TV One’s Hit Series “Rickey Smiley For Real” Gets Third Season Pick-Up

Photo Credit: Marcus Ingram for TV One

Photo Credit: Marcus Ingram for TV One

One July 20, 2016,  TV One announced the third season renewal of the heartwarming comedic docu-series Rickey Smiley For Real.  The third season will return with even stronger bonds and bigger laughs, as comic and radio personality Rickey Smiley continues to strive to achieve his quest for domination of the entertainment industry.  In the second season, which debuted in May, viewers have watched Smiley journey through a wild ride, ranging from his parental style being put to the test to fun family vacations to an epic DJ battle with a friendly rival morning radio show. Rickey Smiley For Real continues to post double digit gains, and is currently outperforming its first season across all total and key Black demos.

The consistent growth of Rickey Smiley For Real demonstrates the strong connection our viewers have with Rickey’s lovable family and laughable team,” said D’Angela Proctor, Head of Original Programming and Production for TV One. “Over two seasons, new and devoted fans have watched as the cast takes great strides in their personal lives and we look forward to watching as the cast exhibits their commitment to the community as well.
Although I am happy about the renewal for Season 3 of my show; it’s very difficult for me to celebrate as I sit here and watch the funerals of Philander Castile and Alton Sterling,” remarked Smiley. “I yearn for our country to be solid and to embrace our differences and to understand our differing communities and history.  We have too many others in the world trying to destroy what our nation, on the pain and suffering of our own people, has built.  I assure you that police violence will be a topic addressed in Season 3 as I feel compelled to use my platform to make change in this country for the good of all our citizens.  I’m thankful my show is doing well, but our nation, especially black America, is grieving at this time.
Infusing his brand of comedy into every situation, Rickey Smiley For Real, also introduces viewers to his four children – sons Brandon and Malik and daughters D’Essence and Aaryn – as well as his extended family of co-workers, colleagues and friends – his nephew Craig, live-in assistant Miss Pat, personal assistant Angie, business consultant Bruce Demps, childhood friend and family lawyer Nakita Blocton, radio co-hosts Da BratGary With Da TeaHeadkrackRock T and Juicy, and radio show producers Beyonce and Hollywood.
As a much-loved comedian, television host of Dish Nation, and top-rated nationally syndicated radio personality of The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Smiley rose to superstardom after igniting his 25-year career serving as opening act for industry titans such as Steve Harvey, George Wallace and Carl Strong. Throughout his career trajectory, Smiley has been one of the industry’s most towering forces in building an impressive empire that has landed him preeminent roles on radio, television, film and on-stage performances. For more information on Smiley’s personal and professional background, please visit: http://therealrickeysmiley.com/.
For more information about Rickey Smiley For Real and Rickey Smiley, visit http://www.tvone.tv.  Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TwitterInstagramFacebook and Periscope (@tvonetv) using the hashtag #RickeySmileyForReal and catch clips and promos on TV One’s YouTube Channel.
Rickey Smiley For Real is produced by Bobbcat Films for TV One with Rickey Smiley and Roger M. Bobb as executive producers and Angi Bones as co-executive producer. For TV One, Lamar Chase is executive-in-charge of production, Robyn Greene Arrington is vice president of original programming and production, and D’Angela Proctor is head of original programming and production.
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Sheryl Lee Ralph Presents Divas Simply Singing! Philadelphia On August 20, 2016

SherylLeeRalphSheryl Lee Ralph and The Divinely Inspired Victoriously Aware, D.I.V.A Foundation will celebrate its 2nd annual staging of DIVAS Simply Singing! in Philadelphia after 26 consecutive years in Los Angeles. This highly anticipated and much respected community health service charity concert began in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It now adds mental wellness, heart disease, diabetes and HepC and other life threatening diseases. The Foundation with the support of  Commissioner Sue Slawson and The Dell Theatre, will bring together some of the industry’s most talented artists and Divas to address the need for Health and Wellness awareness. A strong community is a healthy community.

The details are as follows:  DIVAS SIMPLY SINGING! Philadelphia, Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Dell Music Center, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive,  Philadelphia,  PA  19132  Doors open at 6pm; show to  7pm. Here is a sample video of the performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VwSSb_wTF4&feature=youtu.be  http://www.ticketmaster.com/Divas-Simply-Singing-tickets/artist/839859.  The MUSIC DIRECTOR: Henri Mc Millian Jr. and the MUSIC By: The Urban Guerilla Orchestra.

