Harlem’s Apollo Theater

16 Jun

Every Wednesday at the world famous Apollo Theater is Amateur Night. Here are some of the greats Amateur Night winners: Mary J. Blige, Brandy, P Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Keith Sweat (yep), Fugees, among many others. I promise we did not see anyone of this caliber the night we went.

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Being in the heart of Harlem, you could say our group of white BYU students was in the minority. And you better believe there were a lot of jokes at our expense, but they were funny, so it was ok.


Amateur Night is pretty much American Idol on a much smaller scale. The best part is that while the people are performing, the audience gets to decide who stays and who is kicked off the stage by The Executioner – who is just a crazy tap-dancing guy who pushes people off stage when the boos are loud enough. I know it sounds horrible what with all of the booing and an executioner, but it is really one of the funnest (I know, not a word) things I have done here. But it goes both ways; if you like someone, you cheer really loud and then if you don’t like someone, you boo. And let me tell you, it gets pretty wild in there. There were big booing and cheering battles that I was sure would end in bloodshed, but we all came out unscathed, just about 10% blacker. J


The best part was when they started calling random people up to participate in their Soul Train dance off.  For those of you who know Billy, you know that he will volunteer for anything, no matter what. So of course he found his way to the Apollo stage. I don’t think the people in Harlem have seen anything so white in their lives. Billy proceeded to do his signature break dancing and standing-worm move and it was pure genius! The host was so impressed by such unknown moves that he tried to do them himself, only to find that only a pure-bread white boy could move that way. And I am proud to announce that Billy was in the top three. It was really one of the best things I have ever seen in my life and now he can say that he danced on the world famous Apollo stage.


In conclusion, if any of you are in New York, you must go to the Apollo for Amateur Night (7:30 Wednesdays). It will change your life.

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