When the band “Sal Vivo and Friends” broke up unexpectedly, lead singer Vivo was left without backup for a planned performance at the 5th annual "Promenade Night" street fair Thursday in Great Neck Plaza.
It was just as well. Officials of the village’s Business Improvement District, the sponsor of the fair, were thinking of switching the format to a “Karaoke Idol” format, anyway. So the timing actually worked out.
So on Thursday Vivo and his fiancé Susan Coumeri, 49, serenaded the crowd before opening it up “Karaoke Idol” to 25 competitors.
“I’ve done several events in Great Neck before, the crowd is always so receptive,” Vivo said. “So we decided to give this karaoke thing a shot.”
As part of the fair, a section of Middle Neck Road between Grace Avenue and Maple Drive was shut down and restaurants on the block set up tables in the middle of the street so that patrons could dine outside, while businesses on the block stayed open late for shoppers.
“I invited a few of my friends to this,” said Great Neck resident Shahnaz Malekan, 42. “I work, so this is the perfect opportunity to get together and see friends who I haven’t seen in awhile. The kids love it, too. We even brought the puppy out!”
“It’s beautiful to see people like this — they can dine outside, they all get together,” said Alfredo Molinari, owner of Gino’s Pizzeria on Middle Neck Road.
The winner of the “Karaoke Idol” $250 cash prize was Eileen Braham, 31, of Freeport, who sang a rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” Braham and five others will go on to perform at the finals on Sept. 9 at “Autofest,” Great Neck Plaza’s largest street fair event of the year.