If you are ever in Harlem make sure you visit the Apollo Theater. During the 30's and 40's this was one of New York City's hottest night clubs, the place where the music of Billie, Ella, Dinah, Sarah, Duke, and Dizzy became legendary. In an effort to recapture that bygone glory, the theater is presenting Apollo Club Harlem, an enterprising and captivating attempt not only to revive the jazz spirit of 125th Street, but rekindle it as well for a new generation of jazz and pop music enthusiasts.
Legendary song and dance man, Maurice Hines, hosted an evening of glamour, glitter and top tier entertainment. From the 16 piece Apollo Club Harlem Orchestra lead by accomplished conductor Daryl Waters to the chorus of Hot Steppers, the nightclub styled show offered an evening's entertainment that superseded quaint nostalgia. John and Leo Manzari, respectively 19 and 17, tap danced to Rhythm Is Our Business, handling their routine with fun, style, and precision. Cecile McLorin Salvant, a dynamic and beautiful woman, sang a sexy, melodic Fine and Mellow by Billie Holiday. Sharlane Connor and Slim Mello seemed to share a passionate love affair as they danced to Sidney Bechet's Petite Fleur. Emerging Hip Hop artist, Storyboard P-- a reincarnation of Earl "Snakehips" Tucker, known as the Human Boa Constrictor after the dance popularized in Harlem in the 1920's--mesmerized with his rendition of The Mooche, replete with four sultry, erotic dancers wearing banana skirts popularized by Josephine Baker.
The ever gracious Mr. Maurice Hines returned to sing It's Only A Paper Moon. A very attractive 70, Maurice Hines was reflective and hilarious as he recalled his past, sharing memories of his father, mother and brother Gregory Hines saying, "Gregory and I were raised right here in Harlem on 150th and Amsterdam; this is like coming home, being here at the Apollo."
Elisa L. Kimble is a performing artist, freelance writer. In addition to writing for BroadwayWorld.com Elisa writes for Precious Times magazine as the music editor. Elisa enjoys using the lyricism, passion, commitment and discipline of a performing artist to expand to the written page. |