ON a night when Las Vegas came to Hartlepool, brave Gina Pontoni made the comeback she feared may never happen.
Seven years ago, Gina was in hospital with horrific injuries including a punctured lung, nine broken ribs, a shattered right leg and a smashed skull.
At times, she thought her singing career could be over.
But Gina’s fighting spirit, her hours of work with a vocal coach and her determination to beat the odds paid dividends.
She owned the stage last night at the Borough Hall which had been converted into a candlelit Las Vegas supper club.
An audience of around 480 were privileged indeed.
For this is likely to be the first in many a fine performance for a singer whose credentials already include packing out venues in the USA.
She belted out numbers starting with Birth of the Blues and was soon in her stride with a mix of Abba, Lloyd Webber, Beatles and Barbra Streisand numbers.
Add in a touch of comedy, the odd Italian number and songs from the musical Chicago and Gina had covered everyone’s tastes.
Proceeds from the raffle at the show will go to the British Heart Foundation research programme, Mending Broken Hearts, and Gina is hoping that could run to at least £1,500. Despite her packed schedule, Gina spoke to the Hartlepool Mail and said: “I am elated and overwhelmed with how it has gone and the fact that I can sing again.
“I am so grateful to have been blessed with a strong personality and to have the character and determination to have seen things through.”
Gina’s show was organised with Kath Crawford, chairman of Hartlepool and District Flower Club.
It was a memorable night to mark the return of one of Hartlepool’s finest.