James Brown. Billie Holiday. Dave Chappelle. These are just a few of the iconic performers who have graced the stage at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. On Wednesday (April 24), fans piled in to the legendary theater to witness the debut of a documentary about the very place where they sat.
HBO’s “The Apollo” screened as the opening selection for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Packed with archival performance footage, the documentary features interviews with the likes of Patti LaBelle, Pharrell Williams and Jamie Foxx alongside conversations with the people who keep the theater running each day, according to a statement from festival organizers.
In addition to showcasing the theater’s 85-year history, the film also chronicles the making of a new multimedia stage production of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me.” Per HBO, the play explores “the current struggle of Black lives in America, the role that art plays in that struggle and the broad range of African American achievement that the Apollo Theater represents.”