Courtesy of Deana Martin
Dino’s Daughter Sings Dad’s Songs
“Everybody loves somebody,” Dean Martin famously sang. And it seems that just about everyone loved him, too.
The suave, semi-sloshed Rat Packer was one of those rare entertainers—like Carol Burnett and Jimmy Durante—who we not only enjoy but also embrace.
It isn’t just a matter of talent; there’s also some elusive personal quality involved. Martin’s case is especially rare because he somehow managed to be both beloved and hip—a swinger that people yearned to hug.
“I think they feel like he’s family,” offers Deana Martin, when asked about her late father’s enduring appeal, and she ought to know. Not only is she one of his daughters (and, therefore, quite literally “family”), but she is also keeping his legacy alive by singing his hits. And this month, she’ll be singing some of them with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in “That’s Amoré,” a musical celebration of all things Italian.
“That’s something that I just love to do,” says Dino’s 62-year-old daughter. “And to be able to sing these songs with a symphony orchestra is pretty amazing.”
“These songs” will include “Mambo Italiano,” “Sway,” “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” “Volare” and, yes, “Everybody Loves Somebody.” Although Deana Martin says she has been influenced by her father’s style, he never gave her formal singing lessons as such.
“He said just sing from your heart,” she recalls. “And always be on time and know all the lyrics.”
Just like any dad.
In addition to Dean Martin’s songs, the program will feature classical and other selections, with tenor Randolph Locke, guest conductor Albert-George Schram and The Humdingers (a barbershop quartet) on board. But for many in the audience, Deana Martin singing her father’s hits—and evoking his memory—will be the main attraction.
“He was easy. Everything was OK with him,” she explains. “That’s what endeared him to all of us.” Jan. 29, 2 and 8 p.m. $14.25-$70. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St. 407-770-0071. orlandophil.org
JANUARY 22-23 With their sweet little faces and smooth, ample bodies, manatees are said to have looked like mermaids to ancient sailors. See what you think at the Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival, where 100 or more of the lovely creatures will be on view in their natural habitat. Arts, crafts, food and games, as well as zoo animals, are all part of the family-friendly fun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $8, children 4-10 $2, children 3 and under free. Valentine Park (exit 114 on I-4), Orange City. 386-775-9224. themanateefestival.com
JANUARY 20 He’s ready to take a chance again, and he’s betting that you are, too. That’s why Barry Manilow is touring five Florida cities, including Orlando, singing some of his greatest hits, with backing by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra of Punta Gorda and performers from his popular Las Vegas show. Although touring is nothing new for the man behind such enduring—and inescapable—songs as “Mandy,” “Copacabana,” “I Write the Songs,” “Could It Be Magic” and, of course, “Ready to Take a Chance Again,” this tour is billed as the first time the Brooklyn-born crooner has performed with an orchestra in the Sunshine State. 8 p.m. $11.99-$129.99. Amway Center, 400 W. Church St. 407-440-7900. amwaycenter.com
Meet Marc Salem
JANUARY 23 We know exactly what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Who is Marc Salem?” The man is a mentalist, the sort of magician who knows, well, exactly what you’re thinking. So now you’re thinking, “OK, but what does he do in his act?” Among other things, Salem is known for being blindfolded, waving his hand over objects supplied by the audience and then identifying those objects. Does he have special powers? We knew you were going to ask that. Salem makes no such claims; he’s just a careful observer and a clever entertainer. So now you must be wondering: When and where can I see this guy, and how much does it cost? Hey, we’ve got that covered, too: 8 p.m. $27-$37. The Plaza Live Theatre, 425 N. Bumby Ave. 407-228-1220. theplazatheatre.com
• JANUARY 13-17 The circus is coming to town! That’s the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Amway Center. ticketmaster.com
• JANUARY 16 Screen actor Jeff Daniels will perform as a singer/songwriter/guitarist at The Plaza Live Theatre. theplazatheatre.com
• JANUARY 21 Comedian Patton Oswalt will bring his twisted perspective to Hard Rock Live. hardrock.com
• JANUARY 22-30 The Zora! festival, at various locations in Eatonville and elsewhere, is all about author Zora Neale Hurston. zorafestival.com
• JANUARY 26-MARCH 19 Shakespeare’s classic comedy about lovers, fools and faries, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will be onstage at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. orlandoshakes.org