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Tommy Kane’s Bay Ridge Birthday Music Blowout

Neighborhood performers honor playwright and actor Tommy Kane three years after passing

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Gone, but not forgotten.

Bay Ridge’s biggest bands rocked Saint Patrick’s School Auditorium at the corner of 97th Street and Fourth Avenue on Jan. 24 to remember a legend in the local arts community.

Bay Ridge-born writer, actor, and mentor Tom Kane would have turned 56 on Jan. 21, but he lost his life to cancer in 2011. So his friends, family, and proteges decided to throw a party in his honor.

“Three years was time enough that we were done mourning and could celebrate his life and his legacy. And that’s why I felt a birthday party would be so appropriate,” said Anthony Marino, who starred in Kane’s first play “The Life and Times of Mathew Ryan” at age 12, and a decade later co-founded BrooklynOne Productions with the man who gave him his start in the arts. BrooklynOne continues to put on original film, poetry, theater, and dance events in and around Bay Ridge to this day.

Kane loved Bay Ridge’s music scene, and the neighborhood’s top performers came out to honor him. Show tunes and oldies vocalist John Heffernan, classic rockers Beefcake, beloved party rock cover group Frankie Marra & His Band, southern rockers Head N’ South, and hard rock cover band Radio Daze all took the stage to pay tribute to Kane and bring down the house. Some 200 people in all came out to reminisce and rock out.

“It was electric. The crowd was just os enthusiastic and having a great time, the bands were on fire. It was loud, it was fun, it was the place to be,” said Marino.

Bay Ridge’s newest craft beer bar, the Lockyard, was on tap with its finest brews, while Dyker’s Rocco’s Calamari provided the food. The $6,000 raised at the show will go to Ridge anti-cancer fund the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation — where Kane once sat on the board — and to Saint Pat’s, where Kane attended school as a boy.

Marino vowed that the party will become a new Bay Ridge tradition, so that Kane’s memory will be carried on for years to come.

“Every year it’s going to get bigger and better,” said Marino. “Being co-founder of the company with him, we have a responsibility to maintain his legacy in the community, because so many people in the community loved him and were influenced by him.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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