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'Grease' and 'Dirty Dancing' tribute concert at Mulcahy's in Wantagh

Cover band to play movie soundtracks with costumed dancers.

"Grease" fans on Long Island are gearing up for a Feb. 9 tribute show at Mulcahy's in Wantagh that will feature choreographed dances to popular songs from the movie. (Credit: Newsday / David Criblez)

See Danny and Sandy mesh with Johnny and Baby in a double feature of “Grease” and “Dirty Dancing” at a tribute concert at Mulcahy’s in Wantagh Saturday night/. Cover band Decadia will perform both soundtracks back-to-back accompanied by costumed stage dancers and clips from the original films.

“It’s more than just a concert, it’s an experience,” says Mulcahy’s manager/booking agent Rick Cappiello. “Both are feel-good classic films that people can relate to and relive in a whole new setting.”

GO WITH 'GREASE'

Decadia started this concept last summer when lead singer Genessa Aliberti was watching “Grease” with her children and thought a tribute show would be a fan favorite.

“Whether you are a baby boomer, a Gen-Xer or a millennial, we all grew up watching ‘Grease,’ ” says Aliberti. “It makes people feel nostalgic for their childhood.”

The first show, held in July, drew more than 700 people and the follow-up gig in November was even bigger.

“The crowd sang all the words from the moment we started to the end of the set,” says drummer Mike Sorrentino. “It was the loudest show I ever did at Mulcahy’s and I’ve been playing there since 1992.”

Dancers dressed in character move about the stage as the eight-piece band performs each song while movie clips from the same scenes run on a big screen.

“It’s kind of like a cinematic concert,” says Aliberti. “The dancers and video clips add a new dimension to the show. It gives you a feeling like you are in the movie.”

THINK PINK

Sarina Romerstein of Franklin Square and Cindy Hussey of Bayport came to both “Grease” concerts dressed as Pink Ladies with pink satin jackets, black neck scarves with white polka dots and cat eye sunglasses. “The Pink Ladies were the coolest,” says Romerstein, 49. “We looked up to them as kids.”

Hussey, 47, adds, “Dressing up makes us feel like we are part of the cast. You get the whole experience from top to bottom.”

The songs like “Summer Nights,” “Grease Lightning,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “You’re the One That I Want” are timeless anthems the crowd sings in unison.

“We always get in front and interact with the band,” says Romerstein. “The songs really bring the memories back. We even do the hand jive.”

Once the “Grease” show was a hit, Decadia decided to something different for the third show. “Adding ‘Dirty Dancing’ seemed like a natural fit because both films are coming-of-age romances with popular soundtracks,” says Sorrentino.

To that end, high school seniors Frankie England and Faith Centa, students at Legacy Dance Center in Massapequa, are working on doing the famous lift scene from “Dirty Dancing.”

“It’s intricate and very involved,” says owner Dana Novello. “There’s a buzz going around our studio. Everyone is very excited.”

Some of the “Dirty Dancing” songs the band will be focused on are “Hungry Eyes,” “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” “Be My Baby,” “Stay” and the playful duet “Love Is Strange.”

“The ‘Dirty Dancing’ songs fit with the ‘Grease’ tunes because they are set in a similar eras,” says Sorrentino. “Both Patrick Swayze [Johnny] and John Travolta [Danny] even sings ballads about the girl they can’t get with ‘She’s Like the Wind’ and ‘Sandy,’ respectively.” 

MORE MOVIE MADNESS

The evening closes out with a movie-themed encore.

“We add in ‘Shallow’ from ‘A Star Is Born,’ the title track to ‘Footloose’ and even ‘Under Pressure’ from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ” says Sorrentino. “These are singalong songs the crowd can participate in.”

Plans are in the works for more cinematic celebrations in the future such as Prince’s “Purple Rain,” which has its 35th anniversary this year, and the disco classic “Saturday Night Fever.”

“People seem to like the movie themes, so we want to expand,” says Sorrentino. “Mulcahy’s is a great place to launch these shows.”

'GREASE' & 'DIRTY DANCING' TRIBUTE CONCERT

WHEN|WHERE 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Mulcahy’s, 3232 Railroad Ave. in Wantagh

INFO 516-783-7500, muls.com

ADMISSION $20 ($15 advance)

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