Marc Antonelli Invigorates His Audience at Tropicana Showroom
by Lou Perri at 11:08AM on Thursday, January 27 2011
The Marc Antonelli Revue at Tropicana Atlantic City is worth ticket cost. He’s that exceptional. From the start of his concert, Antonelli keeps his audience enthralled, singing Cry Me a River to Nessun Dorma. He hits all the high notes, and an octave higher. Marc uses his vocal chords like an instrument. What range! And if this Bostonian lad doesn’t give his audience enough musical enjoyment, he expands his repertoire with Music of the Night, from Phantom of the Opera. It is a revue filled with beautiful music and dance. The dancers, four, are New York-based steppers, offering a solo, sort of an intermission, of Steam Heat. The audience on this night walked away with happy faces, glowing with Antonelli’s voice still in their minds.. Marc Antonelli has that thrilling of a voice. Also, on this exceptional night of beautiful music, Miss America, Teresa Scanlan, was Special Guest of the Tropicana. A lovely 17- year-old, Miss Nebraska was most gracious, enjoying her time with guests and the media at the press event held in the casino’s newest restaurant, Fin. She was accompanied by Julie Hoffman, tour manager for Miss America Pageant.
SINGER, MARC ANTONELLI BRINGS 'POPRA' TO RESORTS CASINO
- THE COURIER POST AND ATLANTIC CITY PRESS. JANUARY 4TH, 2017
Singing for his supper was never something Marc Antonelli considered a career option.
Let’s face it, serious high school jocks who have a shot as a major league baseball pitcher aren’t thinking of how they’ll pay their bills if a career in the big leagues doesn’t pan out. Besides, Antonelli didn’t even know he could sing.
But when he joined his high school wrestling team and got hurt, he knew he’d better start thinking about an alternative to baseball.
“I had joined the wrestling team and injured my pitching shoulder,” he explains. “That kind of ended my (baseball dreams) pretty abruptly. So not having much to fall back on, I was convinced by a friend to join the choir for an easy ‘A.’”
Joining the choir, of course, meant auditioning for a music teacher. And, in a moment that could be scripted into an episode of “America’s Got Talent” and be totally believable, Antonelli discovered his true calling.
When he sang his first note for the music teacher, he suddenly realized he’d been bitten by the singing bug.
His first singing teacher helped clear up any lingering confusion over his career options.
“(The teacher) told me to forget sports, forget everything. She said she really felt music and singing was going to be my destiny,” Antonelli remembers. “She gave me my initial training and I just took the ball and ran with it, and I’m still running with it.”
A native of Boston, Antonelli trained at the prestigious Berklee School of Music and the Boston Conservatory of Opera. He began to develop and refine a sound that blends opera and pop, which some have called “popra.”
Then, having never earned a paycheck as a singer, Antonelli got a call that he said changed his life. He’d met a woman who was to become his first manager, and she asked him if he’d ever considered performing in Atlantic City.
Antonelli was very honest; he’d never even been to Atlantic City, let alone thought about working there. In a matter of days, Antonelli and his father were on the Boardwalk standing in front of the Tropicana, where his manager had set up an audition.
The Trop always was looking to expand its roster of lounge artists. And in 2011, when Marc Giannantonio was running the property, he was intrigued enough by Antonelli’s demo reel that he wanted to hear him live.
After the casino boss summoned his executive team to a circular table in a conference room, the untested and unknown Antonelli, then a wet-behind-the-ears 23-year-old, was asked to audition for the roomful of suits.
“It was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life,” Antonelli remembers. “So I sang for them. And the first thing (Giannantonio) said to me when I was finished was, ‘In six years, please remember us.’”
The casino boss wasn’t implying Antonelli needed six years of seasoning. He was suggesting the young native Bostonian’s career was going to take off and quickly put him out of the financial reach of the casino.
That hasn’t happened yet, but what did happen after the audition is that Antonelli got gigs playing two of the Trop’s lounges. Then, a few months later, he got an offer that often escapes lounge performers their entire careers.
Giannantonio and the Trop wanted him to move from the lounge, which seats about 100 people, and do a show in the very spacious Tropicana Showroom, where all the casino’s headliners performed.
“It was definitely a surreal moment to be performing in that showroom,” he says. “Still to this day, it’s unlike any experience I’ve ever had. It took me a minute or two to actually realize what was happening. (Giannantonio) is the one who gave me the opportunity to go into the big room at the Trop.”
And now that Giannantonio has moved from the Trop to become president of CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel, Antonelli has been booked into the city’s original and flagship casino showroom – the Superstar Theater – were he’ll perform on select days with matinee and evening shows through the end of the month.
Antonelli, now 29, has developed a broad performing style, everything from classical, opera and pop to Broadway and rock ’n' roll. And then, in a class by itself, is his tribute to Frank Sinatra.
But for the Resorts run, he’s going to focus more on his “popra” repertoire.
“We’re going to be touching a lot of movie theme songs (and) different Italian arias,” he says. “Not so much (Frank) Sinatra, although we do pay homage to him during the show. But most of the show consists of my bread-and-butter, which is Broadway, classical and pop.”