Singer Mark Sanders will perform the music of Barry Manilow in the two hour concert “One Voice” on Sat. July 8 at Aventura Arts & Cultural Center in Aventura, singing 25 plus Manilow songs, such as “Copacabana”, “Can’t Smile Without You”, “Even Now”, “I Write The Songs” and “Weekend In New England.”

Manilow turned 80 in June, was the oldest performer to headline a concert at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise last January and is currently ranked by “Billboard Magazine” as the number one adult contemporary artist of all time, spanning a 50 year recording career selling 85 million albums, with 50 top 40 singles. In addition, Manilow has written two musicals “Copacabana” and “Harmony”, which will debut on Broadway in November. 

Mark Sanders in One Voice (Courtesy Aventura Arts & Cultural Center)

Will Sanders be a bit unnerved to be singing Manilow hit songs when he performs, not as a clone of Manilow, but rather as an interpreter of Barry Manilow songs?

“It is a privilege to sing Barry Manilow songs anytime and anywhere. When putting this show together, my intent was never to imitate Barry Manilow, but to honor and celebrate the music he has given us. Studying these iconic songs revealed a personal meaning to me and a journey that continues to evolve,” said Sanders from his home in Ft. Myers, where he has resided since 2009.

Sanders first became aware of the beauty of Manilow songs when his cousin played the 1978 album “Even Now” for him.  

“My cousin was the fanilow (fan of Barry Manilow music) way back then. As my career evolved, I became more intrigued by singing Barry Manilow songs when I was booked with orchestras.”

“I started doing a 15 minute Manilow medley of his hit songs in my orchestra appearance and was inspired by what I experienced backstage following the show. Literally hundreds of fanilows came to see me, expressing so much joy of being inspired by Barry Manilow for so many years. I knew at that moment that I was so fortunate to sing Barry Manilow songs and want to continue doing so for the rest of my career.”

Sanders does not look like Manilow, but makes the “One Voice” show seem as if Manilow was on stage by wearing colorful costumed jackets that Manilow wears on stage in Las Vegas and on his worldwide tours.

Singer/songwriter Barry Manilow in concert

“I studied graphic design in my college years and those skills came in handy by personally designing my many jackets just like Barry has when he is on stage, including those memorable rhinestone outfits.”

As seen in his many promotional videos of the “One Voice” show on YouTube, Sanders, like Manilow, is a tenor and sings a mix of his romantic ballads, such as “Mandy” and “Trying To Get The Feeling Again” with up tempo Manilow songs such as “Bandstand Boogie” and “It’s A Miracle’” to recreate the excitement of a live Manilow concert with Sander’s five piece band.

Between songs, Sanders shares many anecdotes and facts about Manilow’s life that only fanilows know about. One unusual fact is that Manilow never planned to be a professional singer when he started his recording career in 1973 and another unusual story is Manilow and singer Melissa Manchester wrote commercial jingles a year prior to working onstage with budding recording star Bette Midler in 1972.

“You remember those stories about Barry from the many people I met over the years at the ‘One Voice’ shows. His fans not only love Barry’s songs, but know every important moment of his life and career.”

“I never had the opportunity of meeting Barry, but I hope to one day.”

Sanders has either been performing “One Voice” or singing Manilow songs as a guest artist in many orchestras in Southwest Florida for the past decade.

Born and raised in Marion, Illinois, Sanders first love was not the concert stage, but the world of musical theater. His first musical performance was in “Mame” in 1984, beginning a stellar 39 year career as both actor and singer. Sanders earned acclaim as “Perchik” in a national tour production as “Fiddler on the Roof” with legendary actor/singer Theodore Bikel.

Sanders is well- known to South Florida musical theater fans. He has appeared in ten musicals in South Florida, with memorable roles in six productions at Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables.

“Mark (Sanders) is an incredible singer with great musicality and a fantastic actor as well. I first directed him in ‘Next To Normal’ and have been lucky to have collaborated with him on many productions since,” said David Arisco, Artistic Director of Actors Playhouse.

Mark Sanders stars with Jodie Langel in “Mamma Mia” (2020) at Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables.

In addition to “Next To Normal” (2012), Arisco has also directed Sanders in “Carousel” (2017), “Mamma Mia” (2020), “Memphis” (2019), “Murder Ballad” (2014) and “Ragtime” (2015), all at Actors Playhouse.  Sanders won a Carbonell Award as Best Actor for “Murder Ballad” in 2014.


 Mark Sanders wins Best Actor Carbonell Award for “Murder Ballad” (2014) at Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables

Arisco is not surprised at Sanders’ success with the “One Voice” shows. 

“Mark has a keen ability to win audiences over with his heart-on-sleeve sentiment that has made Barry Manilow a legend. I know that he will ace this powerful tribute to the pop icon,” said Arisco.

Sanders is adept performing on both the concert and musical theater stage and plans to balance his acting and singing careers in the Manilow “One Voice” shows.

“I am so fortunate to continue to both act and sing. The plan this year is to book 20 or so dates with the “One Voice” shows, singing Manilow songs with orchestras and acting in musicals whenever possible,” said Sanders.

Singer Mark Sanders performs in “One Voice: The Music Of Barry Manilow” on Sat. July 8 at 8 p.m. at Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188 Street in Aventura. Tickets are $45- 50. For tickets and more information, go to or by phone at either 954-462-0222 or 877-311-7469. To learn more about Mark Sanders, go to


You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *