As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Saturday, October 20

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« Review: Octavarius: Twilight vs The Hunger Games Preview: Manual Cinema Presents Lula del Rey »

Television Tue Nov 27 2012

"Apollo Live" In Chicago

TONYROCKBET.jpg

Comedian Tony Rock; photo: BET.com.

For African-American celebrities, the long-running joke has always been, "You haven't really made it until you're on the cover of Ebony or Jet; and when it comes to television, the same is also true about "Soul Train."

When it comes to live shows, however, a whole other stage marked the pinnacle of one's career--the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

For black performers, much like Chicago's historic Regal Theater served as a regular haunt for live performances, New York's Apollo Theater featured shows from artists from the worlds of music, comedy, and more; and in many cases, was responsible for either making--or breaking--their careers. And while both venues boasted regular appearances from Chicago music icons such as Gene Chandler, The Impressions and The Staple Singers, as well as legends like Aretha Franklin and the late James Brown, it was the Apollo's popular "Amateur Night" that set it apart from the rest.

"Amateur Night," the theater's talent competition, became even more popular during "Showtime at the Apollo," a weekly, syndicated showcase that aired from 1987 to 2008; hosted by comedians including Steve Harvey, Sinbad, Rudy Rush and Mo'Nique, the showcase, taped at the theater, featured aspiring singers, dancers, etc., whose advancement in the competition and dreams of stardom rested solely in the audiences' hands, via cheers or jeers.

Now, four years later, the show is getting new life in the form of "Apollo Live," with the broadcast premiere airing this Thursday, November 29th at 7pm on BET. Hosted by comedian and actor Tony Rock and produced by Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, the revamped version boasts "judges" who are the some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry: hip-hop star Doug E. Fresh, Michael Bivins of famed R&B groups New Edition and Bell, Biv DeVoe, and the "Empress of Soul" and Apollo legend, Gladys Knight. Or, if you want to capture the essence of the Apollo Theater in person, the same evening, head over to the Funky Buddha Lounge, 728 W. Grand, from 9pm-11pm, for the "Apollo Live Lounge Tour," to see local acts compete for a cash prize in front of a live audience and guest judges.

For more information about "Apollo Live," visit BET.com.

 
GB store

Sandra / August 18, 2014 5:10 PM

Fantastic show, just as great as prior eras. I wish they'd do a nationwide tour again, I went to one of the Chicago Apollo amateur contests several years ago (in Symphony Hall) and it was fantastic! So much fun, and great talent too. Wish they'd come back.

GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store

 

Events


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop, nancy@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15