Tony Bennett dines in downtown Wallingford before concert at the Oakdale

Tony Bennett dines in downtown Wallingford before concert at the Oakdale

Record-Journal
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Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga are performing at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, June 29, 2015. The two musicans released an album together, "Cheek To Cheek." | www.cheek2cheek.com

WALLINGFORD — Legendary singer Tony Bennett dined at a downtown restaurant Monday night before taking the stage with Lady Gaga.

Bennett and Gaga were scheduled to sing at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre around 8 p.m. Monday as part of the duo’s “Cheek to Cheek” tour, prompted by a collaborative jazz album. But prior to taking the stage, Bennett stopped at Michael’s Trattoria on Center Street, said owner Michael Tiscia.

“He’s a very nice man,” Tiscia said of Bennett. “He’s terrific and a very warm person.”

Bennett, 88, and a group of people stopped into the restaurant, 344 Center St., around 5 p.m. Monday. He stayed for over an hour. It’s unclear if Gaga was with the group.

“They enjoyed themselves,” Tiscia said, noting that he wasn’t sure who Bennett was with at the time.

While walking out of the restaurant, Bennett was “so friendly to everyone” he said. “He was waving to all the customers.”

Bennett posed for a photo with Tiscia before leaving.

“The only reason this happened is the Oakdale, which is always a subject in town,” Tiscia said. “Because he came to the Oakdale, he loads up all the restaurants. It’s good for businesses everywhere in all the communities around us. He was a terrific gentleman.”

Tiscia is referring to recent issues between town officials and the Oakdale’s management company, Live Nation, regarding noise complaints.

Bennett and Gaga collaborated on a jazz album, “Cheek to Cheek.” The duo met in 2011 and recorded a rendition of “The Lady is a Tramp.” Wanting to continue to work together, the musicians began recording “Cheek to Cheek” in 2013. The album, which was released earlier this year in September, features the two singers covering well-known jazz songs, such as “But Beautiful” and “I Won’t Dance.” “Cheek 2 Cheek” sold over 131,000 copies in its first week.

To date, Bennett has received 17 Grammy Award, according to his website. He came to fame in the early 1950s with hits such as “Because of You” and “Rags to Riches.”

This isn’t the first time a celebrity stopped in Wallingford to dine. In May 1998, Harrison Ford grabbed an Italian combo sub at Rosa’s Deli on Route 5 after landing his plane at Meriden-Markham Municipal Airport.

aragali@record-journal.com (203) 317-2224 Twitter: @Andyragz












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