Considering he’s practically BFFs with LeBron James, tonight may be one of the last times you’ll be able to hear Gerry Keating jazzing it up at Lakewood’s Waterbury Coach House.
OK, maybe that’s an overstatement. But last Wednesday, the 6-foot-3 crooner spent 10 hours at the Convention Center for the taping of a TV commercial for Vitamin Water. In the 30-second spot, Keating plays a courtroom judge opposite James’ defense-attorney character. And the Chosen One made an impression on the 60 extras on the set. “He’s a superstar who makes a lot of money, yet he shook everybody’s hand,” says Keating. “The guy was so gracious. He’s real class.” ...
Keating’s day started at 12:30 p.m. to tape a series of close-ups, in which he says his one and only line, “Dismissed!” At 5 p.m., the cast took a dinner break as James and his entourage rolled into the center in a parade of SUVs. For the next four hours, Keating watched his co-star at work. “I was impressed with his acting skills,” he says. “He even made fun of himself when he flubbed his lines.”
The commercial is set to air during the NBA finals in June. Until then, Keating will command the corner stage at the Waterbury – performing his typical mix of American-songbook standards and Broadway show tunes -- while he envisions an avalanche of residual checks after the spot airs a few times. “Even though a lot of the taping was downright boring, it was one of the best days of my life,” says Keating, who performs a free show from 6 to 10 p.m. tonight at the club. It’s located at 13333 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Call 216-226-9772 for details. – Cris Glaser