Hey blog world! Last night I had the most wonderful evening out! My Best Buddy Machaela and I attended the opening night of “Sinatra On The Rock” at Spirit of Newfoundland starring Evan Smith, Peter Halley, Shelley Neville and Dana Parsons! As all of their shows are, this one was absolutely stellar!
This was Machaela’s 2nd Spirit show. Her first was one of Peter Halley and Shelley Neville’s Christmas luncheons last Christmas. This was my 27th show!!! Guilty as charged, I’m a Spirit of Newfoundland addict!!
When we got to our table, first of all, I had to dig into the bread basket. The sourdough bread is wonderful! I had three pieces! Once you start it’s hard to stop! Machaela loved it too! She was pleased to find out you can buy it at the bar and that it’s a relatively cheap price ($5). She said she’s going to buy a loaf next time she’s at Spirit!
When I looked at the menu to see what my options were for the evening I noticed something new, wine pairings. With each menu item, they recommended a wine that would go well with it. I thought that was an excellent idea!
The meal was prepared by Chefs Alex Pierson and Josh Kane. As usual, all three courses were delicious! The starter was a watermelon, arugula salad with feta cheese and a balsamic glaze. I like watermelon but have never thought of putting it in a salad. I was very pleasantly surprised. All the different flavors blended nicely and made for a very yummy salad! I would definitely make one like it at home!
The main course was a pork loin with a grape compote, served with mashed potato, carrots, and broccoli. The pork was perfect! Tender and juicy and full of flavor! The grape compote was very nice. They went well together. I cannot give enough praise to the mashed potatoes! Oh my firetrucking God! So fluffy and creamy! It was like I was eating a cloud!
After eating the main course, I popped into the bar to say hello to my friends in the cast. We chatted for a bit, then it was time for them to do their pre-show pow-wow/pep talk. I got to be part of it!!! That is a rite of passage at Spirit! I was honored! We held hands and talked about how this is opening night with a brand new cast. The last time they did this show was 10 years ago at the Wilds golf course. Peter also said something that really stood out to me.
“We could be shoveling rocks for a living.”
They were happy and grateful to be there in the Screech Room about to do a show, instead of shoveling rocks somewhere. Be happy and thankful for what you’ve got because even if you don’t think so, you’ve got it good! You could be shoveling rocks for a living!
Soon, it was showtime! The opening of the show was so cool! It started off with an awesome Sinatra medley played by the band, Sandy Morris, Frank Fusari, Boomer Stamp and Bill Brennan. Then, the stage was lit up blue and as Peter spoke there was smoke from a smoke machine clouding the bottom of the stage!
When the whole cast came out, they gave us some facts about Frank’s songs and sang little snippets of some of them. I thought it was really cool that “Fly Me To The Moon” was played during the Apollo 10 mission and was the first song heard on the moon! Wow! Evan did a fantastic job of singing the song. It sounded even better when the rest of the cast came together on it!
I loved that they had some audience participation in this show! Dana and Shelley went out into the audience and sat on the laps of a few men in the audience as they sang “It Had To Be You”! Also, a little later they brought a man up on stage and used him as a “visual aid” to show the audience the many different ways Frank Sinatra dressed. Near the end, Peter and Evan realized something was missing. The volunteer had the perfect outfit but needed something else, a broad! They called for one and Shelley came onstage wearing a gold, sparkly hat with a sparkly flamingo on top, then they thought he needed another one so Dana came out with a flamingo hat too! Frank has said “You either got or you haven’t got style” and I can certainly say that with those hats Dana and Shelley had it!
Evan and Peter did a whole set of songs together. When I hear their names, two letters come to mind, G.I… Gorgeous Idn’e! (Our Newfie way of saying “Isn’t he”)!! They are both cute as buttons! Along with that, they are both phenomenal singers and pianists and are two of the nicest people ever! They’ve got the whole package! Lalalalaloves it! Anyway, they both have velvety voices and together they were incredible! They should sing duets together more often!
Later they played the piano, which might I add looked lovely! It was adorned with multicolored streamers! It was so pretty! I actually can’t remember the last time I heard Peter or Evan play so it was a real treat! My mind was blown when Evan sat on top of the piano, reached behind him and played it!!! It was the most incredible thing! He played it super fast and didn’t miss a note! I couldn’t believe it!
