A billion reasons to love being Black, and a billion and one reasons to celebrate and support the Apollo Theater. COVID-19 might have disturbed the proverbial applecart, so to speak, but folks of color know how to make things work in the worst of situations.
Time to celebrate and the spring 2021 season, which will take place exclusively online, offers a broad range of free and ticketed virtual events, including the Apollo Film series celebration of “House Party” and “House Party 2,” cult classics created more than 30 years ago. The virtual program includes performances by Kid ‘N Play, Full Force and more. Additional highlights include Roc Nation’s Infinity Song at the Apollo Music Café, and the return of the bi-annual WOW (Women of the World) Festival featuring more than 80 thought leaders, scholars and artists including from HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” Aunjanue Ellis; New York Times best-selling author and co-host of CBS’ “The Talk” Elaine Welteroth; poet, writer and activist Nikki Giovanni; and political and women’s rights activist Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu; along with performances by Adeline, Dionne Farris and many more.
The season expands the nonprofit theater’s role as a partner, commissioner and co-producer of programming that centers Black artists and voices from the African diaspora, while tackling important social issues for Harlem, New York and the nation.
The 87th season begins Saturday, Feb. 27 at 8:00 p.m. EST with Apollo Film & Screen/Play Presents 30 Years of House Party. The evening will feature highlights from the musical and comedy cult classics “House Party” (1990) and “House Party 2” (1991), a conversation with the film’s key players, Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin, who will also perform; A.J. Johnson; Darryl “Chill” Mitchell; writer and director Reginald Hudlin; and other special guests, along with performances by legendary hip-hop group Full Force, Lisa Lisa and DJ Wiz. “House Party” was one of the first films to center the Black teenage experience for a mainstream audience. Also featuring an array of hip-hop artists and now-iconic dance-offs, both films helped catapult Kid ‘N Play to superstardom and continue to resonate across generations of audiences today.
“From our celebration of ‘House Party’ and the return of the Women of the World Festival to our educational and community events, the Apollo Theater’s 87th season will offer our audiences and artists numerous opportunities for connection, joy and inspiration,” said Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes. “We know how deeply important it is that the Apollo offers a safe space for our community to express themselves freely and to celebrate Black voices, and I’m thrilled that we are able to continue to bring audiences together on the Apollo Digital Stage as we look forward to the bright future ahead when we are able to physically come together once more.”
For more information, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.