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Sister Act: Return Of The Divas

Hicksville residents celebrated iconic female singers this past weekend during a live concert at the Hicksville Public Library.

“Sister Act: A Salute to Legendary Divas” is made up of two actual sisters, Andrea Giammalvo and Celeste Santini. The sisters dressed up in costume and sang the songs of famous female vocalists of the past.

The performance was originally written as a school performance with the intent to educate students about the journey of women in music. “We wanted kids to know who these great ladies are and how these women paved the road for the great ladies of today such as Beyoncé,” said Giammalvo.

During the show, the sisters performed music as early as Billie Holiday in the 1940s, to more recent hits from the 1990s.

There were a great number of people in the audience who had previously seen “Sister Act”. “We have some groupies, which is so cool,” said Giammalvo.

One fan of “Sister Act” has seen the duo perform at least 10 times. The first time Brenda Zysberg saw the sisters perform was about seven years ago.

“Each show gets better and better,” said Zysberg. “They are extremely talented ladies and they put on a beautiful show.”

Zysberg keeps coming back for more shows because of the great talent of the two performers. “They have wonderful voices and the variety of the songs they sing is beautiful,” she said.

Members of the audience were singing and even dancing along to the songs, including Bernadette Davidock. It was her first time watching the “Sister Act” performance, and she was impressed with what she saw. “I would pay to see them,” Davidock said. “These girls are very talented. They have professional voices.”

The older songs brought back memories to Davidock, who grew up in the 1950s. “I loved all the Broadway songs, and all the rock and roll 1950s and 1960s music that they sang,” she said.

The best part about performing ”Sister Act” is working with her sister, according to Giammalvo. “She’s the best,” she said. “We truly get along. There is no faking it.”

The performance is part of the Town of Oyster Bay Department of Community Youth Services, Cultural and Performing Arts Division. Giammalvo and Santini perform at libraries, private parties, schools, as well as fundraisers.

The sisters became involved with the town when they first began performing this act 15 years ago. “Every year we wind up in the Distinguished Artists concert series for them,” said Giammalvo. “It’s been great. We’ve been blessed to work for our local neighbors on Long Island.”