“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” took a trip to the Apollo Theater in its Season 3 finale. In a new Amazon Prime Video panel honoring the legacy of the Apollo, co-star Sterling K. Brown, who plays Reggie in the third season, discusses how the show finds a way to merge the Black and Jewish experiences on the Apollo stage. “We have a shared history of struggle and performance and I think that legacy of performance comes out of struggle and oppression, the desire and the need to entertain, to put people at ease so that we can be safe,” says the Emmy-winning actor. Watch the exclusive full 36-minute video above.
Wanda Sykes, who plays stand-up comedian Moms Mabley, recalls how playing the legendary comic was just as nerve-wracking as when she herself performed at the Apollo. As she recalls thinking in her first time doing the Apollo, “If you bomb, everyone’s gonna know because the Sandman’s gonna come out and yank you off the stage and that’s the most embarrassing thing.” Others in this chat include creator and executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino, executive producer Daniel Palladino and star Rachel Brosnahan, among several people.
The Apollo isn’t just for comedians, as we see represented with Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain) in the “Maisel” finale. Shy represents many of the singers of that era in the ’60s, like Sam Cooke, Johnny Mathis and Lou Rawls. “Music has been the thing that brought everybody to that place and the Apollo Theater continues to present that to this very day,” explains Billy Mitchell, tour director and Apollo ambassador. McClain was admittedly overwhelmed by the history of the Apollo as they were filming. “There is an undeniable energy in that theater and on that stage,” admits the actor. “To touch that stage and look at the signature wall and to rub the tree stump, it was almost too much.”
Dance also continues to be a tradition carrying on for decades at the Apollo Theater, with the likes of Gregory Hines, Maurice Hines and Savion Glover. Comparing the Apollo to a “place of worship,” Glovers reveals in the featurette that it’s “overwhelming” to know that his name is connected to the likes of the Hines brothers. Kamilah Forbes, executive producer at the Apollo, is hopeful that 86 years from now, patrons of the iconic theater will be able to look back with the same reverence we have now, “providing a space for American culture to be creative, thrive and continue to define the American cultural landscape in the future.”
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