About The D.I.V.A. Foundation

The D.I.V.A. Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1990 by honored AIDS activist and award winning actress, Sheryl Lee Ralph because of her deep concern for the lack of attention given to HIV/AIDS and it potential to become a health risk not only for men but women and children. DIVAS Simply Singing! was created as a loving memorial to the many friends she lost to AIDS as an original company member of DreamGirls on Broadway. The event utilizes the arts as a vehicle to raise awareness, funds  and erase stigma. After 25 years, DIVAS Simply Singing! continues to be the longest consecutive running musical AIDS benefit in the country and “One of the most highly anticipated HIV/AIDS benefits in Los Angeles.” DIVAS Simply Singing! serves as a loving beacon of hope, a constant voice in the dark for those infected and affected by HIV/ AIDS. Sheryl Lee Ralph has simply dared to care when others remained silent.

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Chester Gregory Plays Berry Gordy in Motown Musical

Berry and Chester

The Legendary Berry Gordy and Broadway Actor Chester Gregory

Actor Chester Gregory has done some amazing roles in his life while working on Broadway stepping into the role of the legendary Berry Gordy for the Motown Musical.  After being in Los Angeles for the past few years, he is back in the Big Apple for the revival of the Motown musical on Broadway.  The show is scheduled to start on July 12, 2016 and run for only 18 weeks.

Gregory was born in Gary, Indiana to a steel mill worker and a school teacher, Chester “CHΞSS” Gregory drew inspiration from hometown hero Michael Jackson to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. He began his journey performing in local talent shows and participating in workshops for young performers.

Writer, Judith Davis and Broadway Actor Chester Gregory

Writer, Judith Davis and Broadway Actor Chester Gregory

After a few years, Gregory was ready to take the next step and auditioned for the Emerson School for Visual and Performing Arts. Although his first two attempts were unsuccessful, Gregory didn’t give up, and his third try provided him the opportunity to attend by the time he reached high school. A testament to his gift, he was voted ‘Most Talented’ his senior year of high school.

In January 2016, Gregory joined the touring cast of the Broadway production Motown: The Musical. In the show, Gregory plays the lead character, Motown founder Berry Gordy. He’s expected to remain in the show through its return to Broadway in the summer of 2016.

To date, Gregory continues to perform his one man show The Eve of Jackie to sold out audiences across the country. His successful Broadway career has allowed Gregory to transition to TV and film work. Chester is excited to get started in this amazing role as Berry Gordy and so is the audience.

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‘Fruitvale Station’ Co-Creator Ephraim Walker Tapped as President of Production at D Street Pictures

Ephraim-WalkerMore strides are being made in film and it is very exciting.  The independent production and distribution company D Street Media Group, has tapped Ephraim Walker to be the President of Production of D Street Pictures.  He will oversee the company’s film projects and oversee its production unit.

Walker worked closely with Fruitvale Station scribe and director Ryan Coogler, to develop the successful indie film based on the 2008 killing of Oscar Grant by an Oakland Bart police officer. Since Fruitvale, Walker has worked on various television shows and produced a behind-the-scenes look at the scoring of the 2015 Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone hit Creed, also directed by Ryan Coogler.

“We’re excited to have Ephraim join our team to oversee D Street’s exciting slate of films and work closely with the development department. His appointment comes at a time when the company continues to expand our international reach,” says D Street Media Group’s CEO, Dexter Davis.

Walker will report directly to Davis and oversee several upcoming productions including the international heist film, The Blue Mauritius, starring Eric Dane, Brian Cox, Augustus Prew, John Rhys-Davies and several other notable global stars. Filming begins on location in Cape Town, South Africa in August. Walker will then finish out the year with Irish comedy, Death Inc., a Brazilian motorcycle gang movie, Moto Anjos and a New York City style rom-com, Heaven Hath No Fury.

“I’ve been looking for a place to call home and couldn’t be more thrilled to join an organization like D Street Media,” said Walker. “I’m looking forward to working closely with Dexter to achieve our very ambitious goal of becoming a global leader in the creative content business and equally excited to set up our West Coast division in the great city of Oakland.”

The company has chosen Oakland, California over Los Angeles to be in close proximity to the Silicon Valley. D Street wants to develop more strategic alliances with tech companies who are producing new distribution models for film and television and who seek to partner with smart, creative, content producers such as D Street. The company is based in New York City, with offices in Berlin, Buenos Aires and Cape Town.
For more information about D Street Media Group, go to  http://www.dstreetmediagroup.com/.

