This past Saturday night I attended the final performance of the Amsterdam Rotary Club’s Spectacular Seventies Variety Show and was delighted that I did. Having grown up during that decade I was glad to hear some familiar songs that you don’t hear everyday on the radio.
Master of ceremonies for the show was Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort who introduced the performers (and later wore a 70’s style wig) beginning with the entire cast singing and dancing to the title song from the hit musical Fame. A 70’s medley featuring songs performed by Bill Nelson, Deb Fish Christine Sherlock and Vic Giulianelli followed. By then the audience was settled in and was transported back in time.
Next, Giulianelli entertained with a Saturday Night Live inspired comedy skit In the Kitchen with Julia Child. Giullianelli played the role to perfection stumbling about the kitchen after accidentally cutting himself. The fake blood dripping over the counter brought laughter from the crowd. Millie Andrews took her role as the drifting, off topic Roseanne Roseannadana to comedic heights in both acts of the show.
The audience was listened intently to beautiful renditions of popular 70’s era songs. The Liberty Players (Alison Wallace, Adobi Woods, Sam Togalia, and Allan Szala) performed Rainbow Connection. Katie Brighon performed Evergreen, and The Amsterdam High School Chorus sang Imagine. The full cast returned to sing an amazing rendition of Joy to the World.
My favorite song opened Act 2. Everyone appeared to be singing and dancing along with the classic hit American Pie performed by the entire cast. Next “Two Wild and Crazy Guys” – John Carrey and Richard China – provided some comedic genius. After that, Med Rock delivered a pair of outstanding guitar solos in classic rock songs Stairway to Heaven and An American Band. Ron Sorenson offered a lighter touch with his excellent guitar solo on Wonderful Tonight. Amsterdam’s own version of Gladys Knight and the Pips (Al Turo as Gladys, John Carrey, Richard China, Brent Phetteplace, Vic Guianelli) gave us another laugh.
And what show would be complete without Peter Capobianco? The long time Rotarian entertained with After the Lovin‘ and returned for New York, New York with the cast. Christine Sherlock, Linda Meola and Eileen Marthy delighted as the The Girlfriends with their rendition of Teach Your Children Well. After than, the cast performed One (with a light comedic touch) from the hit Broadway musical of the decade A Chorus Line.
Concluding the performance, the entire cast brought the crowd to it’s feet as they performed We are Family.
It was a wonderful Saturday night. As I was leaving, I asked director Bill Nelson if next year would be an 80’s show. “People are talking,” he said. When I asked him if that could mean disco and spandex, he stated that there were some places where he would draw the line.