The Beatles' iconic 'Sgt. Pepper' turns 50: Celebrate with a St. George 'Blast'


The Beatles' iconic 'Sgt. Pepper' turns 50: Celebrate with a St. George 'Blast'
  1. The Beatles' iconic 'Sgt. Pepper' turns 50: Celebrate with a St. George 'Blast'
    Where to Turn and the historic St. George Theatre present a commemorative concert with The Blue Meanies, Richmond Co. Orchestra & a host of local…
    Lifestyle

By VINCENT INNOCENTE / COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Beatles Blast bonus: "Celebrating volunteerism and how Staten Islanders always 'Come Together' to 'Help' each other in times of need," says Dennis McKeon, executive director of Where to Turn.  

And then there's the music.

Where to Turn and the historic St. George Theatre co-present the borough's annual Beatles tribute concert on Friday, June 2, this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Fab Four tribute band The Blue Meanies is set to perform the "Sgt. Pepper" album song-by-song in its entirety, accompanied by the Richmond County Orchestra led by Maestro Alan Aurelia.

"It's getting better all the time for Beatles fans across Staten Island and the city to celebrate musical milestones at the St. George Theatre," says Ed Burke, Staten Island Deputy Borough President and unabashed Beatles fanatic.

"I thank Where To Turn, the St. George Theatre, the Blue Meanies and Alan Aurelia and the Richmond County Orchestra for commemorating the 50th anniversary of 'Sgt. Pepper' right here on Staten Island -- local musicians playing to local fans." 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for raffles, exhibits, and photo opps in the lobby. At around 7:15 p.m., there will be a special presentation and trivia contest from the stage hosted by Beatles expert, writer, and radio host Tom Frangione, during which the audience will have the opportunity to win prizes.

The music starts at 8 p.m. with The Blue Meanies accompanied by several guest singers to perform some pre-and-post "Sgt. Pepper"-era Beatles songs. Returning to the Beatles Blast lineup this year is singer/songwriter Garrett Gardner of NBC's "The Voice" fame. Gardner performed at the 2013 Beatles Blast at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George.  

At intermission, there will be a special appearance by Ken Dashow, Q104.3 FM radio personality and host of "Breakfast With The Beatles" on Sunday mornings. Dashow will lead the audience in a brief discussion on the cultural significance of "Sgt. Pepper" before introducing the album being performed by The Blue Meanies and the RCO.

Released on June 1, 1967, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is considered the first rock concept album and is hailed by many as the greatest album of all time, topping many lists including the Rolling Stone magazine's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The album features intricate and innovative production qualities on classic songs such as "With a Little Help From My Friends," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "When I'm Sixty-Four," "A Day In The Life," and more that the Beatles never performed live due to the complex orchestrations and arrangements of the songs.  It won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1968, the first rock album to receive the honor.

Tickets are $25 & $20, or $15 for students, seniors, and groups of 20 or more. We are also offering free tickets to any active military member via Where to Turn. To purchase tickets, visit the theater or call the box office at 718-442-2900 or visit ticketmaster.com.

Schedule of events:

6:30 p.m. Lobby doors open for raffles, exhibits, and photo opportunities

7:15 p.m. Tom Frangione (Beatles expert, writer, radio host) presentation & trivia contest

8 p.m. Set 1 featuring The Blue Meanies, The Richmond County Orchestra, and guest singers and other local artists 

9 p.m. Special appearance by Ken Dashow

9:15 p.m. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band full album performed by The Blue Meanies & the Richmond County Orchestra.

Performer Bios:

Garrett Gardner is a singer/ songwriter who was a finalist on The Voice. He has toured Internationally and has appeared in multiple Beatle related events including John Lennon's 70th Birthday Tribute Concert in 2012 with his band "Blueberry Acres" With his band he performed in the NYC Beatlefest "Battle of the Bands in 2008, 2009 and 2010 finishing in 1st place in 2009. This is his third appearance at Beatle Blast, having most recently performed in 2013 at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George.

Michael Giordano is a singer/songwriter/producer from NYC with the vocal range of a high tenor (Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury). He has written for other artists, toured the country, and gathered millions of views as part of the band These Machines. Michael's solo record will be released in 2017. Visit michaelgio.com  for more information.

John Griffin is very happy to be back performing in his third straight Beatles Blast, along with his wife Nikki, and he thanks Dennis McKeon, The Blue Meanies, and The St. George Theatre for the opportunity.  He has been a featured vocalist with the Staten Island Philharmonic, and is an active member of the Staten Island theatre community, performing many roles with various theatre companies throughout the Island.  By day he is a RN/Nurse Manager for ArchCare at Mary Manning Walsh in Manhattan.  Much love to daughter Bethany.  Enjoy the show!

