BWW Reviews: Andy DiMino as Dean Martin at Encore Dinner Theatre Tonight Only
On Friday July 26 and Saturday July 27 Andy DiMino brought his spot-on tribute to Dean Martin to the Encore Dinner Theatre and Club in Tustin, accompanied by a heavenly 12-piece orchestra. A lifelong musician, once a gondolier at the Venetian in Las Vegas, DiMino is a stunningly handsome Italian, who has the laid-back presence and easy-going vocal style of the late great Martin...and that's no easy task. To be as relaxed with an audience as you swing and sway to these all-time favorite tunes is in itself quite an art. DiMino captures the cool and collected, sophisticated, and sardonic Martin to the letter.
Always dressed to the nines in black tuxedo and bow tie, with a cigarette in one hand a a drink in the other, Martin appeared a self-indulgent lush whose own enjoyment came first, yet his self-deprecating nature created an infectious humor that rallied just about everyone to his side, whether he be singing, simulating a golf swing or simply toasting his fans. Every subtle move and whim of Martin's became a grande gesture, and DiMino replicates them divinely.
On this opening night an older couple from Costa Mesa, known as Cornel and Patricia, sat in the front row. Dressed in 30s/40s style, both wearing a hat, they got up and danced to a couple of songs after which DiMino engaged them in friendly banter. They danced so well, it seemed they could be ringers, but who knows? They helped infuse the room with the deliciously pleasant atmosphere of a bygone era. Wally Minko conducted the 12-piece orchestra, whose sounds are reminiscent of Benny Goodman, Harry James, and all the big bands of the past...delivering something, unfortunately, that is, like the song says..."So Rare".
DiMino's musical highlights included many of the songs associated with Dino such as: "Memories", "Volare", "All I Do Is Dream of You", "On an Evening in Roma", "Just in Time", "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You", "Please Don't Talk About Me When I''m Gone", "That's Amore", "Cha Cha Cha D'Amour" a real Dixieland flavor with "King of the Road", and, of course, Martin's great sing.along theme song "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime". DiMino sounded terrific on all, as did the orchestra, and he peppered his banter in between, a la Martin, with silly off-color jokes like a woman asking a pharmacist about Viagara: "Can you get it over the counter?" with the druggist's retort "If I take two". Fun, sexy stuff for a night club audience sans children!
Don't miss Andy DiMino when he brings his wonderful show to a city near you. It's a walk down memory lane, with some truly great songs, a pure golden full-piece orchestra, lots and lots of seemingly impromptu humor and laughs...and first and foremost Andy DiMino, who true to Dean Martin, brings a happy time to one and all.
Andy DiMino will return to Encore with his inimitable Dino stylings August 16 and 17!