‘Senior Idol’ puts spotlight on seniors – Call goes out to performers 50 and over

By Helen Klein

Do you belt out songs like a Red Hot Mama? Are you a crooner – maybe not with blue eyes – but with a voice that people say is like velvet? If you’re at least 50 years of age, an AARP member and a Brooklyn resident, you can take your show on the road, at least as far as Xaverian High School, 7100 Shore Road, where the Ovington Chapter of the AARP (chapter 5055) will be holding its first annual Senior Idol competition. The organization, which was revitalized last autumn after about two years of dormancy, will be holding auditions for the competition on Saturday, March 15th, beginning at 9 a.m., with the final level competition to be held at the school on April 12th at 7 p.m. The registration fee is $10, due at the time of the audition. As many as 100 people can participate in the auditions, said Al Asfazadour, the chapter’s president. That number, however, will be winnowed down to no more than 15 finalists who will participate in the second round show, he explained. “This is a chance to have seniors in the community get involved,” noted Asfazadour. “We hope it’s spectacular, and that it gets bigger every year.” Asfazadour’s wife, Gail, who has been working to publicize the event, concurred. “Whoever I speak to gets so excited about this,” she stressed. “It’s going to give seniors an opportunity to shine, have fun and do something that they haven’t done before.” For the auditions, Xaverian’s musical director, Joe Loposky, will help judge, said Asfazadour. Then, on April 12th, the judges will be City Councilmember Vincent Gentile and State Senator Marty Golden, plus a surprise celebrity. “Brooklyn is home to many talented seniors who have exhibited singing and dancing abilities at our senior centers and beyond,” remarked Golden, “and I think that the upcoming ‘Senior Idol’ will be a very unique and special event for these skills to be showcased before the entire community.” “I think I’m going to be a very gentle judge,” noted Gentile. “I appreciate the wide array of talents of seniors. It’s going to be hard for me to judge one set of talents over another. “I’m not going to be Simon,” he promised. Those interested in participating must send an email including name, address, phone number and AARP number to bksenioridol@gmail.com by March 1st. Participants should bring their own music. Further information is available by calling 718-238-6044 and asking for Molly or Maria. Admission to the event is $10 per person. Doors open at 6 p.m. “We are trying to raise money so we can do good things for the seniors in the community, Asfazadour explained. “We hope the whole community will join us and participate, if not as a singer, than as a spectator.”

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