‘Dean Lives’ Brings the Magic of Martin to the Palace

By Rutkoski, Rex | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 4, 2018 | Go to article overview

‘Dean Lives’ Brings the Magic of Martin to the Palace


Rutkoski, Rex, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


When Connecticut native Drew Anthony moved to Las Vegas in 2006, Dean Martin wasn’t necessarily on his mind.

Fresh out of music school, Anthony anticipated putting together a jazz quartet and performing standards in lounges.

“The first week I was in Las Vegas someone told me to check out the Rat Pack show. I went, the producer was there and he could not believe how much I looked like Dean Martin,” he recalls. “I had no idea this was a big business. I told him I was a singer. He put me in the show the next week as a sub and soon after full time. I have been playing Dean Martin six nights a week, 52 weeks a year for over 10 years now.”

He brings his “Dean Lives — A Musical Salute to Dean Martin” show, a multimedia presentation that includes a 12-piece orchestra, to Greensburg’s Palace Theatre Jan. 6.

“After years of experience portraying Martin, and seeing how well-loved and missed he was, and appreciating him so much myself, I decided he deserved a stand-alone show that was only about him and his legacy,” he explains.

The Palace audience can expect to see what Anthony calls a “wonderful musical tribute” to Martin’s career. Presented in three acts, it covers his debut with Jerry Lewis, his Vegas years and his Hollywood and television show era. Anthony says Martin will be accompanied by some of his closest friends, including portrayals of Jerry Lewis, Johnny Carson, Marilyn Monroe and Peggy Lee. The musical acts are reveries, written by Anthony, tied together by an actor portraying a lovable old theater caretaker whose character was as lifelong friend and fan of Martin.

Long after his death on Christmas Day 1995, Martin’s music and memory still resonate, Anthony says.

Western Pennsylvania residents have seen that in the renewed popularity of Martin’s version of “That’s Amore,” which Pittsburgh Pirate fan favorite Francisco Cervelli chose as his “walk-up” song each time he bats at PNC Park. His singing bobblehead was an in-demand collectible last season.

Jim Caporali isn’t surprised.

The owner of Murphy’s Music Center, Allegheny Township, and leader of the Murphy Music Center Big Band, says “Dean Martin IS the epitome of all things cool. He has the looks, the deep voice and the swagger to boot.”

Caporali and his fellow musicians see younger people singing along with the band to Martin songs. …

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