Mohegan Sun Arena Hosts Tony Orlando’s ‘Finale’


UNCASVILLE, CT (CelebrityAccess) — On March 22nd, Mohegan Sun Arena hosted and produced the final performance of Tony Orlando, putting the capstone on the storied career of the legendary artist.

“I chose Mohegan Sun to do my final show because of one person, Tom Cantone. They don’t make them like him anymore, the only person I can compare him to was Bill Harrah, who treated his entertainers the same way Tom does with class, respect, and friendship,” Tony Orlando said of the gig. He’s the reason why so many artists I speak to play here and the way Mohegan in particular treats everyone like family. I started in the Wolf Den where many artists have started and have been a part of the Mohegan tribe since its beginning.”

With a career that spans seven decades, Orlando’s musical journey began in New York City in 1959 with The Five Gents, a doo-wop group he formed at age 15. After coming to the attention of music publisher and producer Don Kirshner, Orlando was recruited as a songwriter at the legendary Brill Building, alongside future legends such as Neil Sedaka, Carole King, Bobby Darin, Simon & Garfunkel (then known as Tom & Jerry) and others.

Tony Orlando and Tom Cantone, President of Sports & Entertainment of Mohegan Sun.

In the 1970s, Orlando’s career as a performer accelerated when he formed the pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn, selling more than 70 million records throughout his career on the strength of hits such as “Candida”, “Knock Three Times” and “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You).”

Beyond his musical endeavors, Orlando co-hosted, “The Tony Orlando and Dawn Show,” on CBS, the first hit variety show to feature multi-racial hosts.

Tony Orlando and CelebrityAccess President & Founder Marc Gentilella

More recently, he continued to tour with collaborators such as The Lefty Brothers and Toni Wine, and released a collection of Christmas music with the Vincent Sisters in 2005.

Orlando’s final live performance on March 22nd featured an all-star lineup of guests and VIPs to help send him off, and included appearances by Priscilla Presley, Andy Kim, and radio industry legend Cousin Brucie who first brought Tony on to the stage at Palisades Park when he was just 16 and again for his final show when Orlando was 79.

The sold-out show also featured performances by Lee Greenwood, TikTok star Ky Baldwin, and a reunion of Tony Orlando and Dawn. Both Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent joined Orlando on stage for renditions of “Candida”, “Knock Three Times”, and “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.”

The performance also featured video salutes that poured in from all over the world, including tributes from Adam Sandler, Smokey Robinson, Frankie Valli, and Lionel Richie, but the highlight was Paul Anka’s custom-made My Way tribute.

“Tony Orlando is an American entertainment treasure, and for us to host his very last show, a true finale, is a tribute of respect to the men and women who run our venues and to the 65 performances in front of the 100,000 fans he’s entertained at Mohegan Sun,” said Tom Cantone, President of Sports & Entertainment of Mohegan. “It was a privilege to host his final performances on our stages. These evenings were more than just concerts; they were a grand tribute to his phenomenal career.”

“Probably the highest compliment of any entertainer was that he could have ended his finale in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Branson, all places he’s had long rich histories, but he chose Mohegan Sun Arena for his final goodbye as his favorite place to play in a 64-year career. It was the ultimate high five to the men and women who run our venues and treat everyone like family,” Cantone added.


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