Nat ‘King’ Cole tribute concert a success

First Posted: 5/11/2015

“Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Mona Lisa,” “Nature Boy,” “L-O-V-E” and “Unforgettable” were just a few of Nat “King” Cole’s tunes we were treated to on the first Sunday in May at WVIA’s Sordoni Theater. It was an exceptional afternoon of music and history as we learned about Nat “King” Cole’s life and career.

For instance, did you know that Nat Cole was the first African-American performer to host a variety TV series in 1956? That’s right, but the show was cancelled in just 13 months because they could not find a national sponsor since no company at that time wanted to back a program that featured African-American entertainers. Or that he learned to play organ from his mother and his first performance was “Yes! We Have No Bananas” when he was four?

WVIA’s theater was completely full for the performance. If you weren’t able to attend, don’t worry – it was taped and will be broadcasted at a later date on WVIA FM. The most touching part of the show was when Dennis Jeter sang “Unforgettable” with his talented daughter Alesha as the concert finale. It was reminiscent of when Natalie Cole sang that same song with her late father.

We would like to thank our presenter and performers Dr. Philip Mosley of Penn State Worthington and the Dennis Jeter Quintet for bringing us that delightful afternoon. We would also like to extend our appreciation to WVIA for hosting and helping promote the event. They are a wonderful partner and we look forward to bringing you another concert event with WVIA this fall. And, of course, we would like to thank our concert sponsors: Jean Mieczkowski, the Tunkhannock Rotary Club and First Energy Foundation. They made the concert possible and even provided bus transportation for attendees from the Dietrich. After this event is broadcast, over 4,000 people will have benefited.

So thank you, thank you, thank you!

Our next musical event will be Open Mic Night. Join us at 7 p.m. next Friday, May 22 at the Dietrich Theater as local performers share music, poetry, storytelling, comedy and more.

After the open mic portion of the evening, singer/songwriter Josh Pratt will take the stage. He has performed at previous Gathering of Singers and Songwriters concerts and blew us away with his quick wit and amazing lyrics. We are excited that he will be back at the Dietrich. Admission is free and seating is limited, so come early. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

We would like to thank the Dietrich ‘s Fundraising Committee for sponsoring Open Mic Night.

The Dietrich also has a bus trip to New York City just around the corner. Join us for “The King and I” on Broadway on Wednesday, June 3. This musical has been nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Revival. Director Barlett Sher and its stars Ken Watanabe and Kelli O’Hara also received nominations.

Before the show, you will have time to explore the city. After the show, all attendees will enjoy a family-style dinner at Carmine’s on Broadway. The bus will depart from the Dietrich at 8 a.m. and will return at 11 p.m. The ticket price is $265 and includes an orchestra seat ticket to “The King and I,” bus transportation and dinner (including tips and tax). Call the Dietrich at 570-996-1500 for more information or to register. You don’t want to miss this trip.

As you can see, the Dietrich is so much more than the movies!

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