Welcome
Login / Register

Most Popular Articles


  • Apollo Announces Host and Talent for 2011 Spring Gala Honoring Stevie Wonder

    STEVIE WONDER TO BE HONORED AT THE APOLLO THEATER’S 2011 ANNUAL SPRING GALA BENEFIT

    CONCERT AND AWARDS CEREMONY

    MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2011

     

    SINBAD TO HOST; SPECIAL PERFORMANCES BY WYCLEF JEAN,

    YOLANDA ADAMS, MELANIE FIONA AND RAPHAEL SAADIQ

     

    BENEFIT SUPPORTS THE LEGENDARY NON-PROFIT THEATER’S

    EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY PROGRAMS


    HARLEM, NY – June 6, 2011 – The Apollo Theater today announced the complete lineup for its sixth Annual Spring Gala Benefit Concert honoring cultural icon Stevie Wonder, who will be inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. The Benefit supports the preservation of the non-profit Theater’s unparalleled legacy, its current initiatives for emerging artists, and community and educational programs in New York City and beyond.

     

    Wyclef Jean, Yolanda Adams, Melanie Fiona, Raphael Saadiq, Paul Schaffer, and Chick Corea, as well as other surprise guests, will perform during this special evening dedicated to Mr. Wonder’s legacy as an artist and philanthropist. The program will be hosted by celebrated comedian and former host of Showtime at the Apollo, Sinbad.

     

    “I am proud to be hosting this outstanding evening honoring two ‘Wonders of the World’: the great Stevie Wonder and the legendary Apollo Theater,” said Sinbad.  “In many ways, hosting this event is like going full circle in my career. There isn’t a person in my time up to now that didn’t want to be Stevie Wonder. Getting to meet and hang with Stevie over the years—as well as hosting Showtime at the Apollo for two years—were milestones in my life.” 

     

    Stevie Wonder joins other iconic performers in the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame—musicians, artists, and entertainers whose path to fame included the Apollo—including Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Little Richard, and Ella Fitzgerald.  Each Apollo Legends Hall of Fame inductee is honored with a plaque on the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street in Harlem.

     

    Additionally, The Apollo will present cosmetics giant Revlon with its Corporate Award, accepted by Chairman, Ronald O. Perelman, in recognition of Revlon’s support  of the Apollo. Philanthropist and arts supporter Reginald Van Lee will receive The Percy E. Sutton Civic Leadership Award, named in honor of one of New York City’s legendary leaders and a champion of Harlem and its cultural institutions.

     

    Produced by Ron Weisner for Ron Weisner Entertainment with events management services provided by JKS Events, the benefit concert will be under the musical direction of Ray Chew, whose credits include Musical Director for American Idol, NBC’s The Singing Bee, Showtime at the Apollo as well as the Apollo’s weekly Amateur Night show.  Following the performance, the event will conclude with the Apollo Supper Club—a stylish lounge atmosphere created by David Monn featuring spectacular gourmet creations prepared by Great Performances.  The world renowned DJ D-Nice will provide music for late-night dancing.

     

    About Stevie Wonder

    Celebrated American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist Stevie Wonder has had a long association with the Apollo Theater, appearing for the first time in 1962 when he was 12 years old. At that time, he was called “Little Stevie Wonder,” and was already touring as a professional act (and was the only “child act”) as part of Berry Gordy’s “Motown Revue,” a road show featuring top acts from the Motown Label.  Stevie played a major role in the show since he could sing, play harmonica, organ, congas and drums, which led to him being called a “wonder child.”  Other notable Apollo appearances include the “Save the Apollo Concert” in the 1980s and sold out solo concerts in 2005. 

     

    The Percy E. Sutton Civic Leadership Award is named for Percy E. Sutton, a distinguished community leader, entrepreneur, and long-time advocate for Harlem, and is a testament to his longstanding relationship and devotion to the Apollo and the City of New York. Mr. Sutton was Manhattan borough president for three terms, and at the time, was New York State’s highest ranking African-American elected official. After retiring from politics, he built a media empire, founding the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation in 1971, which became the second largest black owned radio broadcasting company in the United States. In 1981, Mr. Sutton purchased the world famous Apollo Theater and made pivotal contributions toward the efforts to revitalize and restore the Apollo. Percy E. Sutton graduated from Prairie View A&M University, Tuskegee Institute, and Hampton Institute. After serving as an intelligence officer in World War II with the Tuskegee Airmen, he earned a law degree from Brooklyn College and became one of America’s best-known lawyers, fighting for civil rights and representing many African-American activists, including Malcolm X. Mr. Sutton has received many honors, including the renaming of the 125th Street Manhattanville Post Office and Fifth Avenue from 124th to 142nd Street in his name.

