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Last Wednesday evening at Sirone's in Pompano Beach, Elvis was in the building. So were Dion, Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison, and even Marilyn Monroe. OK, maybe they weren't actually in South Florida (half of them are dead, after all), but that didn't stop the Ronnie Davis Revue from providing the audience with nostalgic sounds, looks, and an overall '50s feeling.
"After visiting Las Vegas five years ago, I always wanted to re-create that [feeling] in South Florida," vocalist Ronnie Davis says. "So I went from singing in bands to working with [prerecorded] tracks. It wasn't easy at first. People think it's karaoke, but it's not. The revue is about formulating a show, making it entertaining by adding dancing, lighting, and visuals to singing. We also try to make it where the music is secondary, because there is so much else going on."
Davis is backed by a versatile cast of singers and dancers -- Andy Corridori, Judi Sweet-Sims, and Davis' wife, Patti -- that's able to cover a variety of musical genres while quick-changing from poodle skirts and leather jackets into luau skirts or Blues Brothers suits in minutes.
Even the themes of Davis' shows, performed every Wednesday at Sirone's and every Sunday at Fisherman's Wharf (also in Pompano Beach), vary. "Hawaiian Review," for example, features leis, grass skirts, and Hawaiian music, while the "Las Vegas" show includes a tribute to Elvis. For that one, Davis wears the white jumpsuit, does some karate kicks, and sings while an oversize American flag descends behind him.
"I always want to give the audience what they want, no matter what," Davis explains. "But no matter how good you are, the audience always wants something more. That's why I'm stuck on all the flash and fanfare."
Davis also can't stand still while he performs. Last week, while singing Dion's "Teenager in Love" at Sirone's, he stopped at all the restaurant's tables, wireless microphone in hand, and insisted the 35- to 50-year-old patrons get involved. The audience appeared to be delighted as Davis handed his mic to each participant and let him or her deliver an off-key, "Why must I beeeeeee a teenager in love?"
Davis as a soloist hosts an open-mic night every Thursday and fronts the band Rendition every Friday and Saturday at Sirone's. His revue will put on a special show at Sirone's this Saturday to mark the 21st anniversary of Elvis' death.