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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?

troynow
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#1
Posted: 6/4/20 at 3:38pm

Well it seems to me that Broadway has often had a problem with artists of color. 

Which seems like a new problem given the history of such shows as

- No Strings

- Purlie

- Your Arms Are Too Short To Box With GOD

- Hallelujah Baby

- Legs Diamond

- Tap Dance Kid

- House of Flowers

- Dreamgirls etc...

 

History has shown Broadway was NOT always a Racist industry. What happened...I dont know. 

However, now I am curious from this movement and full acceptance that Broadway has never fully accepted Black Artists is this the moment that Broadway will finally open it's doors and allow the Apollo Theatre to join the league?

Allow a traditionally Black space entrance to a White space?

Thoughts?

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#2
Posted: 6/4/20 at 4:14pm

That's an interesting suggestion. I would imagine that it would ultimately be what the Apollo Theatre Foundation thinks is best for the space.

Right now, it's used as a community foundation and education center, and not solely as a space for large scale black artistic works. The financial realities of renting space as a Broadway house and all of the new rules that entails and its sheer distance from the existing theatre district also make it a difficulty.

Regardless, what the community of Harlem thinks about this should be the main and primary driver for that type of change.

Updated On: 6/4/20 at 04:14 PM
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#3
Posted: 6/4/20 at 4:18pm

The above comment hits on what I wasn't thinking... Is this something they actually WANT? Becoming an official Broadway theatre brings with it a lot of requirements and rules (union and otherwise) they don't have to deal with now, and might make things like their Amateur Night more difficult. 

Broadway61004
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#4
Posted: 6/4/20 at 4:57pm

As others have said, I can't imagine the Apollo would want this.  To become a traditional Broadway house, they would have to completely revamp who they are (there would be no more amateur nights, no more short runs of works, everyone who performs there would have to be union, etc.).  Any concerts would be gone--sure, they could in theory still do them, but the only real benefit of becoming a Broadway theatre for them would be to become eligible for the Tonys, which concerts aren't going to be, so what's the point?

Plus, from a Broadway perspective, 125th is just too far.  The whole idea of Broadway is that it's one small concentrated area of about 13 blocks (plus the Beaumont, which frankly, pushes the boundaries of what should be considered Broadway due to its location, and that's only at 64th St).  It's the same reason the Public isn't a Broadway house or some of the other great theatres in the city.

SouthernCakes
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#5
Posted: 6/4/20 at 5:13pm
I still think Theater 42 should become a legit Broadway house.

The Apollo is actually really easy to get to from Times Square.

I think the run of “Blue” this summer would have been a great indication to see if a long running show could work there.

How’s the backstage space and stuff?
troynow
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#6
Posted: 6/4/20 at 5:40pm

This is interesting. I was thinking about BLUE. But moreover, I was thinking about this moment and allowing inclusion into the Broadway community.

The Apollo is opening additional theatre complex. Also I have it on good knowledge that BLUE was to use a Production Contract, the same as a Broadway House. Also, the theatre meets every Tony Award requirement. 

Feels like there is more to the story. But race seems to be a factor.

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#7
Posted: 6/4/20 at 9:10pm

With HAMILTON the biggest show in the universe, what an odd time to bewail the decline of shows cast with people of color. Add AIN'T TOO PROUD, HADESTOWN, and interrupted tours of THE COLOR PURPLE and ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, and I don't know what the OP was thinking!

Particularly comparing today with NO STRINGS, that famous show with one (enormously talented) black lady in a principle role.

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#8
Posted: 6/4/20 at 9:13pm
Gentrifying the Apollo seems like an incredibly bizarre way to try to amplify black artists.
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#9
Posted: 6/4/20 at 9:25pm

SouthernCakes said: "I still think Theater 42 should become a legit Broadway house."

The economics don't work. You'd have all of the expenses of Broadway but only 500 seats worth of revenue.