     

    About the Apollo Theater

    The Apollo Theater is one of Harlem’s, New York City’s, and America’s most iconic and enduring cultural institutions.  The Apollo was one of the first theaters in New York, and the country, to fully integrate, welcoming traditionally African-American, Hispanic, and local immigrant populations in the audience, as well as headlining uniquely talented entertainers who found it difficult to gain entrance to other venues of similar size and resources.  Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop.  Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo’s stage. Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

     

    The Apollo's annual season is made possible by lead support from The Coca-Cola Company, the Edward and Leslye Phillips Family Foundation, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Reggie Van Lee, The Ford Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bloomberg, and the Neuberger Berman Foundation.  Lead annual support is also provided by public funds from the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council; with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; New York State funding from Senator Bill Perkins, Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and the New York State Council for the Arts. Visit www.apollotheater.orgto learn more.

     Apollo Theater - 253 West 125th Street, New York, NY10027

    Tickets for the 2011 Spring Gala and after-party are on sale now. To purchase benefit tickets to the event or to make a donation to the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc., email ApolloSpringGala@jksevents.com  or call 212-380-8946.






    Read more »
  • THE LEVI’S® BRAND INTRODUCES INNOVATIVE MEN’S COMMUTER CYCLING PRODUCTS

    The Levi’s® 511™ Commuter Skinny and Trucker Jacket for

    Cyclists Hits Stores This Week

    SAN FRANCISCO (JULY 11, 2011) – The Levi’s® brand is proud to introduce Commuter by Levi’s® – clothing designed and optimized specifically for the needs of the urban commuter cyclist.  Arriving in select Levi’s® Stores this week, the 511™ and Trucker Commuter products integrate an array of features that address cyclists performance, convenience, safety, mobility and protection needs while maintaining the durability and classic styling that people expect from the Levi’s® brand.  The launch of these products builds upon the Levi’s® brand’s commitment to innovation while tying back to the new global ‘Go Forth’ campaign which is a rally cry to create positive change in the world. 

    Erik Joule, senior vice president of Levi’s® Men’s Merchandising & Design says, “This product was born from innovation, classic American style and a personal passion for cycling – it’s about designing product for people who ride bikes, by people who ride bikes.  We knew that our jeans were already being worn by urban cyclists across the country, including our own designers.  We listened to what they wanted and created a product with performance traits for biking that also functions as daily street wear.”

    Built around the 511™ Skinny Jean, the Levi’s® brand’s most popular skinny fit for men, the 511™ Commuter features fabric and construction upgrades that increase mobility and durability, while protecting cyclists from the potential hazards of their daily commute.  The 511™ Commuter comes in two styles – a full length and cropped version – and both denim and non-denim fabrics.  The series also includes a Commuter version of the classic Levi’s® Trucker Jacket, an iconic work wear style that was first introduced in 1962 and has now been updated for the modern worker who demands performance and style on and off the road. 

    All Commuter by Levi’s® products blend form and function by utilizing the most cutting-edge performance apparel technologies.  The Levi’s® brand partnered with Swiss-based Schoeller Technologies AG to be the first to introduce NanoSphere® treatment into denim fabrication.  NanoSphere® technology makes denim fabric water resistant, dirt repellant and more durable. 

    The Levi’s® brand also consulted with technology-expert Clariant, a global supplier of specialty effects for textile, in order to implement the invisible but powerful technology that makes Commuter by Levi’s® clothing so unique.  All Commuter products feature Sanitized™ hygiene function, which provides protection against odors for long-lasting freshness and comfort, and 3M Scotchlite™ which subtly integrates 300,000 candle watt reflectivity into key areas of the garments. 

    In addition to these performance technologies, the Levi’s® brand also leveraged its own insights and superior construction techniques to make their new cycling products more commuter-friendly.  Both the Commuter by Levi’s® Trucker Jacket and the 511™ Commuter Skinny feature just the right amount of stretch to increase mobility while maintaining their signature fit.  The 511™ Commuter Skinny also features a raised back yolk that minimizes lower back gap, a reinforced crotch gusset that protects against ripping in this high stress area, double back layer pockets, a U-lock storage system and fabric reinforcements throughout.  The Trucker has extra utility pockets and modifications to the sleeves, cuffs and tail that enable more comfortable movement while cycling.

    “As an avid cyclist myself, I am confident this line has all of the key cycling-specific performance features cyclists value, but haven’t been able to find in other lifestyle clothing options,” added Joule.

