Last Night I Saw Elvis (And Others) At A Special Proctors Theatre GE Event [GALLERY]
It’s iconic. It’s a local treasure. It’s the very beautiful Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. I’ve had the privilege of standing on that stage before with the morning show to introduce shows, but I’ve never done it alone. (Well, I actually wasn’t TOTALLY alone- Elvis and others joined me. This was the event that I hosted:
As you can see, this was a show for GE retirees (more than a thousand of them), and I was hired to do a little bit of parody “shtick” up front and then asked to introduce the acts for the evening. As you can see from the program above, Elvis was on the bill! The Elvis in question was actually from Schenectady, not Memphis. His name is Donny Romines
I have to say he did a great job. As I stood there in the wings watching, you could see that the ladies in the audience were becoming more and more convinced with each “Uh-huh, Thank you very much” comment and gyration that the “King” was actually in the room. It was very entertaining.
Then I introduced the “big band sound” of the Georgie Wonders Orchestra.
I was equally impressed with these folks. Many of the band members are either active or retired teachers. In fact, the drummer, Ben Rau, was coincidentally one of the teachers that I’ve worked with in the past on the Reading, Writing and Rhyming Tour. These guys played everything from Glenn Miller to Stevie Wonder. (They did a country tune as well, by the way!)
To be in that beautiful theatre and to stand on that stage was amazing, especially considering whose shoes were planted on there before me. Stage manager Keith Shmidt informed me that on the second floor there was actually a museum with Proctor’s memorabilia, and he quickly took me up there to show us some of the stars who have graced the stage in the past. Check this out
The Chairman of The Board played here!
Gene Kelly, Sinatra, Bing Crosby and more with autographs, no less.
The same tapestry material on this original chair is still on the walls at Proctors.
However, I saved the best for last. A piece of Proctors history that is still being used and still sounding great.
It’s “Goldie” the Organ played by legendary organist Al Moser.
I really enjoyed this “gig”, and would like to thank old friend and GE Alumni Gloria Cerasulo for having me. Also thanks to Mary Jones for her back stage help.