th Annual Black Tie Charity Dinner. That lobby was jam packed with folks accidentally up in other folks’ pictures as they engaged in a bit of pre-show selfie action to pass the time until the doors open. I’m trying to decide on who the best dressed was – and it’s too close to call, though Miss Robbie Montgomery was killing it in that pantsuit. However, Marty K. Casey and Tyra were neck and neck as far as the fiercest face.  I couldn’t stay for the full program, but I heard nice things about how they honored folks for giving back to the community – and the proceeds are for the worthiest cause of youth empowerment and enrichment. Oh, and I almost forgot to tell y’all how my girl Bell Darris was jamming on that electric violin. She should be somewhere opening up for Damien Escobar.

STL honors for the Isley Brothers. I want to tip my stallion floor length ponytail to Joe Edwards for blessing the Isley Brothers to be the latest recipients of a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. For those of y’all who don’t know – who am I kidding? Everybody knows – Ronald and Ernie Isley have been St. Louis residents of St. Louis for more than 20 years. And at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 24, they will be enshrined alongside some of the biggest names in history with a St. Louis connection. The program is taking place outside The Pageant and is open to the public. I will definitely be in the building…well, outside the building to show my support.

Almost time for Tweet. After a wedding that was coming for Meghan and Harry’s neck as far as the wedding of the millennium (she had Calvin Richardson and gospel star Le’Andria Johnson singing at her wedding, y’all) Angel Patterson (formerly Shields) will be bringing her Night of Soul Searching back with the biggest of bangs. The last time she had Chrisette Michele giving the best performance I’ve ever seen from her. And I’m expecting the same type of action NEXT Friday (April 26) at The Ready Room for Tweet. She is one of the most underrated singers in R&B and the last time I saw her live she sounded so good I almost slapped her face after the show. I’m willing to bet she will have me in the same type of way next week. Especially if Angel uses the local musicians that have blown the mind of national talent and had the artists on ten in the attempt to match the house band’s energy.

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