Born to Dean Martin, legendary singer/actor/comedian and member of the legendary Rat Pack, daughter Deana Martin said she always knew she wanted to be an entertainer.
“Growing up, I was given tap, ballet and piano lessons. I guess performing was just in my genes. And, to tell you the truth, I think all the Martins are kind of hams,” she laughed.
Showing off her own vocal talents, Deana Martin will take the stage at the Rrazz Room, located in the Ramada Inn in New Hope, in a show she called “Deana Sings Dino,” June 12-15, just in time for Father’s Day.
Martin made her television debut on her father’s show in 1966. Later, she trained professionally as an actress at the Darlington College of Arts in the United Kingdom, and subsequently amassed an impressive array of theatrical credits, including the English productions of Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew and A Taste of Honey, and the North American productions of The Star Spangled Girl, Wait Until Dark, The Tunnel of Love and more.
“And all the while, because my dad was so well-loved and his name helped open doors, it was always up to me to keep those doors wide open,” Martin said. “He always said he wouldn’t make phone calls for me, and that I had to do it all on my own. He also told me to work hard, be good, and please don’t embarrass him. And I don’t think I ever did. At least, I tried hard not to.”
When Martin gets to New Hope, she will be doing everything on her own — for the most part. She’ll be singing, telling stories and showing home movies. But there will also be a section of her show where the singer/actress/author will sing a “duet” with her famous father, thanks to the miracle of technology.
“That’s sometimes a very difficult part of the show for me,” she said. “Just hearing his voice and the beautiful music that he made almost brings me to tears. Every night, I just pray I don’t break down. But sometimes, I look out into the audience and some of them are tearing up, too.
“But I’ll be singing with him some of the songs he loved and made so famous,” she continued. “Songs like Amore, Volare and Memories Are Made of This — songs the audience expects to hear when they come to a Dean Martin’s daughter’s concert.”
And speaking of Memories Are Made of This, that’s the title of Deana Martin’s book she wrote about her father.
“I wrote it about 10 years after he passed away, and there was just so much I wanted to say. People kept asking me to write one, and suddenly I thought it was about time I did.”
Especially, she adds, after a couple of other books about him had been released and were none too flattering.
“There was one in particular that I didn’t like at all. You know, it’s hard to read something by someone who doesn’t even know the person they’re writing about. And so I thought, it’s about time to set the record straight.”
In fact, she said proudly, “A screenplay is being written now to turn the book into a movie, and I find that very exciting.”
Today, just like her famous father, Deana Martin, 65, puts in a lot of time doing charity work, including continuing the work on a Dean Martin Scholarship he started years ago in his hometown of Steubenville, Ohio
“Dad always taught us that when you have so much, you have to give back, and so we all do,” she said. ••
For times and ticket information, call toll-free 1-888-596-1027.