Yesteryear Entertainment to kick off seventh season
Yesteryear Entertainment will kick off its seventh season of bringing impersonators to Fort Myers Beach in January with 10 more shows.
Jerry Nolan said Yesteryear Entertainment began on Fort Myers Beach in 2014 when Alfredo Russo owned Junkanoo and Fresh Catch Bistro. He said Russo was not sure about bringing impersonators to the Beach because it had never been done before.
Their first show in the banquet room at Junkanoo was amazingly well received, Nolan said. But when Russo passed away three years ago, and road construction began. it did not make sense to continue having the shows there, he added.
“At that point it didn’t make sense for the crowds coming with parking spots being taken away from us because of construction and waiting an hour and a half to get there,” Nolan said.
Eventually Yesteryear Entertainment moved to the Moose Lodge Entertainment Center, 19090 San Carlos Blvd., where the shows were again well received. The organization is returning there for the second year.
“It is a small building that seats 100 to 110 people with a stage and a bar. We were able to keep our clientele rather than them go elsewhere,” Nolan said.
Now going on seven years, the organization is going strong.
“The impersonators we have brought down have appeared all over the country, Vegas, Atlantic City and New York, as well as smaller venues, too,” Nolan said.
The 2020 lineup includes: The Rat Pack, Frank, Dean and Sammy, Jan. 26 and Jan. 27; Johnny Carson and Rod Stewart, Feb. 9; Joan Rivers and Friends, Feb. 10; Don Rickles, Foster Brooks and Kenny Rogers, Feb. 23 and Feb. 24; Dean Martin and Elvis Jr., March 8 and March 9; Barbara Steisand and Jerry Lewis, March 22; and Cher and Jerry Lewis, March 23.
“We have some first timers, which should make everyone happy,” Nolan said, adding that they have some returning favorites such as Joan Rivers and Jerry Lewis impersonators. “Some shows are two nights in a row and some are only one night. They are not available for two nights because they are going elsewhere for other shows.”
Tickets are $55 and include chef-prepared hors d’oeuvres, a DJ and dancing, and the live show. The cash bar is extra from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by music and the performance from 7 to 9 p.m.
The hors d’oeuvres, which vary per show, include Latin shrimp with avocado sauce; strawberry salad with black truffle dressing; beef tenderloin on a garlic crostini and herb cream cheese; spicy chicken satay with Asian peanut sauce; antipasto skewers; lobster mac and cheese; seared tuna bites with seaweed salad and Japanese dressing and twice baked potatoes.
Nolan said he started Yesteryear Entertainment because he loves nostalgia; they can bring the people from the Golden Age, along with top talent for a night of performance.
“They are not just wannabes, not people that that think they can do Sinatra, Streisand. They have been doing it for years and years. The majority of our impersonators have been around for 20-plus years,” he said. “Finding the talent is a year, or two in the making. One we find them, convince ourselves that they are good enough, and three, they have to be available.”
Nolan credited Alfredo Russo, who started the shows with him and his current associate Kay Cummings as being instrumental in their success. Nolan said that Peter and Sandy Montgomery helped him transition the shows away from Junkanoos.
One of the highlights is the entertainers doing the show, then thanking everybody and taking pictures with people, Nolan said.
“They pose with them and talk to them. People love that as much as the show,” he said.
For reservations call 239-810-4587, visit yesteryearentertainment.weebly.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.