*Harlem, NY –
On Sunday, April 3rd, the world famous Apollo Theater will hold Spring auditions for its signature program, Amateur Night, at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY), current home to the Apollo’s exhibit Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.

The exhibit explores the Theater’s rich history and notable influence on popular culture and Amateur Night at the Apollo is revered as one of the most celebrated platforms for emerging artists to showcase their talent.

Patrons visiting the Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing exhibit on April 3rd will have the chance to view hopefuls as they audition live via a TV feed in the museum’s rotunda.

Amateur Night producer, Marion J. Caffey feels holding auditions at the museum is the perfect place to inspire these potential contestants. “For 77 years, Amateur Night has been dedicated to finding and nurturing new talent,” he said. “Recently, we’ve held auditions in different locations in order to attract a wider pool of talent. I am personally hoping that holding auditions in the same building as Michael Jackson’s fedora, James Brown’s cape and Ella Fitzgerald’s dress will inspire these hopefuls to bring everything they’ve got to the table.”

Amateur Night auditions are open to singers, dancers, comedians, spoken word artists and musicians of all ages, styles and professional levels. Judges will be looking for exceptional artists in various disciplines that do not have a major label record deal. Those who are chosen from the audition will have the chance to perform in the new season of Amateur Night and compete for the $10,000 prize awarded at the season finale.

The Apollo’s exhibit, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment premiered February 8th and runs through May 1, 2011. The exhibit features a collection of images, videos, costumes, artifacts, and text, and brings to life many of the most groundbreaking personalities and moments in the history of music, while shining a spotlight on the impact of African-American artists on American culture. Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing is organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in collaboration with the Apollo Theater. Amateur Night at the Apollo is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.


Audition Information:

Sunday, April 3 at 9:00am
Museum of the City of New York
103rd and 104th Streets at Fifth Avenue
New York City


Please note: The judges will only see the first 300 acts, please arrive early to secure a place in line.

Audition Rules:

  • Contestants should arrive early as entry is not guaranteed
  • Each contestant will have up to 90 seconds to audition
  • There will NOT be a band in house – singers can bring a track or sing a cappella
  • Musicians should bring their own instruments
  • Dancers should bring a cassette or CD for their performance
  • All auditions should be in good taste and with no profanity
  • Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.


Contestant age range:

  • Child Star of Tomorrow:  5-15 years old
  • Adults: 16 years old and up

About Amateur Night

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul and hip-hop.  From its notoriously tough audience to the magic of the Tree of Hope, the Apollo Amateur Night story is the stuff that legends are made of – literally. Amateur Night has been the foundation for some of the world’s greatest artists including Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five and Lauryn Hill. Long before Ted Mack and the Amateur Hour and American Idol, Apollo Amateur Night was, and continues to be, a primary source for discovering new talent and spotlighting up-and-coming artists, all hoping that the hallowed stage and the approval of the notoriously discerning Apollo audience will launch their careers in the entertainment world.


About the Apollo Theater

Currently in its 77th year, 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, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, 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. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org



Nina Flowers, Assoc. Dir.
Marketing & Communications
Apollo Theater
[email protected]