Dean and Friends Delivers in Comedy, Song
The past weekend, the Junkanoo celebrated an era of entertainment with Dean and Friends, featuring a tribute to the Rat Pack and numerous other stars of days gone by with, including Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Lewis and Abbott and Costello. Selling out four whole shows taking place over two days (Friday and Saturday), guests were treated to a variety of entertainment, from stand-up comedy to singing.
The packed house was electrified with Bill Riley and Joe Ziegler gamely performing favorite Abbott & Costello bits (yes, that included the ‘Who’s On First’ routine, flawlessly played out in its entirety) as well as a pitch-perfect Don Rickles performed by Michael Walter, who brought an unexpected bawdiness with that left the crowd cracking up. Dawnn Stone teased the crowd with her turn as Marilyn Monroe, which included some audience participation that certainly left a few men with an evening they wouldn’t forget. Geno Munroe as Sammy Davis Jr. also brought his ‘A’ material, with Candy Man and Mr. Bojangles. The glue that held the evening together, though, was a dead-on Dean Martin, brought to life by Robert Cabella. Interjecting himself through the evenings events, he expertly moved the crowd from one performer to the next, never allowing a pause in the evening’s fun. He serenaded with Frank Sinatra (Frank Frizalone), and teamed with Jerry Lewis (Angelo Capone) for comedy skits.
The evening was also a bit of an end of an era for the Island, as this would be the last time this incredibly popular event will be taking place at the Junkanoo. The popular beachfront eating and entertainment destination is set to come down soon, and if this was the swansong for its major events, it was a worthy kickoff.
Dean and Friends is sure to return to the beach judging how well it received each year, and we’ll have to wait and see which of Junkanoo’s owner Alfredo Russo’s venues it lands in. However, one will need to get their tickets early. This year’s event sold out each of its shows months ahead of time.
By Trent Townsend