ATLANTA - Parkview graduate conquers stage & screen: The first time we met Roman banks, the then-recent Parkview High School graduate was part of Alliance Theatre’s Palefsy Collision Project, and telling us about his family’s fascinating history.
"My grandfather actually sat in at Woolworth's during the Civil Rights Movement,” Banks told us then. Little did we know how quickly Banks would end up making history of his own.
Less than a year after that July 2017 interview, Banks attended an open call for a Broadway show — and booked the gig. The college freshman became understudy for the role of a lifetime: the title character in the Broadway blockbuster Dear Evan Hansen.
"It was a dream come true in every sense of the phase. I had two dream roles, Aaron Burr in Hamilton...and I had Evan Hansen."
And in December of 2018, with his first steps on a Broadway stage before an audience, Banks became the first actor of color to take on the role of Evan. It was a celebratory moment, not just for the actor but for the entire theatre community.
"People would tell me how it read differently, and how it all the sudden was a new story, which is exciting. And I think that's what theatre's about. I think the more boundaries you break down, and the more the more lines and stigmas that you can wash away, the more interesting a story can become."
Banks left the show in January of 2020, and quickly joined the second season cast of the Disney+ hit “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” He was in Salt Lake City filming the show when production was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "My very first day was my very last day...because of coronavirus,” he says.
Until filming on the show resumes, Banks is focused on his music. He’s just released his debut EP, called Days, containing seven original songs.
"It was a little bit nerve-wracking being like, ‘What will people think?’ And, like, this is a very personal side of me. And there's no real guard up. But the messages and the things people have said to be have really warmed my heart."
Days is available for download now on music platforms including Apple and Amazon, and you can follow Roman Banks on Twitter and Instagram.
Dr. Neil Winawer answers your Covid-19 questions on Good Day Atlanta: When it comes to Covid-19 and keeping your family safe, we know you have questions. And Dr. Neil Winawer from Emory Univerity's School of Medicine continues to update us on the latest Covid-19 developments each week. This week he talks about the reopening of the economy and whether it's had an impact on the amount of infected patients. He also talks about the FDA approved emergency use of the drug Remdesivir. Finally, Dr. Wianwer talks aobut reccomendations by the CDC for new mother's who are breastfeeding but have or are suspected of having th Covid-19 infection. For more information on Dr. Neil Winawer or his Instagram Q&A follow him @neilwinawer .
Former MLB player C.J. Stewart and his wife, Kelli Stewart on a mission to help inner city youth: He grew up in Atlanta and through his passion for baseball he was granted a college scholarship to Georgia State before being drafted to the Chicago Cubs.
C.J. Stewart realized that it was through recognition in his own community that he was able to achieve his dream. Now, he and his wife Kelli Stewart are helping inner-city youth in Atlanta through their non-profit mentorship program L.E.A.D. This program is a leadership program and is in several Atlanta public middle schools and high schools.
The program's goal is not only to help the students with sports and baseball but to give them life skills and help them become all-star citizens.
The global coronavirus pandemic has not stopped C.J. and Kelli Stewart from continuing to help the kids they mentor. Throughout this period they have been delivering meals to the families of the boys they help, talking to their parents to make sure they are doing well through virtual learning programs, and even providing financial support where needed.
For more information on the work that C.J. And Kelli Stewart are doing in Atlanta visit www.lead2legacy.org.
Potato gnocchi recipe from Chef Drew Belline at no.246 : Are you meal planning or looking for a recipe to impress mom this Mother's Day Week? Chef Drew Belline joins us with a potato gnocchi recipe that is sure to impress everyone at the dinner table. For more information on no.246 click here. See recipe below.
Potato Gnocchi recipe from Chef Drew Belline at no.246
4 russet potato
2 cups all purpose flour
2 farm egg yolks
1 tablespoon salt
Nutmeg to taste (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Poke 10-12 holes in each potato and bake until tender on a sheet pan, about 45 minutes. The point of the holes is to allow steam to release from the potato. Slice the potatoes open while still hot and pass through a food mill, potato press or a tamis directly onto your work surface. Spread the potato out and allow to cool until room temperature. Bring the potatoes together with your bench scraper or dough divider. Gently mix the egg yolk with a small spoon and in a thin stream drizzle the egg yolk as evenly as possible over the pile of potatoes and sprinkle on the salt. Next add a third of the flour and chop the flour, egg and salt into the potato with the dough divider. Repeat 2 more times with the flour until it has all been incorporated into the dough. Gently knead the dough until the crumbles come together to form a ball. The kneading should be minimal. The intention of the kneading is only to bring everything together. You do want to develop the gluten in the flour by over kneading, otherwise you will have a tough gnocchi. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then roll by cutting off manageable hand sized pieces and roll into logs between the table and the palms of your hands. Cut into pieces that are a 1/2 inch in diameter by about an inch long. Place the gnocchi onto a floured sheet tray and gently roll in the flour by shaking the entire sheet tray. At this point you can either cook the gnocchi immediately or place the pan in the freezer (once frozen you can place in a ziplock bag) and store them to be cooked a later date. To cook the gnocchi simply boil them until they float in really salty water. Make sure you use a pot big enough so that you do not lose the boil when you place the gnocchi in the water. If they are frozen you can take them directly from your freezer and cook from frozen. You do not want to thaw them ahead of time. Once they float simply place them in your favorite sauce. Mine is the meatball gravy from no. 246 restaurant in Decatur!
Star 94.1's Jenn Hobby has tips on how to put a creative twist on Mother's Day traditions. Celebrate mom safely with these tips from radio host and mom Jenn Hobby. For more information on Jenn Hobby click here.
Creative Twists on Mother’s Day Traditions for 2020
1. Mother’s Day Brunch will look different this year, but you can keep up the tradition by ordering from Mom’s favorite spot and have it delivered along with some fresh flowers in a vase on her porch. Then eat together virtually.
2. Show the neighbors how much you love Mom with big yard signs. You can go the homemade route with poster board or reach out to your local print shop to make something weather-proof and professional-looking. Mom will blush when she gets all the attention from her neighbors!
3. Give Mom a video calling device that makes staying connected easier, especially if she’s not too tech savvy. Amazon Echo Show, or Echo Spot or the Facebook Portal are all great for Moms!
4. Crank up your lawn mower! Show Mom your green thumb and mow her lawn or even plant some fresh herbs, vegetable or flowers for her garden.
5. Create your own book club together. Purchase 2 copies of a book you can read at the same time and video chat about the chapters as you go.