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"As Long As I'm Singing The Music of Bobby Darin," by Cathy Hodson
The Raue Center for the Arts, Crystal Lake, Ill.
September 18, 2010

It was a captivating night. One that brought home all the reasons that drew me into Dennis’ Bobby Darin show at the Skokie Theater three years ago. Back then I was a die-hard Bobby Darin fan, nervous at what I was about to hear – you never know what someone will do with your idol’s music – and barely knowing who Dennis Tufano was. He blew my socks off then, and the Crystal Lake performance was no different.

Last night I was at The Raue Center in Crystal Lake, Ill., not only as a Bobby Darin fan, but also as a die-hard Dennis Tufano fan. I was nowhere near disappointed on either front, Dennis was in true brilliant form and sizzling on all fronts. The band was cookin’, the music was tight and true to the original, but it had the punch of a man who knows how to sing, how to entertain, and how to charm an audience. Last night enthralled the 500-plus members of the audience and Dennis had them eating out of his hands.

The wonderful, flowing, almost breezy music and Dennis' warm, resonant vocals took us through all the stages of Bobby’s career. The early rock days (Splish Splash, Dream Lover, Queen of the Hop), the country and folk music (If I Were A Carpenter, A Simple Song of Freedom, You’re The Reason I’m Living, Eighteen Yellow Roses), and the snappy, energetic Vegas music (Up A Lazy River, Mack the Knife, That's All, A Curtain Falls). The audience clapped, squealed, and cheered him on with every song.

Highlights for me were an especially cookin' "Up A Lazy River," and the haunting "My Funny Valentine," and "A Curtain Falls."

Comedian Tim Walkoe kicked butt and took names too. He joined Dennis onstage for two numbers, the Johnny Mercer-Bobby Darin number, “Two of a Kind,” and the Buckinghams’ “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” and they had a ball. So did we!

When the night was finally done, Dennis was rewarded with a several-minute standing ovation and corresponding curtain calls. Want to see this show? The line forms on the right, babe…..

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