Feature: THE HEIST PERFORMS THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK WITH ITS AUTHENTIC ITALIAN ROOTS

Walk down memory lane through Italian eyes at The Duomo at the Rio Las Vegas.

By: Oct. 17, 2023
Feature: THE HEIST PERFORMS THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK WITH ITS AUTHENTIC ITALIAN ROOTS
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Feature: THE HEIST PERFORMS THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK WITH ITS AUTHENTIC ITALIAN ROOTS

The Great American Songbook has roots in Italy, with the month of October dedicated to Italian-American Heritage and Culture month. The Heist will present these hits throughout the decades at The Duomo at Rio Las Vegas on Oct. 19 and Nov. 9.

The concept concert is performed by Limoncello, featuring lead singer Nieve Malandra, musical director Tony Sgro (vocals and guitar), Scott Snyder (bass guitar), John Tate (percussion), and Tony Silva (keyboards and vocals).

“We have been performing as our band Limoncello and developing the show since the pandemic,” explains Sgro. “Now that entertainment is thriving again, we decided to present the show, finding the right musicians. Some of the music is complicated and Italian, so it is unfamiliar to many musicians. I am so fortunate to perform with such top-notch musicians who know and love the music.”

Singer Nieve is Italian and Argentinean, so she sings Italian and Spanish fluently. Tony Sgro is all Italian, as is Tony Silva. Scott and John are not Italian but love the music and can “play” Italian fluently. 

“More of my family lives in Italy than in the United States, and I am blessed to travel once a year to visit them. While there, I watched Italian television, listened to Italian radio, and recognized many songs. I heard ‘I am a Believer’ in Italian, which inspired me to research some of the biggest hits in both countries,” explains Sgro. He discovered the impact on music between the U.S. and Italy. 

“People remember the British invasion and the continuing impact on music between the United Kingdom and the U.S. Many know the grunge movement began in the Pacific Northwest, whether they listened to the music or not. But ask someone about Italian artists who shaped the landscape of American Rock ‘n’ Roll, and very few people can answer that,” says Sgro.

The production includes fun facts about the song being performed on the three giant video screens, with some of the songs sung in English and others in Italian. To everyone’s delight, there were so many hits to select with Italian roots that American audiences would immediately recognize. Adding pop culture to the mix, “O Solo Mio” was written almost 150 years ago, covered by Elvis in the 1960s as “It’s Now or Never,” and became one of his biggest hits. Another song first written in 1956, “Tu vuò fà l’americano (You Want to Be Like An American),” was performed in many television shows and movies, including The Talented Mr. Ripley. 

“I was transported into this world where I discovered so much musical influence between Italy and the U.S. that no one ever speaks about,” said Sgro.

The name The Heist is a loving play on words about “stealing” Italian music for the Great American Songbook. “We feel so much pride to share our Italian community, heritage, and culture with our audiences,” says Sgro. 

The Heist will be presented at The Duomo, Rio Las Vegas, on Oct. 19 and Nov. 9. Text “Duomo” to 866-271-6157 for a special VIP code. For more info, visit theduomolive.info.




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