Playing to a packed house in DeBaun Auditorium last night, all the contestants brought a deep appreciation of Frank Sinatra and his music to the stage.
Corrao, from Marlboro, NJ sang last on the program, and won 1st place with a relaxed and elegant version of “The Best is Yet To Come.”
“Judges awarded him the top score of 5 all across the board, so we knew he had won immediately,” says Barbara Simon, of the BJ Simon Singing School here in Hoboken. “My comment to him was how skillfully and effortlessly he handled the difficult melody of that song.”
Marcqiese Rainey from New York, NY (who is a graduate of the Professional Performing Arts High School) came in second place, singing “The Way You Look Tonight.”
“He sounded great and was dazzling with his authentic charm, charisma, and the best youthful Rat Pack energy of the night,” says Simon. “He told us he is a street performer who sings Sinatra songs daily for a living.”
George N. Chartofillis of Newark, NJ came in third place, singing “Luck Be A Lady.”
Says Simon, “He was bigger than life, had a wonderful quality to his voice, and his performance was the most fun of the evening as he strutted around the stage. I could easily see him as one of the gang in a production of ‘Guys and Dolls.'”
There were plenty of outstanding performances throughout the evening. “A performance that I found particularly moving was Tommy Delcorio of Williamstown, NJ who turned in a marvelous rendition of ‘One for My Baby’ which the judges also scored very highly,” says Simon. “A few of my other favorites were Rick Valiant singing ‘The House I Live In’—a very difficult song for competition, and yet he painted vivid, emotional pictures with the lyrics. Charles Stayduhar Jr., who’s tough edge version of ‘That’s Life’ was right on the money, and very different from all the other charming songs in the show.”
“I was surprised to find myself judging not just on the singers’ voices, song selection, and performance skills, but on their ability to transport me to a nightclub environment in my mind,” adds Simon. “The best performers can take you to another time and place—and there were many moments during the evening when that kind of theatrical magic happened. It was a truly enjoyable event.”
All the contestants from last night’s performance will be making their way to a number of venues citywide throughout the weekend, transforming a number of locations into night clubs, as Hoboken celebrates the life and work of Francis Albert Sinatra. See the complete schedule below—including the Sinatra Cabaret event at Leo’s Grandevous Saturday night.
Finally, on Sunday, “Sinatra Idol” winners past and present will team up with Swingadelic at Sinatra Park for a concert at 6 p.m.
This is all a build up to the celebration of Frank’s 100th birthday on December 12—born here in Hoboken at 415 Monroe Street on that date in 1915.
As if singing Sinatra on stage in his hometown is daunting enough—imagine singing Sinatra on stage… while on stage with Sinatra.
Few have dared, and one stands out in particular, as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra did a montage duet of “Love Me Tender” and “Witchcraft” in 1960, as part of the Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis program.
There’s cool, and then there’s Sinatra-and-Elvis-on-stage-together cool. Had there been an internet back in 1960, it’s safe to say this clip would have “broken” it.