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Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Writer Ted Fox and artist James Otis Smith bring to life Harlem’s legendary theater in this graphic novel adaptation of Fox’s definitive, critically acclaimed history of the Apollo.
Since its inception as an African-American theater in 1934, the Apollo, and the thousands of entertainers who performed there, have led the way in the presentation of swing, bebop, rhythm and
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Harry N. Abrams
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  33 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Jan 07, 2019 added it
Shelves: edelweiss
DNF. This was very repetitive. The book needed an actual letterer. Reading the text in the proper order was almost impossible as the boxes where laid out almost as if the author was playing mad libs on each page. This would work much better as a documentary or podcast than a comic.

Received an advance copy from Abrams and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
Zoe Rocks And Reads
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book itself was good. The story was easy to enjoy and learning about all the well known performers taking the stage of the Apollo was more interesting than I originally thought it’d be. The story really took the good with the bad. The only downside for me was the unfinished sketches and I wasn’t a huge fan of the art style. Other than that an enjoyable read
This is a review of the galley that is provided. Normally, I don't bring that up in a review, but this graphic novel about the history of the Apollo has been sent out for reviews as a work in progress. Some of the images are well detailed, and drawn, such as the one below.

The apollo

Others are just sketches, showing where people will be, and what will be drawn.

This throws me off. But, the story itself, is very thorough. The whole history, with all the good, the bad and the ugly, so to speak. As the author
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem's Legendary Theater by Ted Fox is a graphic novel adaptation of the author's 1983 history of the historic Harlem theater with a few new updates. The African-American theater has a legendary musical history with the best of the best performers gracing its stage. Fox's graphic novel brings the rich musical history and cultural significance of the Apollo to life. Even though I r
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
At the beginning of the book, Ted Fox says how he set out to tell the story of the Apollo, "the good and the bad", and this biography definitely delivers. There were places where it got a bit confusing for me, as someone who is less well-versed in the history of R&B, but overall the book does a pretty good job of conveying a lot of history in a very small number of pages. The art helps a lot with that too: I really liked the small portraits, showing whose recollections Fox was quoting from. ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Take an amazing journey through the history, talent and sounds that is the Apollo Theatre! This graphic novel is spilling over with so many stories of artist and performers who started their careers at the Apollo! Reading each page you feel like you are right there, backstage, on stage, in the audience singing along to your favorite songs! This is a fantastic introduction to the history of African-American performers and music for children! Even for adults, as you will be take back down memory l ...more
B R Y A N N A  Gladney
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was fun to read i am extremely happy to learn more about what started the showtime at the apollo after watching it for many years. Its definitely legendary and a classic .i really did love the art work and the magical words attached to this graphic novel.
Diane Hernandez
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
For decades, performers have known they have made it big when they hear, It’s Showtime at the Apollo!

More than just about the Apollo Theater in Harlem, this fact-filled graphic novel tells the story of African-American music in NYC from the Harlem Renaissance after WWI through the present. All the greats from all the eras have played the Apollo—Lena Horne, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Gladys Knight, Nicholas Brothers, James Brown, the Jackson 5, Sammy David Jr., Funkadelic and L.L. Cool J.

Kelly K
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, graphic-novels
This was way to scattered to be enjoyable. There's about a million little boxes on each page all talking about something different. So much repetition and jumping around.
Kelly Tarr
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The original "Showtime at the Apollo" by Ted Fox was published in 1983 in prose; this new graphic novel adaptation also includes brand new material about the theater in the last 35 years. The book is based on archival research and interviews with musicians, performers, owners, employees, and patrons. The history of the Apollo theater is legendary; the names of the countless performers who got their start here too long to list. While the book does show the warm nostalgia that many performers feel ...more
I'm making this a temporary rating, because it's based on a very unfinished advanced readers copy that I'm hoping will be ironed out in the end. There are a lot of problems with the way it's arranged and it's really hard to read and figure out in which order to read things in.
Really hoping this gets fixed, because the art is solid and there is a lot of really good information and gossip to be found inside. The history of the Apollo theater is the history of American music and it plays out wonde
Jay Gabler
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You could read James Otis Smith's graphic-novel rendition of Ted Fox's book Showtime At The Apollo in one sitting, but you're going to want to take a breather. The sheer amount of African-American musical and cultural history swept up in the story of the Apollo is almost overwhelming. I reviewed Showtime at the Apollo for The Current.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book!

This is a very informative book that gives a comprehensive history of Harlem's Apollo Theater. Ted Fox adapted it from his previous non fiction book of the same name. This graphic novel has first person accounts from many performers from Dionne Warwick to Redd Foxxx to Leslie Uggams and many, many more, and the lived experiences make it feel very rich and authentic. This is, however, an unfinished ARC, so a lot of the artwork was a wo
Ace Boggess
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A hardback graphic novel about the history of the Apollo. Kind of brilliant in concept and execution. It reads quickly and is filled with fascinating stories. I haven't read a graphic novel since they were still called comic books, but I devoured this one and found it filled with different kinds of superheros. Good stuff.

Emilia P
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
I read a review copy that was maybe a third complete, illustration wise, but I was still totally into it, which surprised me! Pacing! All the different elements of showbiz crashing together over the decades! Cab! Ella! James Brown! Dionne! Michael! STEVE HARVEY. Always Steve Harvey.
It made me really curious about the book it's adapted from. I also look forward to the finished version!
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This is such a fascinating piece of history, and I appreciated all that I got to learn about the Apollo Theater and the artists who performed there.

It's expertly drawn - a beautiful piece of artistry,
Be ready for a lot of reading in this graphic novel.
Engel Dreizehn
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
ARC Copy with WIP illustrations...a very dense but informative narrative on the rich and long history of the Apollo Theater, it's place in Harlem/African American culture, and the shows that occur including the infamous Amateur nights.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Received free copy of unfinished draft from. netGalley. Looks very promising (coming from someone without much knowledge of music and history) and I enjoyed it quite a lot! I look forward to getting a finished copy in my hands.
Michelle Olms
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book
Edward Sullivan
Though the art could be better, Fox's history pulsates with passion for his subject. A jubilant look at rich musical history and black culture in America.
Bozhena Levine
rated it liked it
Oct 02, 2018
Mrs. P
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Aug 14, 2018
Harriet Smith
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Aug 21, 2018
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2019
Nick Zinn
rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2019
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Jan 20, 2019
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Dec 30, 2018
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Feb 03, 2019
Daren Christopher
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Feb 11, 2019
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