by Magda Katz
Friday night October 19, marked the 10th Anniversary of Maestro extraordinaire Steven Reineke conducting the New York Pops. He is know for his charisma, enthusiasm and artistic vision, bringing performers from all corners of the entertainment industry to the Pops.
For the Anniversary show, the New York Pops presented “Roll Over Beethoven:A Different Kind of Orchestra,” featuring Frankie Moreno and his band. From the moment Mr. Moreno stepped out on the stage of Carnegie Hall, dressed in a black glittering outfit and later changing into red glitter, you knew that this was a different kind of show from any other presented at this famed venue.
If Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Liberace had a love child it would be Frankie Moreno. He is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and had been named Las Vegas Headliner of the Year three times. His performance is pure Las Vegas glitz but he sprinkles it with incredible classical piano solos.
The sedate New York Pop audience were a bit slow to warm up to Moreno but soon came around and were enjoying the fast paced show. One of the highlights of the evening was Moreno taking the piano and playing a haunting rendition of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s “Eleanor Rigby.” He had recorded this song with violinist Josh Bell who took a bow from the audience. After this ballad Moreno heated up the room with the rock hit by Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer’s “Great Balls of Fire.” As he passionately pounded the piano two of his dancers ran up on stage and danced a wild Lindy.
Throughout the evening Moreno encouraged the audience to get involved in the act. When he sang Ben E. King/Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller’s hit “Stand By Me,” he asked couples who came together to get up and dance in the isles.
Moreno shared the stage with his six piece band and three back up singers. He’s a real showman, songwriter and a piano virtuoso.
Toward the end of the evening as he sang Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” he asked everyone to take out their cell phones and put on their lights and wave it in the air. The evening turned into a Las Vegas party.
Photos: Genevieve Rafter Keddy