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“Queen Sugar” Cocktail Reception at Essence Fest

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Photo used with permission from OWN:The Oprah Winfrey Network

On Saturday, July 2, 2016, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network continued its “Queen SugarEssence Festival takeover with a Q&A on the festival mainstage — moderated by Essence entertainment director Cori Murray — featuring the cast and show creator Ava DuVernay; an inspiring keynote speech by “Queen Sugar” executive producer Oprah Winfrey; and a culminating cocktail reception at Legacy Kitchen, where over 200 industry insiders and tv personalities celebrated the new series.

 “Queen Sugar” cast members Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe, Omar Dorsey, Tina Lifford, Dondre Whitfield, Nicholas Ashe and Bianca Lawson graced the red carpet at the reception, followed by DuVernay, Gayle King and Ms. Winfrey herself. Additional attendees included: Lynn Whitfield (“Greenleaf”), Tina Knowles Lawson, Richard Lawson, “The Real” hosts Adrienne Bailon, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai; singer Lalah Hathaway; “Love Thy Neighbor” cast Patrice Lovely and Darmirra Brunson; “Survivor’s Remorse” cast Tichina Arnold, Jessie T. Usher,  Erica Ash and Allen Maldonado; “POWER” cast Lela Loren and Joseph Sikora; “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker; broadcast journalist/producer Soledad O’Brien, Bozoma Saint John (Head of Global Consumer Marketing, Apple Music & iTunes); Mona Scott-Young (Monami Entertainment); Stevie J (“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”); “Married to Medicine” cast Dr. Heavenly, Mariah Huq and Lisa Nicole Cloud; Gocha Hawkins (“LA Hair”), Tameka Foster, American Idol’s La’Porsha Renae and so many more.

Queen Sugar” will debut as a two-night event on Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7 at 10PM ET/PT on OWN. The series will regularly air Wednesday nights at 10PM ET/PT for the remainder of its 13-episode first season.

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Sushi Seki serving great dishes for New York City

Chef SekiOn June 30, 2016, there was a unique opportunity to sample some amazing dishes from Sushi Seki on 46th Street.  The talented Chef Seki provided a taste of some of his best seafood creations.  Founded in 2002, our Upper East location has been notoriously known as a late night den for New York’s elite, top chefs, and a sushi haven for those that call the Upper East home.

Sushi Seki is the creation of Chef Seki Shi. Chef Seki began his culinary journey at a young age, working with his Mom to perfect the art of crispy rice. After graduating from high school, Chef Seki continued his study in Tokyo, where he discovered his true passion for cooking.  Authentic Japanese cuisine intrigued him and drew him to the culinary details and fundamental techniques that are the foundation of his innovative cuisine today.

“Never stop learning” is the philosophy of Chef Seki. Chef Seki developed his knowledge of fish at the famed Tsukiji Market; one of the largest fish markets in the world. Chef Seki began working as a dishwasher and eventually advanced to become head kitchen chef and within a few years, a sushi chef.

IMG_1832In 1991, Chef Seki moved to New York City. Chef Seki explored his talent by working at various restaurants to enhance his experience including Sushi of Gari. Chef Seki has since become one of the masters in the art of fine sushi.

In 2002, Chef Seki opened Sushi Seki on the Upper East Side. His commitment to selecting only the best fish in the most trusted Japanese markets, has allowed Chef Seki to build his reputation.

In 2014, Chef Seki opened his second location in Chelsea. Chef Seki along with his family of NYC’s finest sommeliers and sushi chefs are committed to the “never stop learning” attitude by creating and balancing the flavor of the fish with simple ingredients, a classic style and expansive sake and wines, paired perfectly to each meal.

Chef Seki is known for his signature sushi classics using the finest seafood available in the world, and taking his lucky clients on a culinary journey.  His classic style shines through as he caters to guests’ individual tastes.  At Sushi Seki: Bar & Oysters his newest outpost in Hell’s Kitchen, Chef Seki continues to surprise his guests with a Chef’s tasting menu at the exclusive 6-seat Kappo counter.  Here, he continues to treat his discerning clientele to the finest dishes prepared according to the season and the guest’s taste.

Sushi SekiThe newest Sushi Seki Bar & Oysters , which is considered the flagship location located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen on historic Restaurant Row. Our latest endeavor features two distinct ambiances within the stunning, bi-level space.

The main floor, with large bar, perfect for pre and post theater dining, provides a casual and contemporary experience, featuring an open kitchen, a communal table, a 76-seat dining room, and a special $100 Kappo tasting menu.  Japanese artisanal cocktails, as well as a full selection of premium wines, sakes and beverages complete the experience.

