Local 4’s award winning special interest program, “First Block,” is back this month featuring three very exceptional women.

The show airs Tuesday, March 25, at 9 p.m. on Local 4.

  • Allee Willis, is a Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Webby winning and nominated artist. Her hits as a songwriter include Earth Wind & Fire’s “September”and “Boogie Wonderland,” the “Friends” theme song “I’ll Be There For You” and the Broadway musical “The Color Purple.”  A graduate of Mumford High School, Willis came back to her hometown for her latest project – a song called “The D.” “The D” is meant to be a love song and rallying cry for Detroit.  It’s sung by hundreds of Detroiters – the most original artists ever on one track! Willis and her crew shot the music video at more than 50 iconic locations all over town, an undertaking so extensive it morphed into a feature-length documentary.  Profits from “The D” project will benefit The Heidelberg Project and the Mosaic Youth Theatre in Detroit.
  • Deborah Norville is the well-known host of “Inside Edition.” The show is celebrating 25 years on the air, nearly twenty of them with Norville.  The tabloid host’s meteoric rise in the broadcasting world quickly landed her the coveted position of “Today Show” co-host, a job she left when she had her first child. But the hiatus from television was brief and Norville joined “Inside Edition” in 1995. She wrote a book called “The Way We Are” to celebrate the show’s long history of fascinating interviews and unforgettable stories. 
  • When Ela Weissberger was just 11 years old, she and her mother and sister were sent to Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp in what was then Czechoslovakia. Fellow prisoner Hans Krasa wrote a children’s opera called “Brundibar,” and the children of Terezin performed it 55 times during World War II.  Weissberger played the cat in every performance, including the one the Nazis filmed for a propaganda film made for the Red Cross. Weissberger was freed in 1945, eventually emigrated to the United States, and never thought she’d hear “Brundibar” again.  But in 1987, she was invited to attend a performance in Washington, DC.  Since then she’s traveled the world to tell her story and share “Brundibar” with new generations of young actors – like the ones in the Michigan Opera Theatre Children’s Chorus. 

Local 4 has long been known for its local programming, producing shows like America’s Thanksgiving Parade; The Fireworks; The Auto Show; Arts, Beats and Eats and Dateline Detroit.