iconic Christmas show back to the Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz room
Dec. 20 22.
Deana Martin performed at the venue last year and was such a hit that
she quickly was invited to return with her musical arsenal of
Christmas songs and songs from her latest album “Destination Moon” and
songs from the Great American Song Book .
Through the magic of technology, Deana will perform “True Love” with
her father, who died on Christmas Day in 1995 — a day that the lights
on The Strip were dimmed in honor of the man who
But one of the highlights of the upcoming show may well be Deana’s
taped duet of “White Christmas” with another legend – Andy Williams,
who died at his home in Branson, Mo., in September.
The recording was made in 2011 for Deana’s “White Christmas” album.
Williams, of course, first sang “White Christmas” in 1963 and the
Irving Berlin number was closely identified with him forever after.
Coincidentally, Deana and her husband John Griffeth have lived in
Branson for seven years.
Not that they are able to spend a lot of time there, or at their other
home in Beverly Hills.
During a telephone interview with Deana from her Branson home, she
talked about how the couple ended up in the Ozark Mountains as opposed
to Beverly Hills, about her show, about life with father and variety
of other topics.
“I was going to do a concert tour and Les Brown Jr. was going to
conduct for me,” she said about her introduction to Branson, sometimes
described as a little Las Vegas, without the gambling.
Brown, whose father appeared on Dean Martin TV show, lived in Branson.
“He invited us to come to Branson and rehearse,” Deana said.
While there she injured her shoulder and went to a doctor’s residence
for an examination.
“It was for sale,” she said.
She and her husband fell in love with the area, the people, the
ambiance and so they bought the house.
“I can run around in work clothes and chill out,” she said.
When they travel, they look forward to returning to Branson.
“I’m on the road 280 days out of the year,” Deana said.
She doesn’t need to work – she has to.
Deana is driven by her passion for music.
“I love singing,” she said. “It’s such hard work. But it’s all
consuming. Picking out material, arrangements, charts. Then once
you’re up there doing the show, the audience response is amazing. It’s
all exciting. I’m always setting new goals, bettering myself as
She performs at large and small venues – sometimes with symphonies
backed by an 88-piece orchestra; sometimes intimate clubs.
“Two weeks ago I performed at Herb Alpert’s place, the Vibrato Grill
and Jazz club (in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles),” Deana said.
She says audiences are amazing — people who love the kind of music she
sings, including her father’s, blues, jazz and songs by legends like
“At one table there may be fans from 55 to 90, next to them may be a
table of fans in their 20s and 30s,” she said.
She says the younger generation appreciates the music.
“Michael Buble brought it to their attention,” Deana said. “I adore him.”
There will be plenty of the old songs and some new ones as well at
Deana’s Christmas show.
“It will be a mix of about half Christmas songs,” she said.
And there will be lots of stories about her father.
“He could be serious if you made him,” Deana recalled. “But he was so
easy going, nice and relaxed. He was great with all of us. He loved
his family and he was home every night.”
Tickets for Deana’s show range from $37 to $59. Call the Smith Center
box office for 749-2000 for tickets.
Jerry Fink is an entertainment columnist for the Las Vegas Tribune
newspaper and writes a weekly column. To contact Jerry Fink, email him
at jfink@ lasvegastribune.com.