Opened in 2014, our Chelsea location features two semi-private tatami rooms, a 16 seat sushi bar, a six seat bar, and a 48 seat dining room.

IMG_1842Upstairs features an artisanal whisky and sake bar followed by three Tatami rooms for private dining, while an exclusive 13-seat sushi bar offers lively, theatrical entertainment for the entire 72-seat dining room. We recommend the “Omakase” tasting, a daily selection of fish prepared “from the heart”, available on request.

 

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Amber Riley Performs at the Pre-BET Experience Event on June 22, 2016

8b009bc0cfbda83128bf7a0e3ac4bfceOn Wednesday, June 22, 2016, B.O.E & Samurai presented “The MAJOR. Effect.” For the event, they presented singer Amber Riley and Grammy Award nominated mega-producer Harmony Samuel’s new artist MAJOR., as they performed exclusively at Hotel Café located at 1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

 Amber Riley as fans know, has appeared in shows such as Glee. She is also known for winning season 17 of Dancing with the Stars. MAJOR is the fresh new face and voice of soul-pop music, but he’s no stranger to the music industry having written for Ariana Grande, Nathan Sykes and EPIC Records’ “Think Like A Man Too” original motion picture soundtrack. Currently, MAJOR’s debut single “Why I Love You” is currently trending at #34 on the Urban AC Chart. There is a meaning behind his birth name MAJOR. (spelled with all caps and a period at the end) but even more purpose behind his music. The multi-faceted singer delivers a soulful-pop sound to the new age; while giving a mix between Bruno Mars meets John Legend with a hint of Maxwell on steroids. MAJOR.’s distinct voice and cool presence gives birth to a sexy aura that he exudes from the inside out.

This event is held just before the ground breaking BET Experience in LA. To listen to music by MAJOR, specifically, “Keep On” & “Why I Love You”, visit his page on Sound Cloud. For information on Amber, follow her on social media, via Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram.
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Flix Premiere’s founder Martin Warner’s keynote at the 69th Festival de Cannes

Flix Premiere, CEO Martin Warner at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

 

On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, CEO and Founder of Flix Premiere, Martin Warner addressed and discussed the future of online cinema during his keynote at the 69th Festival de Cannes and the Marché du Film’s NEXT program, the festival’s future of cinema forum. Warner was interviewed by Chief International Correspondent for Variety Magazine, John Hopewell.

During the discussion, Warner outlined new models for film distribution and online movie consumption. Warner also discussed how the new disruptive model of an online Cineplex will give movie audiences broader access to a greater variety of world-class movies and share updates on what Flix Premiere has achieved within the last year to democratize cinema.

This was Flix Premiere’s second event at the festival, following its debut at the 68th Festival de Cannes in 2015, when the company initially launched its mission to revolutionize the film industry by offering brand new movies anytime, anywhere.

Judith Davis in Cannes for the Flix Premiere launch

According to Warner, “Each year tens of thousands of movies are made worldwide, but only 5%of these movies find their audience or recover investment. The other 95%, albeit most of great movies, get lost in an archaic distribution system, without their audience knowing about them, Each great movie deserves a chance to be seen. Using an innovative movie curation system and marketing model that gives each of these films the spotlight they deserve, we can connect these movies to their audience worldwide and – at the same time – give online movie watchers broader access to the types of movies they crave to see.

In 2015, at the highly anticipated Flix Premiere pre-launch party, the company also announced their Democratize Cinema campaign. This campaign enables filmmakers, directors, producers, movie critics, and all movie-goers to become involved in a mission that aims to provide one true single point of discovery for great new movies. This campaign is truly driven to help all underappreciated and overlooked films finally realize their full potential. As of May 1, 2016, more than 105,000 people have signed the online petition, expressing their hunger for a single point to access a broad range of high quality films with a hotbed of emerging talent. “Great films should not be dependent on who is in the movie, which studio produced it, or how much it cost produce, but instead on the power of story, characters, resonance, relevance and much more,” stated Warner.

Flix Premiere is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur and film producer Martin Warner. The world’s first cineplex uses technology innovation to break traditional barriers and connect audiences with the work of talented filmmakers. Flix Premiere initiated its global roll-out with a soft launch in the UK, providing film viewers in the UK a new destination to discover movies across genres including drama, comedies, documentaries and animation. The platform is next set to launch in the US and other locations as well.

