The Apollo turns 75 this year and to celebrate its anniversary, the legendary Harlem theater is inducting Quincy Jones and Patti LaBelle into its Hall of Fame.
The Harlem theater also will present its arts and humanitarian award to Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, at the June 8 anniversary gala benefit concert.
Previous recipients have included Denzel Washington and his wife, Pauletta, and Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee.
The lineup of performers for the evening include singer Anita Baker and the R&B group O’Jays. Actor/comedian Jamie Foxx and singer Mariah Carey will present the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame awards to the music impresario and R&B singer. The program will be hosted by radio personality Steve Harvey.
The Apollo has been a pioneer for aspiring black performers who were routinely turned away at other venues in the 1930s. Through its legendary Amateur Night, the Apollo is famous for propelling the careers of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and others.
A host of special performances and programs are planned for the 1,500-seat theater in celebration of its opening in 1934. Among the highlights is a new production of the hit musical, “Dreamgirls.” Loosely based on the Supremes, the opening number takes place on the Apollo stage. After a limited engagement from Nov. 7 to Dec. 5, the show is scheduled to go on a national tour.
Last month, the Apollo and Carnegie Hall teamed up to present a festival of spiritual and gospel music curated by opera great Jessye Norman.
The Apollo also has collaborated with the Smithsonian Institution on an exhibition drawn on its archives that explores the Apollo’s impact on music around the world. The show will open in April 2010 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., and will run through 2011.