Steadying himself with a walker, Frank Scafuri slowly made his way into a doctor’s office in Williston Park. After checking in with the receptionist, Scafuri, 63, of Rockville Centre, took a seat in the crowded waiting room and struck up a conversation with a female patient.
When the woman asked him how he was doing, Scafuri, clad in a tuxedo and tap shoes, broke out in song: “I’m chipper all the day, happy with my life.” He then proceeded to dance around the waiting room while singing the rest of George and Ira Gershwin’s “I’ve Got Rhythm.”
After delivering his final note, the audience applauded and one woman shouted “Bravo!” just before a nurse said, “Mr. Scafuri, the doctor will see you now.”
About a dozen people witnessed the Juilliard alum’s Aug. 6 live performance, but thousands of others have seen it on YouTube. Since the video — which three of Scafuri’s friends and relatives conspicuously recorded with their iPhones while posing as patients — was posted on Sept. 10, it’s garnered more than 10,500 views.
“It’s the craziest thing,” Scafuri said of his sudden Internet fame.
The idea to bring musical theater into this mundane setting came to Scafuri while he was at a doctor’s office this July waiting to get an MRI. As he looked around the room at other patients staring down at their phones, he thought to himself, “Boy, this is really boring.”
That’s when he got the urge to bust out a Broadway show tune. He submitted a proposal to two local doctors, who both were receptive to the idea.
Since posting his video, Scafuri said he’s received requests from other local doctors to perform in their waiting rooms. He’ll be shooting two musical skits in offices in Long Beach and Glen Cove next week, with other gigs in the works.
The father of two and grandfather doesn’t charge for his performances, but they are a way to promote his acting career. He said he also just likes to make people happy.