Tony and Emmy Award winner Leslie Uggams will present a special performance of her acclaimed one-woman musical autobiography Uptown Downtown at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem on Monday, March 18 at 8 p.m. The legendary actress and singer returns to the historic theater where her career began, opening for the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington - at the tender age of nine.
In Uptown Downtown, Uggams puts her own personal stamp on classic songs which mark milestones in her Uptown (Harlem) and Downtown (Broadway) careers. "Born in a Trunk" tells of her beginnings as a child star at the Apollo. "My Own Morning" and "Being Good" from Hallelujah, Baby! celebrate her Tony Award-winning Broadway debut at the age of 24. "Stormy Weather" charts her upcoming return to Broadway as musical legend Lena Horne in the new musical Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Story, aiming for a fall 2013 opening.
Despite her long and distinguished career as a stage actress, concert performer and recording artist, Uggams is probably best known for her history-making role as Kizzy in the unforgettable television series, Alex Haley's "Roots." Gaining worldwide recognition as a dramatic actress as a result of her remarkable portrayal, Uggams earned the Critics Choice Award, an Emmy nomination, and a Golden Globe nomination. She later starred in the NBC miniseries "Backstairs at the White House" which is available on DVD.
Today Uggams is on the Board of Directors of the Apollo Theater. She was also recently honored with the American Artist Award in a gala ceremony held at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. For Uptown Downtown she has earned the LA Drama Critics Circle Award, the NAACP Theatre Award, an IRNE Award, and the Broadway World People's Choice Award. Critics have called the show "dazzling," "glorious," and "absolutely stunning."
Uptown Downtown continues the Apollo's celebration of Broadway series. The show is set for Monday, March 18 at 8 p.m. in the intimate cabaret-style Apollo Soundstage. Directed by Michael Bush, Uptown Downtown features a swinging pop-jazz quintet led by conductor and pianist Don Rebic. The band includes Steve Bargonetti on guitar, Dan Block on woodwinds, Ray Kilday on bass, and Ray Marchica on drums. The show is produced by Grahame Pratt.
Tickets are $50 and can be purchased in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office, 253 West 125th Street, New York, New York or through Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000, online at www.Ticketmaster.com). Special price for Harlem residents: $30 at the Box Office only.