BY CHERYL SLAVIN
Get a jump on Valentine’s Day by taking your sweetheart this Sunday, February 9 to one of two romantic concerts sponsored by Marcello Russodivito of Marchello’s Ristorante in Suffern. The 2:30 show, “The Love Returns,” stars international pop singer Giada Valenti and will feature American and Italian love songs from the 60s through today. The 6:30 p.m. show, “Passione,” will offer an array of international romantic songs ranging from classical opera to modern pop. Those featured artists include mezzo soprano Jennifer Roderer, soprano Marie Dreising Karlsmose and soprano Elsebeth Dreisig. Both concerts will take place at the historic Lafayette Theater in Suffern, now in its 90th year of operation. Tickets cost $30.00 each.
Since nothing pairs better with good music than good food and wine, Marcello’s Ristorante is also offering a number of options available only to concert-goers on that day. There will be a wine tasting with Italian antipasto for $30.00, from 12 to 2:00 pm, just prior to the first concert. There will also be a five course $65 dinner special available at two seatings, 2:30 and 8:15 p.m., for those attending the 6:30 p.m. concert. The 5:30 p.m. seating has already sold out, but attendees at the first concert can still get special deals for dinner after the show at Alain’s Bistro, Union Restaurant, Wasabi and The Old 76 House Restaurant.
Now in its fourth year, Marcello conceived the idea of the original concert as a way to celebrate “in grand style” the 25th anniversary of his eponymous restaurant while also promoting local business, including the beautiful Lafayette Theater. He continues to support the theater by offering a $20 restaurant coupon, good from Sunday to Thursday, to patrons who have purchased at least two theater tickets.
Moreover, as he has in the past, Marcello will be donating a portion of the proceeds both from the concerts and from the wine tasting to a number of local charities, including Austism Speaks, People to People and the Marian Shrine Salesians of St. John Bosco. In addition, several additional charitable organizations, including the Suffern Junior Women’s Club and the Greater Ramsay UNICO, will be benefiting from selling tickets directly to the public.
This year Marcello is also pleased to add a number of additional features to the concerts. Early arrivals to the 2:30 p.m. show will be treated to an hour of live organ music from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. In addition, Italian singer Claudio Mignognia will open the second show with a number of songs from his native Riccia, Italy, the same hometown that Marcello hails from. Claudio will also be performing for several nights later in the week at Marcello’s Ristorante. The price of the concert ticket will also include a VIP pass for the restaurant that will be good for discounts throughout 2014.
Tickets are still available for both concerts, although the 2:30 p.m. show is selling out faster. Interested parties can purchase them through Marcello’s website, marcellosgroup.com and from the Lafayette Theater box office, as well as at the restaurant (845-357-9108), the Good Samaritan gift shop, or directly from the charities listed above. In the unlikely case of cancellation due to inclement weather, ticket holders are directed to check Marcello’s website for the make-up date as well as instructions on how to get a refund if necessary.