Photos: Magda Katz

by Sandi Durell


The Metropolitan Room was abuzz with friends and family to celebrate Joe Sirola on August 15 in a “This Is Your Night” tribute  – a man of multi-talents who pursued all successfully (not half-assed says Bernie Furshpan, owner, in his opening remarks!). Joe Sirola may not be a household name but his voice is. He’s been dubbed “The King of Voiceovers” – and you’ve heard that booming voice on everything from Wendy’s, GE, Mobil to Hertz and, amazingly, over 10,000 such commercials.

He’s had a career in film (Clint Eastwood in Hang ’em High), on TV (over 600 shows) and on the Broadway stage (Golden Rainbow, Unsinkable Mollie Brown) to name some, winning 25+ CLEO Awards as well. A tennis player, a cook, a gardner of gorgeous roses and tomatoes . . . well, yes, he is the proverbial renaissance man. Everyone wanted to marry him except he never did – get married! However, he has been happily tucked in by his mate of many years, the lovely and loving Claire Gozzo.


Claire Gozzo


Guests who performed for him included the animated lovely soprano Shana Farr, with Jon Webber on piano, with “I Could Have Danced All Night,”followed by Webber, a top jazz/stride pianist, soloing with “Love Conquers All” (written by Joe Sirola).

Comic deadpan Gregory Korostishevsky (Orange is the New Black), says he hails from ShitOfCow, Russia but now lives in New Jersey, only a one day walk to New York.

A very formidable Eric Rudy (with Steve Ross on piano) performed “On The Street Where You Live”- the song that brought he and Sirola together, sung with great panache and freedom. Steve Ross followed with stories and the long list song by Cole Porter “They Couldn’t Compare to You” from Out of This World.

Jamie deRoy was on hand with her specialty comedy songs, the true New York “Duane Reade” and “Gentiles on My Mind.”  Players Club friend and author/expert on cinema, Lee Pfeiffer was on hand to talk about Joe and show a clip of him in the 1968 film Hang ‘Em High where Joe played the role of the bandit Reno. Great dying scene in that one Joe!

Wearing a very appropriate rose petal hat, KT Sullivan sang another Sirola original “I’d Take a Chance and Fall in Love Again” followed by “Another Opening, Another Show/There’s No Business Like Show Business.”




All the performers had tales to tell about the man of the hour and the evening concluded with Bernie Furshpan introducing The Chairwoman of the Board Joanne Furshpan as they presented the Award to a beaming Joe Sirola!

Next Up Sept. 22: This is Your Night Lynn DiMenna

Additional Photos: Maryann Lopinto

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