In a city known for its entertainment, many conversations spark the question: “Who is the best?”
Longevity is certainly a way to gauge. How large a following is another.
Frankie Scinta undoubtedly has both. But when asking all the top entertainers in the world who their favorite is, no one is mentioned more than Frankie Scinta. He is the one headliner that all the other headliners go to see on their nights off. At any given show, there will be a half dozen of the biggest names in show business in the crowd to see him perform his wide range of talent.
Born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., much of his show is taken from his own personal experiences.
During his childhood, his grandfather continuously stated to the rest of the family that young Frankie is going to be an entertainer. When he was just six years old, his grandfather passed away. Of the 27 grandchildren he was survived by, this beloved influence left his mandolin and guitars to Frankie and his brother, Joey. Frankie, recognized as a musical prodigy, appeared on The Merv Griffin Show at the young age of 11.
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In 1977, “The Scinta Brothers,” made up of Frankie and Joey, hit the stage and took off like a rocket. In 1981, they had a regular gig at the Playboy Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Their younger sister, Chrissi, joined later. Drummer, Pete O’Donnell was added to the group around 1987.
Now known as “The Scintas,” they toured and gained a loyal following, eventually settling in Las Vegas in 2000. With long-term residencies at the Hilton, the Rio, the Sahara, the D, and the Plaza hotels, they became one of the most successful and sought after acts on the Strip.
Over the years, Scinta had to overcome some tough times. Chrissi, who was known as one of the purest and most beautiful vocalists in the world, had to step away from the spotlight due to throat issues. In 2017, the entertainment industry lost one of its favorites sons, Joey Scinta. In both, the hearts of Frankie and the fans, these talents were irreplaceable.
Mariano Longo urged Scinta to change the name of the show. The famed conductor/arranger said, “No one exists anymore that does what you can do. No one can come out on stage and tell jokes, tell stories, sing, dance, impersonate, and play instruments like you do.”
They came up with a new name for the show, “Frankie Scinta, The Showman.”
With set dates at the South Point Hotel & Casino, Frankie wasn’t sure how his new act would be received by his following. However, they all still came, they all still laughed, they all still cried, and they all still cheered.
“In my heart, I believe nobody loves and lives to perform as much as I do. Every night when waiting in the wings to be introduced, I can’t wait to run out and give everything I have,” Frankie said. “I put people on their feet, make them laugh, and feel good about who they are. I come from a lost era where we make jokes about one another, and by the end of the show, we all come together, because that’s what we need.”
Going to see “Frankie Scinta, The Showman,” is so much more than you can possibly imagine. His personal touch and intimacy between himself and each audience member is unrivaled in today’s times. He will make you laugh at his jokes and his famous impersonations of such notables as George Burns, Dean Martin, Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, and Ray Charles. You will be in awe of his musical ability, all self-taught, to play the piano, the guitar, the tenor banjo, and yes, even the spoons.
He will make you cry when talking about his father, a 32-year Buffalo firefighter that gave never-ending love and support to the family. He will make you proud of this country whether you live here or are just visiting.
A new and exciting project, The Showman teams up with Mariano Longo and will travel with a 32-, a 50- and even a 100-piece symphony orchestra. They had tour dates set when the coronavirus hit. If all goes well, a December tour of New York, Michigan, and Ohio will take place before returning home to the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip. And then possibly an even bigger tour in the works.
During the current health crisis, Scinta said: “Look inside your house. This pandemic has given me time to spend with my three children and six grandchildren, time that I wouldn’t have had.”
He has also had time to plan another project.
“In a year or two, I will be opening a gaming bar, featuring Buffalo’s favorite foods along with Italian dishes,” he said. “Down the road, a showroom will be added. A place in Vegas for all to come and smile, enjoy good food, and great entertainment.”