Hi, I'm Raf Mauro and everyone calls me Raffi. I've been performing for over a half century and loving every minute of it. As an actor I've appeared in over 100 TV Shows and films and you can check that out on IMDB. My singing act if filled with songs from almost every deacade from the turn of the last century to the turn of this century and since I once was a comedian, there are funny memories and funny social observations. People in my audiences tend to sing along with the songs they know if they go back as far as Jolson and Cantor, Bing and Frank or the Rock and Roll hits of the 50's and 60's. They are always delighted to hear music from some unknown song writers who have a lovely twist to their offerings. My enegy is high, my connection to the audience reads as..."we're hear to have flat out fun, so let's get to it!" Whether it's for tweny minutes or an hour and tweny minutes it's always a great ride.
Music I Heard Around the House
When I Was a Kid
?Raffi Mauro is a consummate entertainer—a throwback to an earlier era of show business when performers did it all. Like them, Mauro sings, he dances, he acts, he does shtick, he waxes philosophical and now he's added cabaret performer to his bag of tricks. On stage, Mauro is a bundle of energy who never stands still, performing with a perpetual light in his eyes, a lilt in his step and an instinct for engaging an audience with talent, confidence and, occasionally, sheer chutzpah.
In a show about the songs that influenced his life, the one that earned the biggest applause was the Eddie Cantor standard, "Josephina, Please No Leana on the Bell" (Ed G. Nelson/Harry Pease/Duke Leonard) — a tour de force in which Mauro sang in a variety of voices and Italian dialects with a red kerchief tied around his head and a series of flexible facial expressions that had the audience in hysterics.
The show included: an Al Jolson medley, with a bit of Jolson's trademark vocal tics thrown in, reflecting the music Mauro heard as a child at home; a sweet "Moonlight in Vermont" (John Blackburn/Karl Sussdorf), recalling car trips he took with his family and a song he wrote("Jeanette" and was recorded by Atlantic records (Youtube).
Mauro also talked of his grandmother's migration to the U.S., which led to a touching rendition — in her broken English, as he recalled it — of "God Bless America" (Irving Berlin), which preceded a pair of songs about prejudice — "The House I Live In" (Earl Robinson/Abel Meeropol, aka Lewis Allen) and "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught" (Rodgers & Hammerstein). Mauro ended the segment by casting Frank Loesser's "The Ugly Duckling" as an anti-bullying song, employing his superb acting skills and a variety of voices to tell the story.
From Italian America love songs and American Italian bounce songs, Perry Como to classic Rock n' Roll, from George M. Cohan (A knock-your-socks-off Broadway Medley) to Otis Redding and Simon and Garfunkel, you just never know where he's taking the audience next and from the standing ovation he received it is obvious they loved the ride.
After more than hour of mostly raucous tumult, Mauro ended the show on a quiet note, acknowledging his appreciation for the audience with Loesser's "More I Cannot Wish You." Providing excellent piano accompaniment was Bryan Miller. The show was directed by Gilmore Rizzo.
January 24, 2014