UC Berkeley women sing, crack jokes for fame and fortune
Bonnie Azab Powell, Public Affairs
BERKELEY - Come clap your hands, stamp your feet, and wolf-whistle
up a storm on Friday, January 31, in support of UC Berkeley's
California Golden Overtones and alum Sumana Harihareswara (Political
Science '02). They're among the 15 acts competing at Zellerbach
Hall as part of the Apollo Theater Amateur Night on Tour hosted by Cal Performances.
The prize: $1,000, two plane tickets to New York, and the chance
wow the fiercely critical Apollo audience in Harlem for fame
Apollo is one of the most historically fascinating venues in
show business. In 1935 it became one of the first theaters in America to
welcome white and black patrons, not just black performers.
So many legends have played there over the years — Louis Armstrong,
Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, to name but a few — that
the building was designated a historic landmark in 1983. The
has launched the careers of Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, the
Jackson 5, and more recently, Sisqo, D'Angelo, and Lauryn Hill.
who is clerking at Cody's Books at Telegraph Avenue while polishing
her comedy routine, is the only comedy act among the 14
semifinalists. The Golden Overtones, an all-female a capella
student group, made it
to the semifinals on the strength of their soulful rendition
a Woman." (See box above to listen to an audio clip of
the song from the Overtones' just-released album, "No
Boys Allowed," for
sale on their Web site.)
alum Sumana Harihareswara will perform her comedy routine
in front of a
packed Zellerbach Hall on Friday, Jan. 31.
The Overtones will pit their harmonizing against several singing
acts, including vocalist Mackenzie Marshall (from Concord, CA),
Ashlei Williams (Oakland), vocalist Cherelle Fortiér (San Francisco),
the Baby Dollz — muppet-wielding vocalists Toya Willock and Alexis
Johnson (Oakland), acoustic guitarist and vocalist Dawn Thomas (Northridge),
singer Jessica Johnson (San Jose), and New Faces — vocalists
Nyere da Silva, Tanya Stone and Carmen Traylor (San Leandro).
The other finalists are spoken-word artist Yejide Najee-Ullah
(Berkeley), breakdancing crew Hound Dawg Truckers (San Francisco),
percussionist Derique, the Electric Body Drummer (Oakland),
hip-hop dancers Triple X Rated (Oakland), and tap-dancing troupe Katie’s
New York Kings of Comedy/Def Jam comedians Talent and Capone
will co-host the January 31 show with Monijae of the TV show "The
C.P. Lacey acts as "The Executioner," sweeping off
whichever acts displease the crowd — literally, with
Tickets are $20, $30 and $40: Berkeley students qualify
for half-price tickets; UC faculty, staff, senior citizens
receive a $2 discount. They can be purchased at Cal Performances'
Office at Zellerbach Hall, charged by phone at (510) 642-9988,
online, and at the door.