 

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#10
Posted: 6/4/20 at 9:38pm

troynow said: "The Apollo is opening additional theatre complex. Also I have it on good knowledge that BLUE was to use a Production Contract, the same as a Broadway House. Also, the theatre meets every Tony Award requirement."

They don't meet the geographic requirement of being in the Theatre District, although an exception could be made I suppose like they did for the Beaumont. I doubt they'd want to become one as others have said, but I also doubt the Broadway League would want them. While League membership is made up of more producers than theater owners, the owners have more power and it wouldn't be in their best interest to allow what would essentially be a competitor to join. . 

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#11
Posted: 6/4/20 at 10:27pm

itsjustmejonhotmailcom said: "troynow said: "The Apollo is opening additional theatre complex. Also I have it on good knowledge that BLUE was to use a Production Contract, the same as a Broadway House. Also, the theatre meets every Tony Award requirement."

They don't meet the geographic requirement of being in the Theatre District, although an exception could be made I suppose like they did for the Beaumont. I doubt they'd want to become one as others have said, but I also doubt the Broadway League would want them. While League membership is made up of more producers than theater owners, the owners have more power and it wouldn't be in their best interest to allow what would essentially be a competitor to join. .
"

First off, there's no geographic requirement that all Broadway theatres must be in the theatre district. So, that comment and the comment about any sort of exception made for the Beaumont doesn't hold water. 

Secondly, The Apollo is, has been, and should continue to be a fantastic cultural landmark for African American culture both in terms of performances that hit its stage to the educational components that the Apollo Theatre Foundation does extremely well. 

But, interestingly enough, in recent years, they have had, on their stage, performances that are more geared towards a white audience. The there that come to mind right away are, Amy Schumer, Conan O'Brian And Alanis Morissette.

Alanis Morissette recently played there a couple of months ago to both play and celebrate the 25th anniversary release of the album Jagged Little Pill.

Conan was filming a few episodes of his TBS show there. 

Amy Schumer did a stand up special there too.

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#12
Posted: 6/4/20 at 10:35pm

Islander_fan said: "...Conan was filming a few episodes of his TBS show there."

I think it's worth noting that the premise of Conan's stint there was that he was out of place. The humor and the remotes, especially, were centered around "look at this awkward white guy in Harlem."

troynow
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#13
Posted: 6/5/20 at 6:40am

There are 1,525 seats at the Apollo

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#14
Posted: 6/5/20 at 6:47am

EXCELLENT POINTS!  

The Beaumont Thetare is proof of a lack of "theatre jurisdiction" well said. I too, do not see Apollo as being " gentrified" simply because they have an ability to bring

- economic growth to Harlem

- Increase tourism 

- AUTOMATICALLY inject a diverse population of people to the Broadway League 

- INCREASE African American presence on the American Theatre Wing Board as the League and board work hand and hand.

The notion that the Broadway League is made up mostly of presenters and not theatre owners is not correct. Who do you think St. Martin answers to? ... the theatre owners. The major 7 folks sit on all three platforms of theatre and are ALL WHITE.

troynow
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#15
Posted: 6/5/20 at 7:17am

Interesting.... you list cast with black artists and none of them have a SEAT AT THE TABLE for change! Apollo being a state owned building run by people of color would give them a SEAT AT THE TABLE

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#16
Posted: 6/5/20 at 7:54am

First of all, it’s ridiculous to cherry-pick the names of a handful of shows about POC to try to prove Broadway isn’t racist, when the overwhelming majority of shows are about white people, and the fact that it would even occur to someone to name off specific shows is tokenizing, and willfully ignorant of the larger issues. As Troynow points out, very few Black people have a “seat at the table.”

Troynow, in addition to the above point, I think you’re also right to point out that making the Apollo a Broadway theatre would be a benefit for the Broadway community. And you’re right that the arguments about geography, and competition for the league hold no water at all.

