Harlem's Apollo Theater announced a wide-ranging expansion of its famous Amateur Night competition, including adding a website, mobile app and partnership with London's Hackney Empire for a transatlantic competition.
The 78-year-old Amateur Night competition helped launched the careers of such performers as Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five, and Lauryn Hill. The show is currently hosted by the comedian Capone and impressionist C.P. Lacey, who serves as the "Executioner" who sweeps contestants rejected by the audience off the stage.
Amateur Night Digital, allows fans to watch clips, track the progress of contestants, and vote for winners via website or a mobile app.
The Apollo is also collaborating with London's Hackney Empire on "Live at the Empire & Apollo Amateur Night: Hackney vs. Harlem," which will be held in London in July to coincide with the Olympics.
The new initiatives highlight a busy calendar for the famous theater. On March 9, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will play a concert at the Apollo, which will be simulcast on SiriusXM Radio. On March 6, it is hosting a centennial tribute to blues musician Robert Johnson that includes The Roots, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Todd Rundgren, and Sam Moore.