On Sunday afternoon, November 6, 2016 at 2:00pm, a white spot poured across a Steinway grand piano located center stage. Soon, the first few notes were heard, and Lydia Sabosto began to transcend the room. Sabosto, with her one of a kind smile greeted the audience and opened with the theme from the motion picture Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory that was easily identified as “Pure Imagination”.
She took firm hold and like a whirlwind brought the audience through a kind of musical time warp. Beginning with the back to Broadway segment, she played medleys from Hello Dolly, Seesaw and a more recent showcase of songs from Beautiful, the new Carol King musical currently playing on Broadway. With interesting, factual tidbits between songs, Sabosto told stories from her suitcase of memories. It was in that instant, which she managed in her very own stylized way to capture both the attention and hearts of everyone listening. Songs performed included Aretha Franklin’s Natural Woman, One Fine Day by the Shirelles, ending with a James Taylor song You’ve Got A Friend. Also, among the mix was a Carpenter medley in which Ms. Sabosto brilliantly incorporated such pleasantries and familiar tunes such as Ticket To Ride, Close To You, We’ve Only Just Begun, For All We Know, A Kind of Hush, concluding with that ever-upbeat number full of optimism entitled Sing.
If all the above weren’t enough, assembled spectators were treated to a sing a long while attendees applauded old time standards like the Nearness of You, As Time Goes By, Fly Me to the Moon, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Teach Me Tonight, You Can’t Take That Away From Me, What A Difference A Day Makes, and finally You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You. Listeners who love Barbara Streisand were most happy to hear back-stories and funny asides that followed Lydia doing Barbara’s version of What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life, and a most memorable film theme from The Way We Were. The last song in the set was Second Hand Rose, which tied it all together and lifted spirits in the room with its fast pace rhythm, finger snapping, toe tapping beat.
Next, the Beatie tribute won over those who could harken back to the 60’s with fond admiration for a medley comprised of I Want To Hold Your Hand, and In My Life. Both tunes were the precursor to the last quarter of the program’s presentation. In this final segment, patrons were delightfully introduced to a Barry Manilow sound a like named Richard Fisichella. Currently, Fisichella is involved in a new project directed by Bob Maletta and musically directed and produced by Lydia Sabosto. The musical tribute entitled “Even Now” showcases a multitude of songs Manilow is best known for and is sung by Mr. Fisichella. Today, we were fascinated by the remarkable resemblance in voice, tone and style when comparing Richard Fisichella and Mr. Barry Manilow. Singing two songs combined and arranged by Ms. Sabosto, andy and Could This Be Magic was just that! It was pure Magic! Mr. Fisichella, made it look so easy with his smooth, calm, velvety tones that we usually associate with Barry Manilow. Richard’s performance today would have been the envy of the original recording artist. Tickets for the January 21, 2017 “Even Now” performance to take place at 8:00pm are on sale for $20.00 and can be obtained by contacting the Clare Rose Playhouse Performing Arts Theatre located at 155 W. Roe Blvd. Patchogue, New York 11772, or by calling the box office.
Before the curtain rang down, Ms. Sabosto wowed the crowd with her final song What the World Needs Now, and a heart filled encore Love Me With All Your Heart. Ms. Sabosto thanked Phyllis Cox ,Theatre Arts Director and Coordinator at the Jericho Library, as well as crew members Eveline Marcello and Margie Luciano. All had a great afternoon of fine entertainment.