In his first performance in western New York since the death of his brother Joe, Buffalo native Frankie Scinta brought his Variety Show to the Bear’s Den Showroom in the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls on March 3.
The Las Vegas performer played before a packed house of fans. Performing music and comedy, Frankie wasted no time getting into the comedy by picking on a few late comers.
After opening the music with “Let the Good Times Roll” Frankie thanked everyone for the white carpet welcome, noting that when they left Las Vegas it was 83 degrees but when they arrived in Niagara Falls, “Holy Jesus”.
When he sang “All Night Long” the crowd happily joined in.
Frankie promised the crowd that there would be no politics in the show, but they would have a party…and what a party it was with the house joining in on many of the songs and raising the roof with laughter.
Talking freely about his family, Frankie also promised a musical journey – a journey that crossed the ages from crooners to rockers.
Frankie began his musical journey with the Italian song “Speranza” and played the mandolin while he sang.
Jeanine Valentine joined Frankie on stage for “Happy Together” and a Motown medley that included “Then Came You” and “You’re All I Need”.
And what performance is complete without an appearance from the Italian Rat Packer? Portraying Dean Martin – complete with adult beverage and cigarette – Frankie sang “(Ain’t that a) Kick in the Head”.
Next up was Sir Tom Jones with “Love Me Tonight”.
And then showing off his musical virtuosity, Frankie played the spoons.
Jeanine returned to the stage to perform one of Frankie’s favourite ballads – “I Have Nothing”.
While Frankie promises not to get political, he did take time out to thank and recognize members of the military and veterans – including first responders; adding that he felt that veterans of the Vietnam War have been overlooked. Donning the dark glasses and sitting down at the keyboard, Frankie performed Ray Charles’ rendition of “America the Beautiful”.
Noting how he like the old guys, Frankie put on a pair of glasses and picked up the cigar for a little George Burns.
Grabbing his electric guitar Frankie performed a Country music set that included “Friends in Low Place”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, and “Country Boy”.
Being from the area, family was a theme that ran throughout the show. Frankie talked about his brother Joe, who died while Frankie was on stage, but being the consummate showman, the show went on. Paying homage to Joe, Frankie performed “The Dance” while photos of Joe appeared on the video screens.
Then came Michael Jackson. Jeanine joined Frankie on stage for a medley that included “Black and White”, “I’ll be There”, “I Want You Back”, and “The Way You Make Me Feel”.
With a song fit for a casino, Frankie sang “Money”.
Jeanine took the stage to perform one of Frankie’s favourite opera songs – “Nesun Dorma”.
After performing James Brown’s I Feel Good” and the Bruno Mars song “Uptown Funk”, Frankie told the crowd that they were his Auntie Em and this was his Kansas.
The musical journey continued with rock, horns, and piano guys in performances of “Somebody to Lean On”, “American Pie”, “Saturday in the Park”, “Movin’ Out”, “Piano Man”, and the theme from “The Godfather.
The show ended with a performance of “My Wish”.
Frankie said that he was so glad he had come back because he needed it.