Jenny Kelly is thrilled to be performing in Beatles Blast for the third year in a row! She is a local actress and singer who can be seen performing with various theatre companies across Staten Island. Favorite roles include: Mrs. Potts (Beauty & the Beast), Diana (Next to Normal), and Mrs. Claus right here at the St. George Theatre in their Annual Christmas Show! Additionally, she is the Creative Director of local theatre company, Hemlock Theatre (HemlockTheatreCo.com). This performance is for my father, Tony Giacomo, who instills a love of the Beatles deep within my soul at a very young age. Always and all ways for my boys...Mike, Michael & Sean. Don't Dream It, Be It.

Nikki Lauren is excited to be performing again with The Blue Meanies and being part of Beatles Blast for the third time. Nikki recorded several dance records in the eighties, including "Those Were the Days" "Touch" and "Again & Again", which was on the top 40 Billboard dance chart. She sang backgrounds for several artists including Alisha, Boy George and The Soul Sonic Force. She is currently the writer/producer of Kill-Her Entertainment, a Musical Murder Mystery company, and a teaching artist for Sundog Theatre. Love to John, Bethany and MJ. Thanks to Dennis for promoting volunteers, keeping Staten Island clean and being a Beatle fan!

Anthony Massa is a recent graduate from the Macaulay Honors College, where he received two B.S. degrees in Dramatic Arts and Psychology. He is so excited to be performing in his first Beatles Blast. Most recent credits include: In The Wings: Beauty and the Beast (Beast) and a featured soloist in The Little Victory Theatre's first annual Cabaret. He has appeared in 5 Off-Broadway shows and soundtracks with Pipe Dream Theatre, including 3 Ghosts (Young Ebenezer/Want), Macbeth (Malcolm), and Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Blaire/Toy Soldier). Anthony has also earned 3 Minty Awards for acting. Big thanks to his family and friends for their love and support. Another big thank you to Dennis McKeon for giving him this amazing opportunity. Break a leg everyone!

James McKeon is thrilled to be back performing at Beatle Blast! He is a recent graduate from St. John's University, earning a double major in Secondary Education as well as English. He will be starting his 1st year at New York Law School this coming fall. James is a long time member of In the Wings Productions (sishows.com), most recently appearing as Snoopy and Lumiere in this past Spring and Summer's productions of You're A Good Man Charlie Brown and Beauty and the Beast. In addition he can often be seen attempting various accents/impersonations and gasping at dramatic deaths as part of Kill-Her Entertainment's murder mysteries (visit Kill-Her Entertainment on Facebook for more information). James thanks Dennis, he guesses, Ed Burke, as well as the Blue Meanies for all their support over the years.

Noa Miranda is excited to be performing at the St. George Theatre with the Blue Meanies. Recent Credits: Get Bent (Hemlock Theatre Co.), Beauty and the Beast (In The Wings Productions). She would like to thank Dennis McKeon, the Blue Meanies, and everyone else involved with this amazing event. Lots of love to her family, friends, and the great Marcello Mazzilli. This performance is dedicated to Alex Sutton. www.noa-miranda.com 

Emily Nacchio is a singer/songwriter that was born and raised on Staten Island. At an early age she found a passion for singing and performance art. Throughout her creative career she has been the front woman for many musical projects in eclectic genres. Some of these projects include: Featured artist for the Staten Island Rockers for Relief which aids victims of Hurricane Sandy, front woman for local band In The Now, as well as many charity events on and off the Island. Emily is known by her short stature, large voice and captivating command over a crowd.

Nicole Taubman & Dominic Provenzano have been singing together since the first day they met. Nicole, a singer and occupational therapy student, and Dom, a guitar and bass player and marketing professional, were introduced over a mutual love for music. After performing together at high school events, the duo became a couple and have been together for more than seven years. When not getting dinner, grocery shopping, or catching up on their favorite TV shows, Nicole and Dom can be found performing weddings, events, and bars in the versatile cover band Cause and the Effects or their intimate acoustic trio Easy Company. 

Ken Dashow is a writer, performer and director. He is a disc jockey at New York City's WAXQ "Q104.3" classic rock radio station. He is also voicetracked to Classic Rock WBGG-FM "Big 105.9" in Miami and to WEGR Rock 103, 102.7 FM in Memphis. Brooklyn born and raised, he has spent the last 30 years in New York radio. He has written several plays, a collection of which was published by Dramatists Play Service entitled Dashow Must Go On, and Rock is Dead which was produced off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse. His screenplays The Naked Detective and Desire have become cult classics. 

Tom Frangione for over thirty years, Tom's been covering the Beatles on radio and in print, and is well known as a master of ceremonies and co-host at the annual Fest For Beatles Fans. A long time historian, collector and archivist, he is widely regarded as a go-to resource for all things "Beatles". These days his work can be…

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