The range of talent on display for this one-night event was chosen through a rigorous audition process held in December. Of the 120 acts that tried out, only 14 made the cut. The selection of artistry is as diverse as it gets, including teenage spoken-word artist Yejide Najee-Ullah; nuevo break-dancing troupe Hound Dawg Truckers; vocalists and puppeteers Toya Willock and Alexis Johnson; and experimental percussionist Derique, the Electric Body Drummer.
One of these youngsters could be the next James Brown -- or not. The beauty of this high-pressure beast is that the audience gets to decide who's hot, and who's not. Cheering and jeering are an essential part of any "Amateur Night" gig, which makes the spectators as much a part of the show as those who strut their stuff on the unforgiving stage. If, after watching countless hours of American Idol, you think you've got what it takes to recognize talent, come on out. But come dressed to impress, and don't forget your attitude: You can take the Apollo out of Harlem, but you can't take Harlem out of the Apollo.