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Monday, September 12, 2022

Wildly popular entertainer in The Villages hopes to recreate Katie Belle’s atmosphere  

Andy Matchett
Andy Matchett

It won’t be Katie Belle’s, but Andy Matchett is hoping it will be “Wild.”

Matchett — better known with his oldies band as Johnny Wild – hopes to recreate the atmosphere of the late, beloved Katie Belle’s club in a new venue. It starts Nov. 6, with monthly shows at the Wildwood Community Center. The first show will feature a “patriotic” music theme.
“We’re launching a new dining and entertainment series for fans who are missing the Katie Belle’s experience,” Matchett said. “We’re calling it The Johnny Wild Supper Club.”

The cost will be $55 per person and includes a buffet dinner, dessert and non-alcoholic drinks. He added that different themed shows will be held once a month.
Matchett wanted to find a place to replace the ambience of Katie Belle’s, one of the most popular clubs in Villages’ history at Spanish Springs Town Square. It closed in 2020 and Villagers have been yearning for a replacement, especially after the Covid virus shut down so much entertainment.
“Since the pandemic, we were looking for a dinner theater or dance hall to hold indoor theme shows in The Villages without any luck,” Matchett said. “So, we decided to create one of our own.”

The dance floor was legendary at Katie Belle’s.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Food was a big attraction at Katie Belle’s, as Matchett knows after performing there for much of the past decade.
“We’re hiring different local catering companies for each event,” he said. “We will curate the menu and full experience.”

Matchett’s band plays music from the 1950s through the ‘80s. He called dining and entertainment, “part of the heart and soul of The Villages, including food, drinks and dancing.”
Shows start at 6 p.m. and the scheduled dates are: Nov. 6; Dec. 11; Jan. 15; Feb. 19; March 19 and April 16.

Patrons who attend, will be urged to “dress up” for the musical theme, which includes patriotic music, holiday music, rockabilly, oldies and ‘80s sounds.
For more information: https://buytickets.at/johnnywild

Tony Violanti covers arts and music for Villages-News.com. He was inducted into the Buffalo NY Music Hall of Fame as a music journalist.

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