The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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June 7, 2014

Act pays tribute to 2 music stars

Former Vogues singer bringing Sinatra sound to Arcadia

WINDBER — Two well loved singers will be honored in a double tribute.

“A Tribute to Sinatra & Streisand” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. July 26 at Arcadia Theater, 1418 Graham Ave, Windber.

Bo Wagner will croon the hits of Frank Sinatra, and Betsy Lawrence will sing Barbra Streisand’s hits.

Wagner performs with a 15-piece orchestra, capturing the sound, style and mannerisms of Sinatra.

He said he has been trying to book a show at the Arcadia for years.

“I’m an entertainment agent, too,” Wagner said. “I called at the theater, and Jerry Ledney knew who I was. He sounded excited.”

Wagner has been doing his tribute to Sinatra since 2002 and has been doing his Sinatra-Streisand show – something he has always wanted to do – for four years.

He also keeps busy with his Rat Pack show, featuring songs of Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.

“Sinatra-Streisand is a neat show,” Wagner said. “(Law­rence) comes out and does her Streisand, and she’s really good, then I come out and do Sinatra. We perform together at the end.”

He has been singing and performing since the late 1960s.

Wagner started with various regional rock and soul groups in the 1970s.

In 1977, he was asked to join the international recording group the Four Coins. Wagner served as lead singer, fine-tuning the group into a top touring act.

The Four Coins were the mainstay of major casinos in Las Vegas and Reno, and the resorts of Lake Tahoe.

When the group disbanded in the early 1980s, Wagner joined the nationally renowned recording act The Vogues. He was lead singer for The Vogues for more than 20 years.

Through the years, Wagner has had many musical influences, but none more than Sinatra.

 He had the privilege of performing for Sinatra himself at the Jockey Club in Las Vegas.

Lawrence has just started working with Wagner, but she is well known in the Pittsburgh area for her Streisand tribute.

She is on the voice faculty of Carnegie Mellon University and writes and performs assembly programs for Pennsylvania Gateway to the Arts.

Lawrence has performed with Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and New York City Opera and has appeared in 11 PBS programs.

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.

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