The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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February 8, 2013

Kick in the heart: Dean Martin tribute part of Valentine's Day events

JOPLIN, Mo. — There will never be a shortage of love songs, and a fundraising show at Joplin Little Theatre will feature some of the best.

"We always say we'll run out of love songs one of these days, but we won't," said Carolyn McGowan.

Some of the best love songs ever written were sung by Dean Martin, the Rat Pack crooner who dominated entertainment in the '60s and '70s, McGowan said. She is the director of "That's Amore," a fundraising show that features some of those great love songs.

The show features singing and dancing from more than 40 selections in the Dean Martin songbook. The one-night-only show features new talent and returning veterans, such as Stephanie Harter Gilmore and Melanie Holt Clevenger.

McGowan said that she, Greg Green and Matthew Holt came up with the idea to feature Martin's work. Previous fundraising shows have featured the work of Cole Porter.

Introducing legendary songs such as Martin's to younger people is important to McGowan.

"Lyrics have not been very good since 1960," she said. "When I direct shows, I usually try to select music from the '40s and '50s just to get the younger generation to hear it. Half of the cast never heard Martin's music, but now they love him."

Cecie Fritz and Holt are the show's music directors, and choreography was done by Angela Lowe, Heather Briley and Kristen Stremel, of Pinocchio School of Dance.

Other cast members include Devri Brock, Sam Burnside, Drew Fethers, Ricardo Field, Chet Fritz, Hannah Green, Lisa Olliges Green, Nicholas Gilmore, Mallory Hoskins, B.J. Huffman, Ann Grace Lile, Dyanne Lile, Jim Lile, Andrew McGowan, Clint Newby, Abby Railsback, Gina Robbins, Becky Seidl, John Wilkins and Lauren Wilkins.

The show begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the theater, located at 3009 W. First St. Tickets: $10, reservations accepted.

Details: 417-623-3638.

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