Mike Needleman

The Show Must Go On

Chris DiMaso | March 15, 2021

“Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe” Psalm 150:3-4

At the beginning of the pandemic, one of the first casualties of normal life was our entertainers had to stop coming into Villa. It was too great a threat of exposure to residents. Days became bland without the upbeat spirit that musicians brought to our building. But the show must go on. As the days became weeks, we found a safe way to bring the musicians back, but they needed to stay in the chapel. From there they would be broadcast over our in-house TV channel. No one was allowed in the chapel during the performance, and residents would watch from their rooms. It just was not the same.

As the infection rate has began to drop and we were preparing to allow people back into the building, we also started to think about how we could bring back live entertainment. We knew we couldn’t have everyone in the main dining room at once, so we needed to have another option for in-room viewing. The answer was to install a new TV channel with a connection in the dining room. And so that is what we did.

Beginning on Monday, March 15, 2021 we were able to bring entertainers back into the dining room. Keeping residents socially distanced, we welcomed Mike Needleman back for our first live performance in over a year. We also broadcast him live to residents across Villa on our new channel. He played hits from the 1950’s and 1960’s like Bob Dylan, The Birds, and The Everly Brothers.

The residents who were in attendance in the main dining room tapped to the beat as smiles returned to their faces. Those who opted to watch in their rooms remarked how clear the picture was and how much they enjoyed it.

Villa St. Francis staff probably had the best reaction while Mike played. It filled our hearts to see our residents out and enjoying life. Masks can’t restrain our smiles. It feels amazing to see Villa getting back to normal. Thank you for your support during our efforts to reopen safely.

Mike with guitar

Watching Mike