Deana Martin’s Christmas Show

Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, Dec. 14

The audience was primarily septuagenarians with nostalgia on the brain. Introduced by a video of “Father Dean,” Deana Martin took the stage with a spirited version of “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” Supported by a quintet—including original Rat Pack musicians Vincent Falcone on piano and Joe Lano on guitar—Martin presented a jolly bag of holiday cheer mixed with plenty of yesteryear.

Her vocals seemed best served when singing in tandem with tracks of her late father and the late Andy Williams. The best moment had to be her rendition of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” highlighted by Falcone, Lano and vibist Dale Rampton all playing the melody as one.

Martin displayed the traits of her famous father’s stage persona, including an oft-sipped martini glass and loads of stories and jokes. Her shining moment came when she announced that she was going to honor her Uncle Frank [Sinatra] by first singing “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and then going to “beat somebody up in the parking lot.” In tune with her father’s variety show, surprise guests Rich Little and Pia Zadora popped in to keep things rolling along. There was plenty of audience participation during “Memories Are Made of This” and “That’s Amore.” Although there were Christmas tunes sung and Christmas stories told, this concert was primarily a love letter to Father Dean’s act that the Sun City crowd clearly came to see. ★★★☆☆

Suggested Next Read

Keeper of the Vision

Keeper of the Vision

By Steve Bornfeld

Big dreamers can start out as little schemers. You want to one day operate a palace of culture in a globally renowned city? You need some training-wheel deals. “I was a marketer from 5 years old,” says Myron Martin, his memory rewinding 49 years to the backyards of Houston. “Around the holidays I went around picking up pinecones that had fallen off the pine trees in people’s yards. I’d put a little glitter on them and sell the pinecones that came out of their own trees as holiday décor.”