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Chef Michael Symon and Lipton team up for Lipton Bright Bites

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Photos used with permission by Michael Symon

With a hearty laugh and larger than life personally, Chef Michael Symon really does seem to cook with soul. Recently, Michael partnered with Lipton Tea for Chef Fest. This new partnership with Lipton consists of Michael hosting a series of experiential dining events at cities across the U.S.

With June being National Iced Tea Month and the Fourth of July festivities closely approaching, he has taken his own slant to tea-centric cooking. When asked about how he managed his busy career, he gave credit to his wife of 27 years and stated, “what a great partner she was to have in the restaurant business.”

As a result of Michael growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, he creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his restaurants in America’s heartland. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on Food Network and as a co-host on ABC’s The Chew. When he’s not working, Michael is riding his motorcycle, cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard or spending time with his wife, Liz, and their Old English bulldog, Ozzy.

Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants;” in 2010, Michael was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints;” B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.”

When asked about one of his favored dishes, he quickly stated “The crispy chicken with honey and topped off with half and half ice tea.” He even included the recipe.

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Photos used with permission of Lipton and Michael Symon

Twice-Fried Chicken with Spicy Honey
By Chef Michael Symon
Serves 4-6
Ingredients
3 to 4 pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
4 cups Lipton Half and Half Iced Tea and Lemonade
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 bay leaves
6 thin slices lemon, seeds removed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 qt. lard or canola oil, for frying

Spicy Honey
1/2 cup Sriracha
1/2 cup honey
Whisk together and set aside for serving

Directions
Whisk together the Lipton Half and Half Iced Tea and Lemonade, honey, salt, bay leaves and lemon slices. Submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate overnight. This can be done in a gallon-sized bag. The next day remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Discard the brine.

This dish is perfect for backyard parties and other summer events. Fans of Michael Symon can check out his website. In addition, they can check out some his latest new via social media: Facebook,Twitter and Instagram. Also, fans of The Chew can see Michael and his co-hosts weekdays. And all summer long, people can enter to win a trip to one of the local Lipton Chef Fest events by visiting LiptonBrightBites.com.

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Amateur Night at Apollo: Nothin’ But Soul with special guest star Deborah Cox

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Singer Deborah Cox sings during Amateur Night at the Apollo.

On Wednesday, June 15th, in celebration of Black Music Month, the world famous Apollo Theater presented an especially “soulful” edition of its signature show with Amateur Night: Nothin’ But Soul. During this themed Amateur Night contestants payed homage to Soul and R&B legends who have graced the Apollo stage by giving performances that are based on the root of soul music. As a treat, GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer/songwriter Deborah Cox performed during this soulful night for the fans.

Deborah Cox is an award-winning singer/songwriter, Broadway star and philanthropist best known for her 1998 breakout smash hit “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” which set a record as the longest-running No. 1 R&B single in the United States, reigning the charts for 14 consecutive weeks. Deborah continued as a fixture on the top of the charts, with six Billboard Top 20 R&B singles in addition to an impressive 12 Billboard #1 U.S. Dance hits. Since then, the Grammy-nominated Canadian superstar has been pushing past boundaries, from her versatility as a vocalist to her activism work supporting charities for women in need and LGBTQ rights to starring in Broadway musicals Aida and Jekyll & Hyde. Her repertoire expands with her latest roles as two of her childhood heroes: the legendary Josephine Baker in the riveting Broadway-bound production Josephine and the Rachel Marron role in the upcoming live theatrical adaptation of The Bodyguard.

“Every year, during Black Music Month, we celebrate Amateur Night’s musical roots with our contestants all performing classic soul and R&B songs as a way of rekindling and preserving the rich musical history of soul music and its pioneers. We’re talking classics like James Brown, Chaka Khan, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and more,” said Amateur Night producer Marion J. Caffey. “And we are excited to welcome our special guest artist, Deborah Cox back to the Apollo stage. She’s a multi-talented artist and an incredible performer. It’s sure to be a soulful night!”
Comedian Capone hosts Amateur Night at the Apollo.

Comedian Capone hosts Amateur Night at the Apollo.

Since its inception in 1934, Amateur Night has been one of New York City’s most popular live entertainment experiences, launching the careers of thousands of performers and attracting audiences from all over the world. The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night has long been revered by artists as a transformative experience where up-and-coming talent feels the power of the legendary performers who have come before them, and where audience response can help make or break a career.

The show was hosted by comedian Capone. In addition, Amateur Night also featured staples like CP 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.

While Amateur Night draws a large crowd each week, there are some night the Apollo grants guests an extra special night which is really mostly what the world famous Apollo Theater has always been know to do.

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