Former ‘America’s Got Talent’ performer ‘spooned’ residents of Beaumont rehab facility

Photo courtesy of Beaumont Rehabilitation and Continuing Care Jim Cruise, “The Spoon Man,” taps out tunes for the residents of Beaumont Rehabilitation and Continuing Care.

Photo courtesy of Beaumont Rehabilitation and Continuing Care
Jim Cruise, “The Spoon Man,” taps out tunes for the residents of Beaumont Rehabilitation and Continuing Care.

By MARGARET BLOHM
For the Times-Herald

DEARBORN — Residents of Beaumont Rehabilitation and Continuing Care recently experienced what it means to be “spooned” during an entertaining musical performance by Jim Cruise, “The Spoon Man.”
“The Spoon Man,” who made it to the second round of auditions during a season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” auditions, gave a unique musical performance using all kinds of spoons to accompany familiar tunes by Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra.

“I loved it,” said resident Virginia Alfano, 94, from Dearborn. “I’ve never seen anything like that before. I never knew you could make that kind of music with just two spoons.”

Cruise quickly engaged residents by recruiting three audience volunteers to take on the roles of Billy Bob, Billy Burt and Rock a Billy to create a Beaumont Mountain Band. Each volunteer received an outrageous costume head piece to wear and a kitchen utensil to play.
Joking with the audience, Cruise assured everyone he never used “dirty silverware.”

Later in his performance, Cruise invited everyone in the audience, including residents and staff, to hold out a hand while he circled the room to play spoons that clicked out tunes on their hands.

Activities Coordinator Teresa Freeman, encouraged residents to dance, clap and sing.

“This kind of musical entertainment is very important, especially for our residents with dementia,” said Freeman, who works in the memory care area. “Music is a memory they never lose and reminds them of happy times.

“When they are happy, they build friendships and talk to people next to them. They’ll be happy for the rest of the day.”

Before ending his performance, Cruise made sure each resident received a “Got Spooned” sticker to wear.

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