Courtesy | Associated Students Inc.

It’s Showtime at the University Theater

January 29, 2015

Homecoming week at California State University, East Bay continues on Tuesday with “Showtime at the Apollo,” a talent competition open to students at the University Theater.

Attendees who signed up in advance can prepare an act for the audience, and will also be treated to a performance from Oakland native Goapele, a soul and R&B singer-songwriter whose fifth studio album “Stronger Than Glass” was released just last year.

The concept of the event came from the television show “Showtime at the Apollo,” which ran from 1987 to 2008.  The show consisted of amateur and professional performers, singers, dancers, and actors in front of a live audience at New York’s Apollo Theater.

The original Apollo Amateur Night that started over 70 years ago in New York is still held on Wednesday’s at the theater.

Historically the majority of the performers and audience have been African American, because of the Harlem neighborhood’s dense African American population.
What makes this show unique is that audience members dictate how long performers are allowed to be on stage.

If they enjoy the performance, they encourage them and let them finish their song. If they do not, they can ‘boo’ them off of the stage, resulting in their performance being cut short by a man dressed in a comical costume such as a pirate or clown chasing them offstage.

More recently, BET announced that they would air a similar version of the show, called “Apollo Live” that will produce its third season this Fall.
The event was coordinated and introduced to CSUEB’s Homecoming festivities last year by Associated Students Inc.

“It was a great success and it is one of the few events on campus that is just solely student [performers] that filled the entire University Theater.” said Sydni Flemmer, supervisor for ASI Special Events.

CSUEB’s event will run in a similar fashion, in that it will take on a ‘talent show’ format, but contestants will be encouraged to finish their performance, giving an equal chance to everyone who signed up.

“We are not having people get booed off the stage,” said Flemmer, “we are trying to promote a fun and supportive event to kick off coming week festivities.
The performers have reached out to us wanting to perform. We are having them go on in a random order based on their talents.”

The show will kick off with CSUEB’s “The Voice” online submission contest winner, which is yet to be announced.

After all performers have had their chance to perform, the audience will vote for first, second, and third place based on what performances they enjoyed the most.

The grand prizes for performances are an iPad for first place, Beats Studio Headphones for second place, and Beats Solo Headphones for third. All CSUEB student performers receive two movie tickets.

Showtime at the Apollo will be held in the University Theater at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. It is one of many Homecoming events for CSUEB students and Alumni in 2015, centered around Saturday’s basketball game when the Pioneer Men’s team takes on San Francisco State.

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