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People-pleasing performer to return
John Davidson brings his familiar songs and funny stories back to PHCC on Feb. 9
By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN, Arts and Entertainment
Published February 1, 2008
John Davidson once said he tries to move his audience to one of three things - laughter, tears or inspiration.
The last time singer John Davidson appeared at the Pasco-Hernando Community College Performing Arts Center, in January 2006, the show was sold out right to the walls.
It was the same in January 2004, his first appearance in the PHCC Foundation concert series.
"John Davidson is one of our most popular shows," said Arla Altman, the foundation's executive director, when she announced the series last year. Indeed, after the show, longtime fans stuck around to pose for photos with the singer and get his autograph.
Davidson will be back at PHCC on Feb. 9 for one show, doing familiar songs, telling funny stories and joking with the audience.
It's what he loves to do.
"My approach is so simple: Every song I sing, every story I tell, every move I make, must move the audience to laughter, tears or inspiration," he told an interviewer for Internet Movie Database. "Otherwise, why do it?"
Davidson has had plenty of practice. Born in Pittsburgh in 1941 to a Baptist minister, Davidson grew up singing, majored in theater arts in college and made his Broadway debut at age 23 at the Ziegfeld Theater.
He moved to television and co-starred in a 1964 presentation of The Fantasticks and was a regular on The Entertainers.
Two years later, he was chosen to host The Kraft Summer Music Hall and, in 1965, he won a Theater World Award for his role as Curly in the stage show of Oklahoma!, a character he would play several times over the years.
He had his own daytime talk show in 1969 and appeared in a string of lighthearted TV movies like Coffee, Tea or Me? and the TV series The Girl with Something Extra.
In the 1980s, Davidson was a host of the TV show That's Incredible! for four years, made more than 100 appearances on The Hollywood Squares and was emcee of the syndicated game show The $10,000 Pyramid in the early 1990s.
In between all the TV and movies, he made a dozen solo albums in both pop and country music, was a regular on the nightclub and concert circuit, and starred in national tours of several Broadway musicals: Paint Your Wagon, Li'l Abner, Camelot andCarousel, to name but a few.
Davidson's is the second in a series of five shows in the PHCC Foundation series this year. The Legends of Vaudeville will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday; the Piano Men will play at 8 p.m. Feb. 22; and Dwight Icenhower will give a tribute to Elvis Presley at 7:30 p.m. March 22.
Check it out
The singer will perform at 2 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Pasco-Hernando Community College Performing Arts Center, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey. Tickets are $23 to $30 for reserved seating, with a 10 percent discount for people 55 and older, students, faculty and staff, and a 15 percent discount for groups of 20 or more. Call (727) 816-3707 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays or visit the PHCC Bookstore in New Port Richey during the same hours. Tickets are also available at www.phcc.edu/tix(service fee added).