Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ricci Martin

A few weeks ago I put up a few pics taken on my vacation in Las Vegas with my Mom. We saw three shows while we were there, but only one of them I quite liked, the other two I found a bit disappointing. These were smaller shows, not featuring the big name headliners. Although in my opinion, Vegas headliners sure aren't what they used to be, as I really had no great inclination to see any of the name performers who are currently playing there. I sure do wish I'd seen Vegas back in the day when Frank, Dean, Sammy and all of their contemporaries held court. I reckon I was born too late.

Ironically, though, just several days after returning home from vacation, Mom and I went to see an entertainer at Mississauga's Stage West dinner theatre that would be a terrific choice to see headlining a show in Vegas. Ricci Martin is the son of Dean Martin, and for a few years now he has been doing a really lovely tribute to his famous Dad on stage, singing many of Dean's big hits accompanied by a small band. Don't misunderstand, though, as he's not attempting to impersonate his Dad in any way, like you see in those Rat Pack tribute shows. Ricci is blessed with a fine singing voice that is uniquely his own, and so his interpretations of Dean's songs are not trying to compete with his memory.

This was the third time that Ricci had performed here, and so I've also gotten to know Tony Busseri of ARB Productions who is the fellow who has brought in not only Ricci Martin, but other terrific performers I've gotten to see like Bobby Rydell and the legendary Al Martino. Thanks to the generosity of Tony and his business partner Stan, I was able to go backstage after the show to present Ricci with the caricature I did last year of his Dad. I know Ricci was quite thrilled with the gift and was kind enough to pose with me for a photo. We were able to chat for awhile about Dean, Frank and that Golden Age of entertainment that I love so well. I really hope Ricci will come back to perform for us again here in Mississauga, and I heartily recommend his show if he plays in your area too!