    Commuter by Levi’s® clothing can be found at select independent bike shops in major metro cities as well as select Levi’s® Stores and at www.levi.com beginning this July. The line will also be available in select Urban Outfitters beginning in August.  The 511™ Commuter Skinny and 511™ Commuter Cropped Skinny retail for $78 and the Commuter Trucker Jacket retails for $128.To coincide with the introduction of the new Commuter by Levi’s® collection, the Levi’s® brand is partnering with Urban Outfitters  to launch the “Get in the Saddle” bike shop tour. The bike shop will go to where cyclists are and create temporary resource centers around the country complete with a bicycle tuning center, a custom commuter tailoring shop and a bicycle photo-booth. The tour kicks off in early August in New York City and ends in Portland in late September with stops in major cities along the way.

    Commuter by Levi’s® 511™ Skinny product features:

    · Utility waist band – specially designed for u-lock storage

    · Higher back rise – providing additional coverage when riding

    · NanoSphere® Technology – applied to make fabric water resistant, dirt repellant and durable

    · 3M Reflectivity – 3M Scotchlite™ Reflective Tape on interior cuff offers high level of visibility

    · Sanitized® built-in hygiene function – for long-lasting protection against odors

    · Reinforced Fabric – in crotch, back pockets and belt loop for durability

    · Performance Stretch Fabric – more stretchable for added mobility and comfort


    Commuter by Levi’s® Trucker Jacket product features:

    · NanoSphere® Technology - water resistant, dirt repellant, durable and protective

    · 3M Reflectivity – 3M Scotchlite™ Reflective Tape integrated on waistband adjusters and concealed for off the bike utility

    · Sanitized® built-in hygiene function – for long-lasting protection against odors

    · iPod front pocket – for modern convenience

    · Slight Drop tail – provides additional coverage

    · Touring Pockets – easy to reach rear storage with low-profile pockets

    · Accordion Sleeves – additional fabric that expands when in the riding stance for increased mobility

    · Angled front pockets – for easy access in all modes

    · Elongated cuffs – covers partial hand when riding


    ABOUT THE LEVI’S® BRAND

    The Levi’s® brand epitomizes classic American style and effortless cool.  Since their invention by Levi Strauss & Co. in 1873, Levi’s® jeans have become the most recognizable and imitated clothing in the world – capturing the imagination and loyalty of people for generations. Today, the Levi’s® brand portfolio continues to evolve through a relentless pioneering and innovative spirit that is unparalleled in the apparel industry.  This range of leading jeanswear and accessories are available in more than 110 countries, allowing individuals around the world to express their personal style.  For more information about the Levi’s® brand, its products and stores, visit www.levi.com.

    Read more »
  • Michael Rooney, the choreographer on the Muppets by Aleksi


    Exclusive Interview with Michael Rooney- Disney Muppets by Aleksi of Style Music TV

    Questions

    How did you get hooked up with Disney and the Muppets?  
    The director James Bobin was pretty familiar with my work and he liked my choreography in the movie “500 Days of Summers”. And he called me into his office and we had an interview and hit it off and I was hired in the next couple of days.  But it was James Bobin that pretty much brought me in.

    How was working on the Muppet Set?
    I was so excited because again this was going to be human dancers, also working with the Muppets and the puppeteers.  I was very excited. I had a couple of weeks of prep that they gave me at Universal Studios and I had to work out the logistics of making the Muppets hands move in time with the dancers. Keeping in mind that most of the movements of the Muppets had to be from their waist and up and lots or arms and dealing with their limitations.  So that was challenging and fun. I think the best thing about working with the Muppets was making them come alive.  Just not making them dance but come alive with their facial expressions and making them feel like one of the living human bunch. So it was fun!  

    What was the difference between working with human dancers and and puppets dancers? What were the challenging and exciting parts?
    To expand on my last question and to answer your next question- if you visualize your hand, like a sock puppet, like your fingers tapping, hitting your thumb back and forth- that is what most of the puppeteers do- they have their hand inside the puppet- so I had to at some point, go ahead and choreograph my fingers and my thumbs, clacking together and going left and right and around especially for the chicken number that we did, for the clucking number.  So that was the first time I did “Hand Choreography” like that.  It was a bunch of “Hand Choreography”.

    Where do you get your creative inspiration?
    Well, what I do is listen to the piece of music over and over again, as long as I can, and I try to think in big, broad strokes. So, as oppose to doing syncopated small movements, which I think confuses the viewer-I work in really broad, broad strokes. I try to stay more on the solid counts and the less syncopated counts and that seemed to help with the puppeteers as well.  

