Amateur Night at The Apollo Opening Night with a Special Dionne Warwick Presentation
On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater returned marking the 83rd year of the signature program. Opening Night will feature a special presentation to legendary singer Dionne Warwick, marking the 60th anniversary of her first appearance as a young performer competing in Amateur Night. The season opener will also feature a special performance by Amateur Night winner and finalist on NBC’s The Voice Wé McDonald.
This season, contestants will compete for the chance to win the title of Super Top Dog and the new grand prize of $20,000. Sponsored by Coca-Cola, the Theater’s signature show, Amateur Night has played a major role in the cultivation of artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop.
Amateur Night Opening Night will be hosted by comedian Capone and will feature staples like C.P. Lacey in the role of the “Executioner” (the character who sweeps “booed” contestants off the stage), Joe Gray the “Set It Off Man,” and the Apollo’s Amateur Night house band led by music director, Michael Mitchell.
Since introducing the first Amateur contests in 1934, Amateur Night has been the launching pad for some of the biggest artists in the world including D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Ella Fitzgerald who won the very first year. Now, 83 years later Amateur Night continues to be a primary source for discovering and nurturing new talent and spotlighting up-and-coming artists including Machine Gun Kelly, Sung Lee, NUMBERS, Matthew Hashimoto, Moses Harper, Sammulous, Matthew Whitaker, and Alexis Morrast.