Seniors on Stage revives Dean Martin and friends

Seven Hills Clubhouse played host to a show that performed the best music of Dean’s era

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Welcome to Dino’s place! Can you tell Dean’s already had a few?

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

Different generations today will tell you different stories about the different music that made their lives…different. Those who lived the music scene in the 1960s might tell you that Italian-American singer Dean Martin (6/7/1917 – 12/25/1995) was certainly different. And his different style was brought alive in May by Hemet’s Seniors on Stage. This was called the “Dean Martin Variety Show,” alternatively titled ‘Everybody Loves Somebody (Sometimes)” after one of Martin’s hits.
The troupe brought this variety show alive at the Seven Hills Clubhouse in Hemet, with a lively cast of characters from Martin’s era. Every table and seat there was taken, indicating that Martin really can sell out any house in town.
Jeff Parks played a brilliant, and drunk, Dean Martin. “I’d like to highlight Jeanie Baker. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here!”
And yes, Parks did dye his hair for the occasion!
Baker played one of Martin’s close lady friends, Rosemary Clooney.
“It would have been Dean’s 100th birthday this year, so we’d like to honor some of our past performer’s, great performers that everybody knows… At least from our generation, and do a little fun time ‘with him.’ And we have some of the best voices in the valley for our age group. We just enjoy what we do.”
Among Dean’s friends in attendance were Frank Sinatra, Bobby Vinton, Sammy Davis Jr., Vicki Carr, Dionne Warwick and Polly Bergen. Luckily, they all had a sense of humor that could stand up to Dean’s influenced humor. They each sang one of “their” best-known hits, and even did a little comedy skit. Who knew Dean kept such great company!
Baker would like to thank The Historic Hemet Theater for supporting SoS Hemet, as well as Kristi and Sherri at Seven Hills for providing dinner for everybody.
As this variety show sold every seat in the house this year, one is advised to purchase tickets in advance to Seniors on Stage shows: the next one is scheduled for September and is called “Rockin Thru the Decades.”
Reach Baker and Parks at 951-665-3853 or soshemet@yahoo.com. For more information about upcoming shows, visit www.soshemet.com.
Also interesting to note is that, according to Baker, Dean Martin used to hang out at a restaurant known as the Naples Spaghetti House while living in Steubenville, Ohio. According to Yelp, it’s still there and has a four-star rating among 33 reviewers. Lunch, anyone?

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