COURT HOUSE - An Australian performer has joined an American with South Jersey ties to form an act that pays tribute to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
The act debuted in Australia last October, made its first appearance in the United States in Nevada on Mother’s Day and will come to the East Coast for the first time for 7:30 p.m. shows at the Performing Arts Center of Middle Township on May 17 and 18.
The catalyst for the act has been Tony Lewis (no relation to Jerry) who has been performing in Australia for 27 years and is recognized as one of the most popular entertainers in that nation. In recent years he has been doing a one man Jerry Lewis show before sold out audiences there. That inspired him to add Dean Martin to the tribute act, but he wanted to find the right performer to fill the bill. So he sent out a call to America for candidates for the new act.
Enter into the picture Las Vegas performer Tom Stevens, who recently completed his 500th show there and includes Martin in his repertoire of star impressions. Stevens had performed at the fourth-annual Dean Martin Festival in Steubenville, Ohio, Martin’s home town, and was so well received that he was invited for return engagements. While there he sang with Martin’s daughter, Deana Martin Griffeth, after which she commented she has “never seen anyone look and sound more like my daddy.”
With those credentials, Stevens contacted Tony Lewis and sent him a copy of his video and Lewis responded with his own. The chemistry was right and soon an act was formed for the Australia initial performance.
“I was blown away at the positive reaction we got from the audience there,” said Stevens.” I decided that we had to bring it to America soon.’’
Stevens said the show is especially appropriate for this area because it brings back memories of the now defunct 500 Club in Atlantic City where Martin and Lewis starred. Lewis also starred as a single act in Wildwood after they separated.
Stevens, a native of Long Island, is no stranger to South Jersey. Two years ago he performed a benefit at The PAC. His mother, Stella, resides in Mays Landing and a sister, Mary Jean Redmond, a nurse at Cape May Regional Medical Center, lives in Ocean View.
Tickets are $25. Call 609-463-1924. The Performing Arts Center is situated at 212 Bayberry Drive in Cape May Court House, one mile east of exit 10 of the Garden State Parkway. There is free parking on the premises.