by Linda Amiel Burns
After a two year absence, performer Joey Infante returned to the stage in a triumphant sold out “one night only” show at The Triad Theater Cabaret.
Cuban-born Joey Infante has an impressive resume and has been “treading the boards” for quite a while in many different aspects of show business, that include singing, acting and dancing. He was discovered by the late composer Richard Rodgers while appearing at the Westport Country Playhouse, and from there began performing in many different Broadway musicals over the years. A regular on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, he also appeared in Spanish productions, soap operas along with bilingual commercials.
His show called “In Perfidia” featured a new musical director on piano, the incomparable Ian Herman, along with Howie Gordon on drums, Jon Burr on bass and Mayra Casales on bongos. Joey entered singing “Hey Look Me Over” to great applause from friends and fans who were happy to welcome him back to cabaret. He followed with a lovely medley from the King and I, “Shall We Dance” combined with “Hello Young Lovers.” The first half of the show featured many dramatic ballads that showed off Joey’s strong vocals, such as “Temptation” to “What Now My Love” to “Losing My Mind” to “Man Without Love” but a little more variety and up-tempo songs would have been welcomed. When it was time to lighten up the mood, Joey spoke of his love of the circus and sang “Laugh Clown Laugh” with a verse of “Be A Clown” that was fun. This led to a sincere rendition of “Send In The Clowns” as he sat on a stool to quietly deliver this classic number.
The second half of the evening came alive as Joey performed many well known Spanish songs that the audience really enjoyed, clapped and sang along to. The addition of more explanation in the patter about the songs and what they meant to him is a note for his return engagement. But Joey’s warm personality, those great Latin rhythms, and his fine dance moves made the songs all work. Some of the popular tunes he performed was “Cuantanamera,” “Managuena,” “Sabor a Mi” and the popular “Besame Mucho.”
The well deserved encore was the toe-tapping “La Bamba” as the band each did a short solo when introduced, and the audience rose to give Joey and the musicians a standing ovation. Hopefully he won’t wait another two years to do this again!
Photos: Maryann Lopinto