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John Davidson is Living the Good Life in Atlantis

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Original Article featured in the Palm Beach Post

By Janis Fontaine   |  Music  |  February 16, 2012

John Davidson’s show at the Atlantis Country Club is one of the hottest shows around. (Richard Graulich / Post file photo)

John Davidson has been entertaining people for more than half a century, from New York to L.A. to Branson, Mo., and his resume is jam-packed with stage and television credits. A few months ago, the hunky heartthrob “retired” to Atlantis, an oasis in western Lake Worth where his ex-wife and daughter already lived. He bought a house with his wife Rhonda and started living the good life. But he soon found himself talking to management about doing a show in the lounge. The show outgrew the lounge almost immediately, and they moved it to the larger dining room.

It’s good clean fun, but Davidson is no Mister Rogers act. His show includes jokes about Viagra and the effects of age and gravity on some body parts. It’s Davidson’s self-deprecating humor, wit and passion that allow him to connect with audiences. At 70, Davidson’s face is still boyish, and he willingly offers his audiences an intimate glimpse of himself.

Now, Davidson is committed to making cozy Atlantis Country Club a go-to destination for entertainment. They plan to follow up Davidson’s show with more acts baby boomers want to see.

But for now, here are five reasons to see John Davidson at Atlantis Country Club:

Charm. He works the room before the show, shaking hands and saying hello to guests. When he singles out a guest, and those intense blue eyes settle on him or her, you can almost feel them tucking that memory carefully away.

Vigor. “He’s the youngest 70-year-old I ever saw,” a 23-year-old in the audience said. His hair may be white, and there may be a few more wrinkles, but he bounds around the stage and out into the audience, still feather-light on his feet.

Skills. Don’t assume this show is bad karaoke. Davidson has a rich, full voice and years of stage experience. He’s an accomplished guitarist, plays the banjo fairly well, and he even has a tambourine he plays with a foot pedal.

Humor. Davidson begins with a joke: “We searched far and wide for an excellent piano player and we couldn’t find one so we got this guy,” he says of pianist Alan Palanker. And so what if his back-up singers are blow-up dolls he calls The Inflatables? It’s Davidson’s way of saying he’s not taking himself too seriously. But don’t assume he’s phoning in his performance. Davidson has a mantra and it’s this: “My approach is so simple; every song I sing, every story I tell, every move I make, must move the audience to laughter, tears or inspiration. Otherwise, why should I do it?”

Food. Chef Chris Rayl serves a menu of at least five hearty entrees from prime rib to chicken piccata to shrimp scampi, plus a salad and dessert. Want to try out the food before you commit to the dinner and show? Atlantis Country Club is open to the public for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

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