Reviewed August 2005
by Nancy Dickinson
A “dyslexic profit,” Tony Danza playfully calls himself; for Tony spelled backward is y not? Why not take on in this lifetime: television; movies (big screen and small); theatre; song and dance; boxing; and find time to get an education? Why not try to be a Tony of all trades? Well try and conquer is exactly what Tony Danza has done, and one display of his multi-dimensional talent is his own show at The Orleans Hotel and Casino. A little Doo Wop harmony, a little soft shoe, a lot of humor, but no Jehovah’s Witnesses “because Italians don’t like any witnesses.”
Tony is living what he calls the “Italian Dream.” – he has a microphone, a tux, and a stool. But Tony’s personal dreams or actually his “to do list” proves a little more dynamic and includes: learn how to play piano; learn how to speak Italian; and learn how to tap dance. And without any further adieu, Tony’s feet come alive for his audience in a dazzling and classy little soft shoe number. Cross that one off the list.
Danza’s passion for music is more than apparent when he lets loose some good ol’ Rhythm n’ Blues notes accented beautifully with harmony from his band. Tony looks like nothing less than a back East youth singing on a stoop in the old neighborhood. His tone? Right on the money. In and out of songs Tony smoothly sails with his band. From songs with romantic, Italian dreaminess to drive the ladies east; to be-boppin’ tap numbers. Who knew the fun loving actor from the 80’s television series “Who’s the Boss?” and “Taxi” would have such a taste for timeless song and dance of the 50’s?
But as it so happens, Tony was born in Brooklyn is 1951 when he says “Tupperware” was the wave of the future. Music has also come a long way. Starting with samples from an era in which Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett ruled the music scene, Danza uses part of his show to journey through time and see who we are as a people through music. He belts out the goods, and the “what were we thinking?” This is the point in time where Danza performs a rap song in a more than satirical manner and ends it with, “Hey, have you heard of Vanilla Ice? Well, I’m an Italian Ice.” Word to your Mama Mia, Tony.
Though Tony may be well versed in the way of music, he is also very aware of his weaknesses. During the show he brings out a large portrait of himself boxing, being knocked out most maliciously. Boxing is what Tony claims led him to Hollywood, not to mention the fact that he didn’t have any money during his boxing career. While other competitors had fancy warm-up robes, Tony claims his said “Holiday Inn.”
So what could possibly come next for someone who has embraced nearly every aspect of the entertainment business? Tony has only one thing left to do in the show that’s dipped into everything- return to his roots. His showroom audience is led in a clap along Italian Anthem that leaves everyone upbeat and downright happy. The language it’s in? Italian, of course. Cross that one off the list, Tony.No related links found