By Sandi Durell
He’s cool, easy and, boy, does Tony Danza have stories! He gets easily sidetracked with life stories about his Mom, his kids, grandkids and, you know what? He’s a terrific (good and bad) joke teller.
And what about his singing and tap-dancing? The man is a bundle of talent, likable, friendly and seems to live in a stream of consciousness.
The ex-Golden Globes boxer, aside from rising to stardom on TV in Taxi and Who’s the Boss, and having his own TV talk show, and starring in films, on Broadway and teaching and writing a cookbook, can sing and deliver a song ala the good ole days . . . like Sinatra (whom his Mom adored) or Bennett.
Most of the standards are delivered swing style, with good innuendo, intonations and great emotional feeling (“That’s All,” “It Was a Very Good Year,” “The House I Live In”). A nice bossa arrangement to “Watch What Happens” – a playful “You Go to My Head” – a dream, memory filled “I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up.” And what’s more, having taught himself to play the ukulele, there’s added panache to tunes like “Comes Love” and “Love Potion Number 9.” All the arrangements are by the late John Oddo
Lest we forget , Danza is a tap-dancer which he employs throughout the evening .
Great Sammy Cahn stories about first meeting him in 1977 in Hollywood – picking up the phone and on the other end was the songwriter himself inviting Danza to his holiday party where he hobnobbed with Gregory Peck, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, Billy Wilder . . .
It was only a couple of years ago that he was on Broadway in Honeymoon in Vegas, reliving the story of Donna and Betsy with some of the show’s songs: a very amusing “I Love Betsy,” “Out of the Sun” “You Made the Wait Worthwhile.”
Nowadays, aside from doing his act here at Café Carlyle, he loves being back in New York City and is very involved with PAL (Police Athletic League) and a Kid PAL Boxing program as well as PAL Teen Acting Program.
The band members are tops in the biz: Kenny Ascher on piano, Dave Shoup on guitar, John Arbo on bass and Ed Caccavale on drums.
Photos: David Andrako
Tony Danza appears at Café Carlyle thru September 21 (no show on Sept. 19) where the food is sumptuously delicious – 35 East 76 Street (Madison Ave). 212 744-1600 or at TicketWeb.