Sweet Adelines at the Beatles Tribute in the Suffolk Theater, Riverhead NY
This weekend was all about music on the East End of Long Island and yesterday (literally) it centered around The Suffolk Theater in Riverhead which was the site for "Yesterday a Beatles Tribute" featuring the award winning Long Island Sound Chorus of Sweet Adelines International and special guests, the Rum Hill Rockers.
Riverhead is on the rise and the renovation of the Suffolk Theater is just one of the very visible signs that that trend is here to stay. Built in the art deco style of the early 30s, the Suffolk Theater opened its doors originally on December 30, 1933 and has since been considered the "Radio City Music Hall of Long Island". Today it is the last large art deco theater on Long Island. Sadly with economic changes, changes in shopping habits, and the creation of the multiplex movie house, Riverhead and the theater were severely affected and the theater closed its doors in 1987; they wouldn't reopen for another 18 years. Completely and lovingly renovated, the Suffolk Theater is once again a gem available not only as a theater but for special events as well. Yesterday it was set up as a cabaret style/dinner theater which was a delight and fostered lots of exchanges between tables and friends, as we all enjoyed food, beverages, and, of course, the music.
The Beatles landed in New York fifty years ago this past February and the world and its music has never been the same, so a tribute by the Long Island Sound Chorus was on point. By my observation, the audience was populated with octogenarians and a few twenty-somethings, and every age in between. For several hours we were beautifully entertained.
Dressed originally in glittering bell bottoms, wearing head bands, and peace symbols, the Sweet Adelines started us out with a chronological medley of Beatles music, MCd by none other than Bruce Beyer, Beatles aficionado (and Peter's first cousin). Bruce's wife Linda is a long-standing member of the group and sang a number of solos in her lovely alto voice.
Rum Hill Rockers in the Suffolk Theater
After a fifteen minute intermission, the Rum Hill Rockers took the stage, continuing the Beatles theme. If you looked closely, you could see that our Master of Ceremonies had doffed his jacket and tie for the black shirt of a Rum Hill Rocker and was now comfortably parked behind the drums.
As the group began to play they were joined by a singer with a comfortable style and strong melodic voice, and once I'd gotten over the initial appreciation of her voice, it dawned on me that I'd just been introduced to this young beauty, it was Deanna Locascio, Bruce and Linda's daughter. As you can see there's a distinct recurring theme here in the Beyer clan, a love of music - playing, singing and even writing from time to time, but more importantly sharing it with as many as they can.
True to form, once the program was over, the Rum Hill Rockers asked friends and family to stick around a little longer to enjoy some food and dancing to more of their music. What an incredible afternoon, in a great venue, with fun people, and music that took us all down "Penny Lane" once more. Take a look.
Photos and Slide Show © 2014 Claudia Ward
Music: "Penny Lane" by the Beatles