Every holiday season, legendary singer Darlene Love brings her annual Christmas concert to Long Island. Although the pandemic has put live performances on hold, that won’t stop one of the Christmas queens from delivering the goods. The Patchogue Theatre is presenting a new livestream of her show on Dec. 5.
"The pandemic has altered the way in which we now present live entertainment, so it’s wonderful to know the show will go on!" says Patchogue Theatre’s executive director Michele Rizzo-Berg.
Love came on the music scene in 1962 with her girl group the Blossoms’ single "He’s a Rebel," produced by Phil Spector. The following year, Spector put out the now-classic Christmas album, "A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector" which featured Love as a solo artist on the holiday anthem, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."
"That song has a joyful sound when you hear it. When it starts playing, you know exactly what it is," says Love, 79. "It was quite different for the time. Phil said, ‘We’re going to do a rock and roll Christmas album.’ That’s what made it so unique."
From 1986 to 2014, Love annually performed the song on David Letterman’s shows on NBC ("Late Night With David Letterman") and CBS ("Late Show With David Letterman"). Since Letterman went off the air in 2015, the tradition has continued on "The View."
"The song has grown over the years; it’s gotten bigger and bigger," says Love, who is currently appearing in the Netflix holiday film, "The Christmas Chronicles Part Two." "We play it at the end of the show. There’s no other way to do it."
LIVE FROM NYC
The virtual live concert, which was shot with four cameras at Sony Hall in Manhattan, features Love performing with a nine-piece band. However, there were a lot of safety measures put in place due to COVID-19.
"We added four feet to the stage so we were all six-feet away from each other," says Love, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. "Rehearsals took place at a big recording studio that holds symphony orchestras so we could space ourselves out. Anybody who wasn’t singing or blowing a horn had to keep their mask on."
The setlist will feature carols like "Joy to the World," "Silent Night" and "Winter Wonderland," plus some of her '60s hits.
"I’m so excited for my fans to see it," says Love. "My fingers are crossed that we can do this live next year. I’m really going to miss my Long Island gig because I love coming there."
Darlene Love — “Love for the Holidays” virtual concert
WHEN Available starting 10 a.m. Saturday through Dec. 25 (each stream lasts for 48 hours)
ADMISSION $35 (portion of proceeds go toward supporting the Patchogue Theatre)
EGGNOG WITH ERRICO
Broadway star Melissa Errico (“Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” “My Fair Lady,” “High Society”), who grew up in Manhasset, is going virtual this holiday season with a double-dose of performances.
Her holiday concert, “Season for Joy,” presented by Bay Street Theater of Sag Harbor on Dec. 10, will find Errico blending Christmas classics, parodies and French carols.
“I thought, well, for this insane year, let’s do a funny show with parodies and surprises, even something saucy and naughty, not too pious,” says Errico, who will be accompanied by jazz pianist Tedd Firth. “At a time of so much darkness, there’s never been a more important time for a festival of lights. I intend to offer some musical light, in the form of some light music.”
She will also star as Anna Smith in the holiday musical “Meet Me in St. Louis” Dec. 11-Jan.2 for the Irish Repertory Theatre along with 12 other actors all of which are performing in front of a green screen from their homes.
“The producers taught us how to assemble television lights, use monitors and microphones,” says Errico, 50. “We all sang live — none of it is prerecorded and an orchestra will be overdubbed. It’s an amazing feat.”