The Apollo Theater announced today plans for Apollo Club Harlem, a production that will transform the legendary theater into a nightclub reminiscent of Harlem music clubs of the 1930s and 40s. The show will take the form of an 90 minute, fast-paced revue that will showcase the Apollo’s glorious musical legacy. Featuring an illustrious group of performers, often described as “the real thing,” Apollo Club Harlem will be hosted, directed and choreographed by Maurice Hines and will include the iconic Grammy Award winning jazz singer, Dee Dee Bridgewater, rising jazz star Cecile Salvant, street dancer Storyboard P, tap dancer extraordinaire Dormeshia and a supporting cast of dancers and musicians under the direction of music director David Berger. Broadway costume designer Emilio Sosa and set and lighting designer Burke Wilmore are also part of the team. The show will play for three performances, Monday, February 18, Friday, February 22nd and Saturday, February 23rd at 8:30pm. Tickets for this major production go on sale on Monday, November 19th at 10am.
During its early years, the Apollo Theater presented revues that consisted of multliple acts per show, including big bands, singers, musicians, dancers, female impersonators, chorus line dancers, acrobatic acts and comedians. Apollo Club Harlem is a celebration of the great music and dance artists that graced the Apollo stage – from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn to the Apollo chorus line, Snakehips, and the innovative tap styles of John Bubbles.
In paying homage to the Apollo’s early years, the setting will be similar to the Apollo’s big band production revues and its nightclub style stage show. Audience members in the orchestra level of the theater will sit at club style setting with table service, complete with drinks service, dancing, and interaction with the performers.
Conceived by Apollo Theater Executive Producer, Mikki Shepard, Apollo Club Harlem will be presented under Apollo’s Legacy Series; this new project will celebrate the rich cultural contributions of the Apollo Theater, Harlem and African American artists.
“Apollo Club Harlem celebrates the Apollo’s glorious jazz history, while embracing updated performances from today’s cutting edge performers,” said Apollo Executive Producer Mikki Shepard. “The Apollo was headquarters for the popular music of the day—jazz—and Apollo Club Harlem will evoke the ‘first-name’ artists whose performances resonate at the Theater to this day: Ella, Billie, Sarah, Duke, Basie, and Dinah, to name but a few. This is the real thing.”
“The Apollo is a legendary force in the entertainment industry and has been such a big part of my career. So I’m excited to be bringing in an unbelievably talented cast of performers who will help the audience reimagine the Theater’s grand history, “ said Maurice Hines, whose own experience with the Apollo and with show business began when he and his brother Gregory were 7 and 5 years old, respectively. “This will be a fast-paced show, and because it will be set like a nightclub, the audience will be right in the center of all the action and will be swept up in the thrill of it all.”
For ticket information, please visit www.apollotheater.org. Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125th Street and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.
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