Amsterdam natives to pay tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. at the Glove Theatre

A look at The Glove Theatre's marquee last fall.

A look at The Glove Theatre’s marquee last fall.

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GLOVERSVILLE – Lisa and Louie Velez grew up in Amsterdam, but have traveled across the world paying tribute to the late, great Sammy Davis Jr., including living in Las Vegas for 25 years where he “played every hotel and casino on and off the strip.” 

Lisa’s mother managed Louie’s career and encouraged the couple to go to Vegas. She had Louie go outside a popular casino and sing covers of Davis Jr. songs. It wasn’t long until someone among the crowds took an interest in him.

“He just needed that one little break,” Lisa said. “His career took off after that.”

Today, he is an award-winning impersonator and performer. Saturday, he’ll be bringing his act to the Glove Theatre at 7 p.m. The performance is to mark the 33rd anniversary of Davis Jr.’s passing on May 16, 1990.

The Glove Theatre is a historic fixture of Gloversville’s Main Street, and this is the second time Louie has brought “A Nostalgic Evening with Sammy” to the venue. The couple wants to see the theater return to its original glory and plans to donate all of the night’s proceeds to the venue.

Louie has been singing since he was 6 years old. He was hooked instantly and participated in school and church choirs throughout his youth. Performing as Davis Jr., he has put on shows at Proctors, Cohoes Music Hall, and many more locations around the world.

In 1992, Louie performed a special tribute show to Davis Jr. with the icon’s family was in attendance. After the performance, Davis Jr.’s mother gifted him a medallion worn by her son.

“I wear it every time I perform,” Louie said.

Saturday’s event is once again titled “A Nostalgic Evening with Sammy,” just as it was in 2015, and the pair hopes nostalgia leaves the crowd with fond feelings of the past.

“We want everyone to come and just have a good time because sometimes in these modern times a little old-fashioned is a good thing,” Louie said.

Lisa will produce and direct Louie’s performances this weekend, just as she does many of his acts.

“It’s a beautiful theater; it just needs some love,” Lisa said. “We hope to bring some love to the Glove.”

Tickets are $15 to $25 and can be purchased here.

Contact reporter Ameara Ditsche at [email protected]. Keep up with her on Twitter @amearaisawriter.


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