Niagara Gazette


December 14, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Tony Orlando dazzles during casino show

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Merry-Makers — After Tony Orlando’s concert Wednesday afternoon at the Seneca Niagara Casino, someone in the audience left a walker behind.

Much as Doug exaggerates, we are not making this up.

As Orlando retreated and the house lights rose, we stayed behind, waiting for the jam to clear in the lobby. And here comes this young woman, a casino staffer, guiding this walker through the void and asking, “Anybody know who this belongs to?”

Surely there’s a reasonable explanation, but there was so much revival meeting in Orlando’s show that it seemed plausible that somebody came in lame and was healed.

We can’t remember a better show, or cleaner, either.

Doug covered Orlando at Melody Fair in the ‘70s, still has a picture of him with our Holly, which we passed backstage. We felt a little sheepish — like, how many people have old Tony Orlando photos, five million? — until a bejeweled woman in red, no spring chicken she, rose during the show and handed him a gift bag and scrapbook.

Those 70s were Orlando’s “Dawn Days.” He’s had a twilight or two since and a few years back we caught him at a Canadian-side casino, having recently shed many kilograms. Here, for $35 each, peanuts in today’s concert economy, we’d be happy to settle for Tony Orlando & Dusk.

But the Tony Orlando who walked onto open the show — just walked on, no intro, no nothing but a few wisps of smoke — was fiddle-fit, and it was easy to see how a soldier on Iraq deployment, as he would later recall, would mistake him for Geraldo Rivera.

A Tony Orlando doesn’t have to do much. Just being there is enough. But what a cadre of musicians he has assembled. For one, there’s a keyboardist named Toni Wine who has been with him, he said, for 52 years. Fifty-two years, platonically, in showbiz? What does that say about him? It’s not as if she needs the money — she’s still lapping up residuals for “Meow Mix” commercials. “She’s rich,” he whispered in loud aside, more admiring than envious.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

  • Rick Pfeiffer COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

    It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page