That’s Amore!

Tamara Pidhayny, aka the Merry Widow, says her monthly Artisan Operetta vaudevillian variety show at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse dedicates each program to a different pre-1960s pop hero or heroine. Last month, for instance, it was the inimitable Mae West. And when it came to December and the holiday season, an obvious choice presented itself: the Rat Pack, and especially personal favorite Dean Martin, because Dean-o’s devil-may-care crooning lends itself particularly well to modern Christmas songs.

“I just want to present the old material to the city and get people amped up on him,” Pidhayny says. “I like to pick people I’m passionate about enough to share, and Dean Martin has a certain charm. He could do material that, if someone else did it, it just wouldn’t work. He’s got that drink-in-his-hand, womanizing charisma, but people still love him.”

Along with the Merry Widow’s burlesque routines to live music, Pidhayny’s Dean Martin celebration will also feature tap dancing, comedy and special guest Michael Angiolillo, the “Italian Crooner.” “For nine bucks — or more — you can go to a movie, but it comes without the give and take of live theater,” she notes. “For what you get, it’s a really good deal!”

Artisan Operetta starts to bump and grind at 8 p.m. at Voodoo, 1260 22nd Street; tickets are $9 at the door, or $8 in advance at For more information, go to
Mon., Dec. 17, 8 p.m., 2012

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd