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Fredonia graduate creates streaming version of classic-style variety show

With the coronavirus pandemic bringing live, in-person events to a halt, performers across the world have gotten creative in an effort to connect with audiences.

Jason Ostrowski, a 1998 graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia, has met the challenge by creating a monthly live-streaming variety show on Facebook.

“Jason O’s Variatine Show” features music, sketch comedy and special guests. Ostrowski describes the show as a “fun hour of entertainment” that is a cross between “Steve Allen’s Music Room” and “Saturday Night Live.”

Guests to date have included stand-up comedienne and actress Jill Kimmel, “America’s Got Talent” finalist magician Naathan Phan and Dixie Longate, the drag persona of American actor, writer, comedian, and drag performer Kris Andersson.

“Jason O’s Variatine Show” airs next on June 21 at 8 p.m. Guests will include indie pop band The Minute Before and the Rochester-based Greece Jazz Band.

Fredonia’s Rockefeller Arts Center will co-host the June 21 show on its Facebook page so that its followers can watch the program.

Rockefeller Director Jefferson Westwood said Ostrowski has an impressive resume of professional credits since earning his bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theatre from Fredonia.

“Jason was one of the performers originally scheduled to perform in our 50th Anniversary concert last fall, but he had an extended cruise ship engagement and his schedule did not allow him to participate,” Westwood said.

Ostrowski has credits on Broadway (including the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” and the 25th anniversary national tour of “Les Miserables”), television and national tours. Recently, he has been performing his solo show “Sing Us a Song,” an evening of music and stories told from his most comfortable position — behind a piano.

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