My favorite part of their segment was the ending when they sang Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up”. It was breathtaking! I had goosebumps and came so close to crying! I gave them a rightfully deserved standing ovation after that!
Next, two goddesses graced the stage, Shelley Neville and Dana Parsons! They are both divas with stunning voices! They told the audience about all the girls Frank married and had affairs with. I was surprised by how many there were! My word! Shelley talked about Frank’s affairs (and I was very surprised that was plural) with Judy Garland and sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. I nearly cried! It was so beautiful!
Again, I liked the end of the segment the best. The girls gave a killer performance of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”! I giggled and danced in my seat the whole time! It was so much fun!
They ended act 1 with my favorite Sinatra song “Blue Skies”.
Blue days, all of them gone! Nothin’ but blue skies from now on!
My heart flooded with joy watching this performance! The song makes me really happy and the dancing did too! All the dancing in the show was impeccable!
Once the first act was over, it was Screech Cake time! I love Spirit of Newfoundland’s Screech Cake! I look forward to this part of the evening each time I come to a show at Spirit. It’s so yummy! As is the raspberry coulis that is drizzled on the plate! This was Machaela’s first time having Screech Cake and she thought it was delicious too. I was glad she enjoyed it!
We got to see Evan in a dress in act two! It was my first time seeing him play a woman. He was fabulous! He and Dana played Dot and Nina, two girls from Stephenville attending a concert at the Harmon Air Base. Dot was hoping to find the perfect man for her who would sweep her off to Hollywood, or maybe even Minnesota! They were a riot!! Especially when they tried to grab Frank! It was also really funny how their voices went super high pitched each time they said “Minnesota”!! I nearly died laughing at the two of them! I hope they will make a return in a future Spirit show!
We learned that when recording duets, Frank and his partner would rarely be in the same room. They would be recording from different parts of the world! I thought that was really interesting. Peter played Frank and Shelley and Dana were a few of his duet partners. Dana played Aretha Franklin and did a spectacular job. Motown and Jazz are really where she shines! A better person could not have been cast for a show like this! All night, her scintillating jazzy vocals amazed me! I love her voice!
The Rat Pack gave a performance too! Dean Martin (Peter) was really funny! He’d had “Ti Martwoni’s” prior to the act and continued to have more as they sang! But, no worries! He read about the dangers of drinking so he quit… reading! My favorite part of this set was when Peter sang “That’s Amoré” and the others backed him up. It’s such a pretty song! I had a big smile on my face as I swayed along to it. It was lovely!
The finale was Frank’s most well-known song, “My Way”. It was incredible! All four voices blended together perfectly and it was magical! My heart felt warm and fuzzy inside! What a way to end the show!
Once that was finished, they ended the night the same way they always do, by singing the beautiful Spirit of Newfoundland song. It’s one of my favorite songs! It’s so beautiful and is always beautifully sung. It too makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy!
Then they gave shout-outs to their friends and family in the audience. It made me smile when they acknowledged that I was there!
After the show, I mingled with my friends in the cast. I chatted and got pictures with them. I also had a special delivery to make. I’m an aspiring Children’s author and have written several books that I am trying to get published. Peter has a young Niece named Lilly and Nephew named Michael. They are the most adorable and sweet kids! As a special gift to them, I gave Peter copies of two of my books to give to them. I gave him “Circles”, a social skills book that teaches social boundaries (i.e it’s ok to hug your mom but not your math teacher) and “Harold In The Kitchen”, a kitchen safety book. I hope that when Michael and Lilly get the books they will love them!
Last night was absolutely wonderful! I enjoyed every single minute of the show! Go check it out! You will not be disappointed! It’s playing again tonight, so get the smell of the house off of ya and go! Doors open 6:30, the meal begins at 7:00 and the show is at 8:00. If you can’t make it tonight, there are plenty of other opportunities to see this show as it’s playing all summer long! Click here to view Spirit’s calendar and check out all the dates. For more information or to make a reservation, call 579-3023 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org