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Back to normal at Forest Park Concert Series

Here’s a sign that things are getting back to normal and it’s a sign that will bring smiles to lots of faces. The Forest Park Concert Series is back, kicking off 7 consecutive Thursdays of shows at the Seuffert Bandshell. All concerts start at 7:30 p.m. and are sponsored by The Forest Park Trust and Maspeth Federal Savings.
The popular concert series kicks off this Thursday, July 8th with an Elvis Tribute Show featuring impersonator Lamar Peters. According to his webpage, Peters “takes you back to the best of 1950’s Elvis rockabilly and through the 60s, and 70s of Elvis Presley’s career.”
And here’s an interesting tidbit; Lamar Peters is a 2nd generation Elvis impersonator. His father, Gregg, has been an Elvis impersonator for over 40 years and he’s still going strong!
On the following Thursday (July 15th), we have what sounds like a terrific show – Forever Plaid, a musical presented by Plaza Theatrical Productions. In the show, 4 members of a young singing group (The Plaids) are killed in a car accident on the way to their first big show.
The Plaids are given the opportunity to return to Earth for one final show during which they tell the audience stories about their lives and perform some of the greatest hits from the 1950s.
Rick Larrimore and Atlantic Crossing, the ultimate tribute to Rod Stewart, returns to the bandshell on July 22nd. We saw him at the bandshell back in 2014 and the lead singer was really good.
Next up on July 29th is Satisfaction, a tribute to The Rolling Stones. Tribute bands are popular and Satisfaction is right up there logging over 4,000 shows in 20 years.
The following Thursday (August 5th) sees the arrival of Fleetwood Macked, the Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band have one area where they are extra-authentic; the lead singers imitating Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham are married in real life!
There will be plenty of dancing in the aisles on August 12th as Gloria’s Miami Nights Latin Experience will perform the hits Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin and Selena. Looking at their performances online, we’re going to get a high energy show with lots of horns!
And the series comes to a close on August 19th when Captain Jack, the Ultimate Live Billy Joel Tribute Band, comes to Forest Park.
That’s quite a lineup! Many thanks to Portia Dyrenforth, Administrator of Forest Park, for putting together such a nice slate of shows.
We have enjoyed many shows at the bandshell in recent years; we even have our own little area where we sit and meet friends for each show. The Seuffert bandshell is a lovely place to sit on a summer evening and enjoy live music.
Speaking of the Seuffert Bandshell (pronounced Soy-fert), it is nearly 100 years old and is named after bandleader George Seuffert Sr. For many years, Seuffert and his band entertained people at the bandshell and it was officially named in his honor in 1979.
But have you ever heard of a man named Harry Tourte? He was the President of the Homestead Civic Association, was popularly known as “The Mayor of Woodhaven,” and was the driving force behind the erection of our beloved bandshell (which cost $25,800 to build at the time).
“For years, Mr. Tourte worked for a bandstand in Forest Park and carried his fight to every department of the Greater City which had any authority in the matter,” said the Leader-Observer of Harry Tourte.
But there’s a bittersweet ending to this tale. As the bandshell was being built, Harry Tourte was stricken ill and hospitalized. It looked for a while that he might recover in time for the opening but he took a sudden turn for the worse and passed away having never laid eyes on the bandshell he was responsible for getting built.
“Harry Tourte was an indefatigable civic worker,” said the Leader upon his death. “Forest Park’s bandstand is truly a monument to his efforts, one which he was not privileged to see, but will be dedicated to his memory.”
Sadly, there is no sign or marker for Harry Tourte, but when you next get there, say a quiet word of thanks to him for bringing this beautiful bandshell to life, for future generations of Woodhavenites to enjoy.

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