One item on my list of all the things I can’t believe I haven’t done in New York City: Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater. In general, Harlem is an area that I’ve really neglected in my time in New York City: although I know there are tons of incredible restaurants and beautiful brownstones and a vibrant culture all its own, it’s a little more than an hour away from my apartment by subway. That’s a tough sell for a weekday night!That said, my friend Paul (another Chico State alum!) mentioned that he wanted to check it out too–so we bought some tickets on a whim and headed up to Harlem. Most important first stop: mac & cheese and cornbread at Amy Ruth’s).
Neither of us really knew what was in store for us, but we were blown away by how gorgeous the theater itself was and the overall good vibes. It’s basically a talent show with a great comedian emcee, so there’s a variety of acts–singing, dancing, comedy, spoken word, etc.! It kept it way more interesting than just watching a bunch of different singers in a row.
And what really sets the Apollo apart is that you can actually BOO people off stage, and a tap-dancing “Executioner” comes through and dances them right off the stage! It’s a little harsh, but all part of the experience–especially since you then vote for your favorites at the end through the noise level of applause.
Although Paul was a great friend to take along for this show, I also think it’d be a really fun thing to do with a group of girlfriends or even coworkers. A few things to note: we sat in the second level mezzanine and our view was FANTASTIC, they do a really intense security check for food and beverages so don’t try to sneak anything in, and the show doesn’t go quite as late as they indicate on the ticket (thank goodness!). Highly recommend for a fun experience in the city!
Have you ever been to Amateur Night or any other shows at the Apollo? What’s your favorite show to see in NYC?