Saturday, May 11, 2013

Iconic crooners don't get any more comfy than Dean Martin

Hey pallies, likes I had been hopin' that somewhere down the line that our pallies at google 'lerts woulda senda sends 'cross our way a review of that Philly phenomenon, the world premier run of "DINO! An Evening With Dean Martin at the Latin Casino," that we have shared patter 'bout a couple of times here at ilovedinomartin.

 Below is a brief review of this cabaret musicale scribed by  Mr. Patrick David Stearns classic music critic of the Philly Inquirer.  The grand news dudes is likes it is playin' to "fullish houses" accordin' to Stearns....and the run as been "extended" to the absolute end of June.  While Mr. Stearns believes the strength of the run is due to "nostalgia," I would venture that it is purely and truly a fantastic sign of the Dino-revolution that is in full tilt 'round the globe as more and more pallies seek comfort and delight in our one and only Dino.

Unfortunately Mr. Stearns is mostly unimpressed with Mr. Nat Chandler's portrayal of our King of Cool, but none the less the masses are gatherin' to get their Dino-fix with this Dino-honorin' venture.  And, reviewer Stearns does speak likes volumes of Dino-truth when he sez, " Iconic crooners don't get any more comfy than Dean Martin."  And likes all us Dino-philes knows that no one is more iconic then our most beloved Dino!

Thanks to Mr. Patrick David Stearns and all the pallies at the Philly Inquirer for spreadin' the word 'bout this world premiere of Dino-fication.  To checks it out in it's original format, simply simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-report.   Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP
Cabaret show with a bit of Dean Martin
Iconic crooners don't get any more comfy than Dean Martin, who ambled through his performing life with supreme ease and deceptive artistry, most apparent when he wasn't making fun of himself. Supposedly, he was so cool that his heart beat only five times a minute.
But that's not what you see with Dino! An Evening With Dean Martin at the Latin Casino, now playing to full-ish houses at the Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio.
The show's conceit is that Martin arrives at Cherry Hill's Latin Casino in 1978 amid a snowstorm and without his band. So he sings all his hits with only a pianist (David Jenkins), which means Dino! is a low-maintenance, low-ambition cabaret show, directed by Fran Prisco and with biographical between-songs patter by Armen Pandola. It seems to have caught on with the nostalgia crowd - it has been extended - but it comes with a possibly impossible conundrum.
Impersonating Dean Martin risks being campy and false. In what feels like a work in progress, Nat Chandler goes about a third of the way. But is it the right third? You get the tired drunk jokes, lots of the signature songs such as "Everybody Loves Somebody," accounts of Martin's upbringing in Steubenville, Ohio, and whitewashed accounts of his various divorces, from wives to Jerry Lewis. You could get most of this from Wikipedia.
Chandler doesn't attempt to look like Martin, but captures a bit of his manner and some of his vocal phrasing, though the vocal Dino zone keeps him in his less-interesting lower range - and in a voice that's not his. Only at the end does Chandler shed the vocal lid and show what he can really do. So you have a bit of Martin, a bit of Chandler, and not much of anything. Who'd have thought that playing Dean Martin would be such a burden?


Through June 30 at the Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio. Tickets: $35-$45.
Contact: 215-574-3550 or


Eric Richardson said...

I saw the show on opening night at The Walnut...and it did more to lose Dino fans, than gain them. Nat Chandler is a great performer and super nice guy, but was no "Dean Martin". He never really got "comfy" with the role. I could get specific, but I do feel the show could be successful in the right hands.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Eric, thanks so much for droppin' by and sharin' your insights. Nice to have you at ilovedinomartin and hopes you will be a frequent visitor. Keeps lovin' our most beloved Dino!