By Nathan Mayberg
CALLICOON January 14, 2005 Sullivan County will soon get its own version of American Idol when the first-ever Catskill American Idol is held at the Villa Roma.
Tony Darrow who has acted in such hit movies as Goodfellas, Analyze This, Mickey Blue Eyes, Sweet and Lowdown, Deconstructing Harry, Mighty Aphrodite, the HBO original series The Sopranos and the television show Law & Order is one of the main organizers of the 5-day contest as a benefit for St. Peters Catholic School in Liberty.
Although not affiliated with the hit Fox show, this version will also feature contestants competing to be the best vocalist. The grand prize winner will be awarded a night on stage at the Villa Roma, performing with one of the stars. Darrow said the grand prize may also include a possible record contract or chance to be a walk-on in a movie. Darrow pledged to personally help the winner with a nightclub act.
Darrow will be one of several showbiz judges. He will be joined by Paul Borghese, a director, producer, writer and actor who recently did each of those jobs on the movie Searching for Bobby D (D as in DeNiro). The movie includes an appearance by Carmen Electra.
Borghese has acted on such television shows as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Saturday Night Live, Third Watch and The Sopranos.
Two partners of the Charles Rapp Agency, which books entertainment throughout the country and one of the major bookers of entertainment in the Catskills during its heyday, will also be judging.
And Larry Chance of Larry Chance and the Earls, the famous rock-and-roll group from the 1950s and 1960s, will also be a judge. The group is best known for their hits Remember Then, Never, I Believe and Life is But a Dream.
Each applicant must be at least 16 years of age and provide a $25 audition fee. The top 20 rated singers will receive prizes.
Entry applications may be picked up at the Villa Roma, Linden Communications in Liberty, Rea Ford in Monticello, Last Licks in Liberty, WVOS in Liberty, Cream and Sugar (next to the Fitness Factory) in Monticello and Café Perrelli on Sullivan Street in Wurtsboro.
The contest will begin at Martys Lounge at noon at the Villa Roma, March 6, and will continue on March 13, March 21, and April 3. The final show is scheduled for April 10 at the Forum Nightclub, which seats 1,000, inside the hotel.
Said Darrow, Would you like to see your name in the lights? If so, this is the place to go.