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Jewish Journal

Robbo to Sing at Center Gala

by Stefanee Freedman

August 5, 2004 | 8:00 pm

Songwriter and performer Robb Zelonky tangos to the lyrical subject of cleaning up a messy room and morphs into an Elvis impersonation when he sings, "Don't Wanna Share My Toys."

Zelonky, known to kids as Robbo, brings his family-oriented songfest to the stage as part of the Irvine Jewish Community Center's grand opening events on Aug. 17.

"I was a theater major. My show is very visual and theatrical and participatory," Zelonky said. "Even dads like it, which is saying something."

Zelonky is scheduled to appear in Irvine after a two-month tour of California, bringing a special show with songs tailored to Jewish culture. He has also produced four secular CDs.

His most recent recording, "Kid's Life," features celebrity voices including Teri Garr, Linda Gray, Steve Harris, Henry Winkler and Vanna White. Zelonky puts his own stamp on classic Jewish songs in his 1997 CD titled "A Part of a Chain."

Zelonky started entertaining through concerts for kids in 1990, making appearances at Jewish camps and school music programs in more than 70 cities. He has performed at the White House and the Cincinnati Folk Music Festival. His CDs earned Parent's Choice gold awards for both 2000 and 2002.

After 32 years of guitar playing, Zelonky samples from a variety of musical styles to create his original mix of music and positive messages that inevitably have his audience singing and dancing along.

"I perform 80 shows or so a year, half Jewish, half secular," Zelonky said. "No Christian music though. Just stuff about monsters and owies."

Robbo's Concert for Kids takes the JCC stage Aug. 17, 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. l

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