Apollo at CWU

Suzie Chavez, Staff Reporter

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It is that time of year again when CWU Wildcats step up on stage to show off their talent during Showtime at CWU. The event is presented by the CWU Black Student Union to honor of the famous amateur show from Harlem’s Apollo Theatre for Black History Month.

Showtime at Central is CWU’s version of the television show, “Showtime at the Apollo,” which debuted in 1987 and is still on air today. The Apollo Theatre is known as the place where many stars and legends were born and where they claimed their fame. The Apollo Theatre still continues to feature talent from all over the country. Recent performances have included John Legend, Anderson Paak and Chris Rock.

Jaeana Davis, a senior musical theatre major, described the Apollo as being “the first stage that African-American individuals could perform on.”

Davis serves on the executive board as a programmer for CWU’s Black Student Union and is in charge of putting on the event this year.

This year, CWU alumni and comedian Quincy Jones will be hosting the event.

Quincy Jones has made appearances on “The Ellen Show” and “Conan,” and even had his own HBO special in 2016. “He’s not only hilarious but he is also dedicated to making his name known by recently accomplishing 1,000 sets in one year,” Miraclejoy Curtis, a senior studying public relations, said about Jones.

“I am performing in Showtime at Central,” Ariel Jeter said, a freshman studying elementary education. “I am very excited to be performing.”

Contestants will have three minutes of fame as they take the McConnell stage and the audience will have the opportunity to cheer them on or boo them off stage. An acclaimed tap dancer and the original “sandman” for Showtime will gently remove performers from the stage if the crowd is not impressed.

This year, a student sandman will be doing a variation of things. Therefore, if you plan on attending the event, expect the unexpected.  There will also be a Kiki, a position named after Kiki Sheppard, the long-time co-hostess of Showtime at the Apollo.

The Kiki is responsible for strolling across the stage with a 30 second card because performers will have 30 seconds at the beginning of their performance to win over the crowd. When the Kiki enters the stage, it is the crowd’s responsibility to either cheer with delight or boo in displeasure to confirm their decision.

“Showtime is one of the biggest events on CWU’s campus that’s put on by the Black Student Union,” Jetter said. “I recommend if anyone is looking to have an entertaining time, to check out Showtime at Central.”

This event is free, open to the public and will take place this Friday, Feb 23., in McConnell Hall at 7 p.m.

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Apollo at CWU