HOWEVER, the bottom line here, as others have said, is that while it might benefit Broadway, it wouldn’t benefit the Apollo itself. Maybe in some ways it would, like more exposure, Tony recognition, giving black theatre operators a seat at the table etc. But as others pointed out, the Apollo’s programming content and structure would not be feasible under Broadway contracts, particularly if they wanted to continue with amateur night. You’re right that productions like Blue operate under a similar limited-run theatrical contract, but when it comes to the Apollo’s programming, productions like that are more the exception than the rule. For the space to become specifically geared toward theatre, especially under Broadway/union limitations, would drastically cut them off from a lot of what they do. It seems to me that they don’t WANT to be a space exclusively for full runs of theatrical productions.

I might be wrong about this, but I don’t believe there are any obstacles preventing the Apollo from becoming a Broadway theatre if they wanted to take the necessary actions to qualify. And the fact that they haven’t chosen to do so tells us what we need to know. The same could be said about City Center, the Beacon, Radio City, the Met, the Koch, the Geffen, the Armory, the Rose, the New Vic, or Stage 42 - all of which are in the exact same boat as the Apollo: they’re in Manhattan, and they are big enough to become Broadway theatres if they wanted to be (the latter 2 would just have to add 1 seat). But they don’t, because their owners have other (I would argue, more noble) intentions for their programming.

Updated On: 6/5/20 at 07:54 AM
kaykordeath
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#17
Posted: 6/5/20 at 9:28am

This is a fascinating discussion, and I hate to derail it like this but, it;s really bothering me:

Why is Legs Diamond included in the list of shows?

(Unless I'm missing the obvious joke/sarcasm this early int he morning...)
 

Updated On: 6/5/20 at 09:28 AM
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#18
Posted: 6/5/20 at 9:46am

JBroadway nails the silliness of this thread. The Apollo wants to be a Broadway house about as much as I want to have my home declared a national historic landmark. 

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#19
Posted: 6/5/20 at 9:56am
This isn’t about “allowing” the Apollo to become a Broadway house, since there’s no indication there is interest on the part of the Apollo to become one.

The Apollo is an important and iconic African-American institution and platform. It doesn’t need to be volunteered to fix Broadway’s race issues.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#20
Posted: 6/5/20 at 9:59am

1.  YES this conversation is ridiculous as it SEEMS the Apollo has no interest in this.

2. YES, there needs to be more diversity in all the arts (and frankly most fields beyond blue collar fields. You have no idea how often I've harped to my administration about hiring persons of color in my school district.)

3.  BUT, what I fear is more division by this type of thought.  The 'black' theater does 'black' shows in the 'black' part of town.  The rest of broadway is for white people.  Bringing diversity means it needs to be intertwined.  Yes, we want more artists of color and more audience members of color - but sitting next to me, performing in front of me, discussing with me.  Not designated to the "black theater"l, so we can SAY Bway is woke.

 

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#21
Posted: 6/5/20 at 10:17am
Would love to know how many people on this thread advocating for the Apollo to become a Broadway house, have actually ever even been to Apollo.
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#22
Posted: 6/5/20 at 1:22pm
Updated On: 6/5/20 at 01:22 PM
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#23
Posted: 6/5/20 at 1:44pm

Lavieboheme3090 said: "Would love to know how many people on this thread advocating for the Apollo to become a Broadway house, have actually ever even been to Apollo."

I think there's only one person in this thread, the OP, advocating for the Apollo to become a Broadway house.

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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#24
Posted: 6/5/20 at 2:00pm
We need to stop thinking of “Broadway” as the be all end all for the arts. This would not make sense logistically and would end a lot of the great programming the Apollo already puts on.
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Is the APOLLO finally going to be # 42?#25
Posted: 6/5/20 at 2:01pm
I mean some of the most successful shows aren’t exactly about “white people” - Wicked, Phantom, Cats. Not saying Broadway isn’t racist but I’d say, if anything, they’re more “bodyist.” They have a certain look and keep to it.