photo & story
by Tony Schillaci and Don Church
The Mohegan Sun Cabaret presented a wildly funny and tuneful show for three nights in July when Las Vegas stars, The Scintas, exploded onto the stage and kept the laughs and songs coming non-stop for an hour and a half to sold-out audiences.
The Scintas are a one-of-a-kind act that kept the audience rolling in the aisles and showering the performers with show-stopping applause. By the end of the show, LOL (Laugh Out Loud), the audience embraced The Scintas with howling and whistling to express appreciation for their talent and bigger-than-life personalities.
Zany brothers Joe and Frank and sister Chrissi, a talented singer, and dynamic drummer-singer Peter O’Donnell (aka “the Irish Scinta”) worked together for over 20 years now.
Their show is a bridge between the old Vegas of Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. and the newer Vegas of Bette Midler, Elton John, and Billy Joel. They poke fun at themselves and other entertainers: the Blue Man Group, Cirque de Soliel, and the Sopranos. Frank and Joe also brashly pick on patrons at the ringside tables, but it’s all done in wacky fun and good humor.
Their Vegas act began to take its present-day shape in a bar owned by former Buffalo Bill and present ESPN commentator Paul McGuire. Frank and Joe were then playing piano and guitar, singing songs and adding a joke or two. Soon the customers were in lines that trailed out the door. They brought in their sister Chrissi to sing with them on weekends while she was still in school.
With their tremendous showmanship, the Scintas’ act is more than fast and furious great music and hilarious comedy. It’s in the great tradition of the legendary Marx Brothers. And they ace that by bringing down the house with their satirical impressions of Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Barbara Streisand, and Mick Jagger.
Mama Scinta traveled with her kids from Las Vegas for their debut at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret, and wildly laughed and cheered with the rest of us.
The Scintas have a serious side, too, supporting a range of charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Positive Kids and Camp To Belong.
These days, The Scintas play to packed houses 26 weeks a year at the Vegas Hilton, with shows often selling out in 45 minutes. It’s evident from the enthusiastic audience here that plans should be forming at Mohegan Sun to bring back The Scintas soon.
The Resident met the Scinta family after the show, and got big Sicilian bear hugs from Frank and Joey, and a Goldilocks hug from Chrissi. We told them, “Forget the circus! The Scintas are the Greatest Show on Earth!”