More than Comic Relief: Apollo ‘Executioner’ Carries Historic Torch

C.P. Lacey continues music legacy at historic Harlem mainstay

Veteran performer and impersonator C.P. Lacey as Little Richard. (Image: CPLacey.com)

What have been some defining-moments of your career?
Let’s see, 20 years ago I won Amateur Night impersonating Michael Jackson and singing ‘Billie Jean.’ Since then I’ve gone on to become a professional performer gigging around the world. In 2009 when Michael died, The Apollo called on me to perform my Michael Jackson and sing Billie Jean at Michael’s memorial held at the Apollo. A defining moment thus far in my career is that my Executioner character along with items from the Executioner’s wardrobe were selected for display at an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum in Washington, D.C., right beside displays for the living legends Tony Bennett and Elvis Costello. That’s a big deal to me.

What’s next for you—projects we can see you in, or you’re working on?
Wow, this year we’ve got so much going on under the umbrella of LaceFront Entertainment TM, L.L.C., that I may have to split myself in two! A key priority for me is to sign with a new television & film agent, even as I continue to work with my longtime acting coach/casting director and friend in the business, Tracey Moore. In the meantime, I continue to perform my one-man show, The C.P. Lacey Show, which comprises comedy, singing and dancing while incorporating some of the more than 50 characters that I do (including celebrity impersonations along with my own original cast of characters), and has allowed me to perform overseas in Japan, England, Australia and other countries.

Later this year, I will be expanding The CP Lacey Show and bringing it to larger, off-Broadway audiences. … I also continue to do featured performances as the official celebrity tribute artist at The Apollo Theater and other venues, channeling famed legends such as James Brown, Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder in addition to contemporary artists and public figures such as Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and President Obama.

How often do you rehearse, and what does a typical rehearsal look like?
I rehearse tap as often as I can, definitely getting in two times a week in my basement on a special floor for tapping. I rehearse my singing for about two hours, three times a week. If you saw me in rehearsal you’d laugh because I never rehearse a celebrity character without wearing a celebrity character’s wig. You want to laugh, watch me rehearse as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, or James Brown when at home!

Any advice to those pursuing careers in entertainment?
Don’t do it for the money or the fame. Do it for the love of the art. If you are truly talented and totally relentless, the money and the fame will come. How much money and how much fame is anybody’s guess.

For more on C.P. Lacey, visit CPLacey.com or follow him on Twitter @GOCPLacy.

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  • Sir-Jai

    Congratulations CP! You deserve the TOP-SPOT!