Connie Francis Came Home Tonight

by Jule Spohn


Hello Everyone. Just got home from New Jersey Performing Arts Center here in Newark after seeing Connie Francis live, on stage, for the first time, in many, many years. What a show it was.

It started out with a Newark policeman, of Italian heritage, Tommy Scala, singing a number of songs from the 50's and 60's and giving an outstanding rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

Then a movie screen was lowered from above and you saw various short clips from Connie's early days on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and the Ed Sullivan Show. Then the real show started. Out came Connie singing Who's Sorry Now, her first great hit, Stupid Cupid, Don't Break The Heart That Loves You, Everybody's Somebody's Fool, Lipstick On Your Collar, Frankie, My Happiness, Among My Souvenier, and of course Where The Boys Are, plus many others.

Then there were more short clips of many of her famous films.

She then did a five minute monologue about Italian men, their wives, and their mothers, and had the audience bowed over with her rendition of the interaction of all three. She then went into a ten to fifteen minute rendition of songs in Italian and then sang Mama, and there probably wasn't a dry eye in the house.

She asked both the police, and then the firemen, in the audience to stand up and thanked them for the wonderful job they do on a day by day situation keeping all of us safe.

Mayor Sharpe James came on stage and presented her with the Keys To The City, and told the audience that her name would be added to the front of the NJPAC building. Then the NJ Secretary Of State read a welcome message from Governor McGreevy.

She then sang a few more of her great old songs and concluded with a great rendition of God Bless America while overhead on the screen were snapshots of veterans in combat, cops, firemen, and other rescuers at the World Trade Center.

She received a standing ovation from the audience and then it was all over.

A great night was had by all those in this wonderful performing arts center.



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