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Francesca Capetta: Dean Martin—A Centennial Celebration

| July 20, 2017

Francesca Capetta

Dean Martin—A Centennial Celebration

Weill Recital Hall, NYC, July 12, 2017

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Francesca Capetta

Dean Martin was one of my all-time favorite entertainers. Since his passing, memories of Martin have begun to fade, so  it delighted me to learn of a centennial tribute to the showman. What made this tribute particularly interesting was that its star, Francesca Capetta, and her two guest stars, Stacy Sullivan and Liliane Montevecchi, are women. Vivacious and very beautiful Italian import Capetta has an ingratiating manner that draws an audience in as soon as she steps on stage. Her voice is powerful and her accent makes her ability to tell a funny anecdote even more charming. She artfully mixed the story of Martin’s life between her performance of his signature songs.

Her big smile and movement on stage made her opening number, “That’s Amore,” a delight. After mentioning that Martin’s recording of “Everybody Loves Somebody” knocked the Beatles off the number one spot on the Billboard charts, Capetta was joined by her eight-member chorus in performing the song. Taking advantage of her Italian background, she performed “Volare” and “Senza Fine,” the latter featuring a dazzling piano solo by musical director Ian Herman.

Peggy Lee was a frequent guest on Martin’s television show; guest star Stacy Sullivan performed “On the Street Where You Live” and “Blue Moon,” two songs Lee had performed on the program. The Oklahoma-born Sullivan and the Italian Capetta joined voices for what they called a “spaghetti Western”– “Don’t Fence Me In”— which Martin had performed with John Wayne and Lorne Greene.

The other guest star, Liliane Montevecchi, was very funny describing her experience working with Martin during the filming of The Young Lions. The 85-year-old Montevecchi showed that she still has the ability to belt with her performance of three French songs, including a moving “La Vie en rose.”

Capetta closed by movingly telling about how the lights were turned off on The Strip in Las Vegas for the first time ever when Martin passed away on Christmas Day, 1995 and performing “The Story of Life” (“All This Is Mine”). The encore was a very lively “Mambo Italiano.”

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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