    --Industry Questions--:

    Advise for aspiring dancers- that are just starting in their careers?
    Don’t ever be disappointed by the word “No”- because no just means not at this time or maybe it wasn’t your turn to get the job.  Take nothing personally.  Don’t ever, ever let “No” discourage you. Always, always have tenacity, move forward and see where your luck and chances lie. But never be disappointed by the word “No”.



    MICHAEL ROONEY (Choreographer) is one of the most innovative choreographers of our time.  Always on the cutting edge, Rooney takes each project and twirls it into the best of the best. Rooney approaches each job like a tailor, designing the choreography to suit the project. He is a contemporary visionary with the creative genius to transcend time, moving from one era to another with ease and perfection, giving each project award-winning style. Rooney is currently working on ABC Family’s upcoming movie “Elixir” (working title).

    Lauded by critics and viewers alike, Rooney's work with directors has been turning heads and moving feet over the past decade. He is the only choreographer in history to have won five MTV Awards for Best Choreography. Rooney has assembled some of the most original staging and conceptualization for the entertainment industry and its major celebrities. Rooney’s “come to life” dance sequence in the smash hit film “500 Days of Summer” kept the film fresh and alive; his hard work behind the scenes with the animators of “Shrek 4” helped bring the film to greater heights.

    Rooney continues to be successful because he has the artistic ability to see the script and design the choreography bringing the story alive, as seen in his most memorable videos for "Fatboy Slim" (starring Christopher Walken), Gnarls Barkley’s “Run” (for which he won his 5th MTV Award for Best Choreography) and Kylie Minogue's sexy and controversial piece "Can’t Get You Out of My Head",

    Rooney worked with Spike Jonze on numerous MTV award-winning music videos that have been seen by millions of viewers. Rooney/Jonze have also worked together for the funny dance sequence in the feature film “Jackass 2.” Rooney and Jonze first teamed up for the now infamous Bjork video “It's Oh So Quiet.”

    In addition to his film and video work, Rooney has acquired a long list of commercial credits, including his work with Queen Latifah and Taylor Swift for CoverGirl, Target commercials featuring John Legend and a huge campaign for Nike featuring Charles Barkley. Other commercial work includes GE, Ford, Old Navy and McDonalds.
     
    The son of Mickey Rooney, Rooney inherited his father's genius for musical comedy.
     
    ABOUT THE MOVIE
    On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets' former stomping grounds. To stage a telethon and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate. With signature celebrity cameos, Disney’s “The Muppets” hits the big screen Nov. 23, 2011.




    Read more »
  • Gossip Girl's Kelly Rutherford Attends Shop Italy NYC Launch

    Gossip Girl star Kelly Rutherford attended the VIP launch celebration for ITC’s Shop Italy NYC at Centre 548 in Chelsea on Tuesday night.  Surrounded by all things Italian, the actress, who spoke at the event’s press reception about her love of Italian fashion, wore an olive-colored dress by her favorite designer, announcing, “Thank goodness Gossip Girl got picked up for a fifth season so I can continue buying Bruno Cucinelli clothes!” After her speech, Kelly posed for photos and mingled with guests as they sipped cocktails courtesy of iconic Italian brand MARTINI.


    Read more »
  • “The Tragedy of Tupac" A Theatrical Production by Angeli Kakade

     

    The Tradegey of Tupac Shakur or Who Shot Me? opened with an impressive two sold out shows at the Triad Theater September 13th, the late rapper’s 15th death anniversary.  The play is a 90-minute snap shot of Tupac Shakur’s life from a child witnessing his mother’s involvement in the Black Panther Party to the fateful night he was shot.  It is part comedy, part drama, and a fairly accurate portrayal of his aggressive personality and knack for pushing the lyrical boundaries; which subsequently led to his first record deal and ultimately to him becoming one of the greatest rappers of all time.

     

    Co- playwrights George Carroll and Christina Tyler are quite brilliant in their story telling and manage to capture Tupac’s sharp wit, quick temper, and emotional under layer.

    Actor Damian Bailey manages to make the job of bringing Tupac Shakur to life seem effortless. It also doesn’t hurt he shares a remarkable resemblance to the late rapper.

     

    The Tragedy of Tupac Shakur or Who Shot Me? has just signed on additional dates at New York City’s Triad Theater for November.

     

    Ticketing Info: www.brownpapertickets.com

     

    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tragedy-of-Tupac-A-Theatrical-Production/162245277166684

     

    The Triad Theater

    158 West 72nd Street

    New York, NY 10023-3320

    (212) 362-2590 

     

    Show dates and Times:

     

    Nov 2nd at 7pm and 9 pm

    Nov 3rd at 7pm and 9 pm

     

    "This play is either gonna be a moment or a movement!"

            - Playwright, George Carro Read more »
RSS