Backstage at the Egyptian: Tony Cee of Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis Tribute Show
“The Martin and Lewis Tribute” is a show in a class all its own. Never have two artists captured the very essence and chemistry of the celebrities they perform as have Tom Stevens and Tony Lewis. These two incredible performers have each had success on their own. Having spent the last 27 years performing throughout Australia, Tony Lewis has created a name for himself as the quintessential Jerry Lewis tribute artist. His one man show has sold out countless venues and has earned him the respect as one of Australia’s best entertainers. Since his first appearance at the Dean Martin Festival in 1998, Tom Stevens has earned his title as “The Best Dean Martin Tribute Artist”, even Dean’s daughter Deana said “I’ve never seen anybody look and sound more like my Daddy.” Having spent the last 11 years in Las Vegas, Tom has amazed audiences with his uncanny tributes to over 100 celebrities. Together they are undeniably a one of a kind show that will make you feel as if Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis are still performing together today. Not only will this show bring back memories to those who remember the Martin and Lewis era but will also entertain a whole new generation of fans who will grow to respect the talents of Tom Stevens and Tony Lewis as two of the world’s best tribute artists. *Interview conducted with Tony Cee and conducted by Brooklynn Gosnell, Marketing & Communications Intern (Brooklynn) How did Tony Lewis and Tom Stevens initially get involved with performing as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis? (Tony Cee) Tony Lewis was performing as Jerry in a solo show for 27 years. His dream was to find a Dean Martin impersonator and his search seemed impossible until he stumbled across a YouTube link of Tom Stevens performing as Dean. Tony wrote a compliment to Tom and Tom replied. Tony sent Tom a link of some of his stand up as Jerry. Tom photoshopped a picture of them both and sent it to Tony. Tony opened the photo on his laptop whilst he was on tour in Australia. Tony’s tour manager saw the picture and remarked, “Why did you photoshop yourself with Dean Martin?” and then realized it was actually Tom Stevens, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Dean. The tour manager then took this photograph and enlarged it to a gigantic poster and placed in it on a venue in Sydney, Australia. The venue almost completely sold out within 3 or 4 hours. Tom flew to Australia and they have been touring since. (Brooklynn) “The Martin and Lewis Tribute Show” has performed at many different venues, from casinos to private parties. What have been some of the best locations to perform at and why? (Tony Cee) We have enjoyed working all over the USA and Australia. We love working in Vegas at the Suncoast Casino. We also enjoyed theatres and casinos in New York. Australia was also amazing when we performed at the Crown Casino. We love these types of rooms because they are keeping with the styles of venues that Martin and Lewis would have performed in. It maintains an authentic feel and we specifically enjoy the audiences who appreciate this type of timeless comedy and music. (Brooklynn) What about performing in a historical venue such as The Egyptian Theatre is exciting? What are some of the best moments whilst performing? (Tony Cee) The Egyptian Theatre is exciting to us because it has that amazing look of authenticity reminiscent of an era where shows of this style were considered a true special event. We cannot wait to explode on stage with our attention to detail of Martin and Lewis, to the beautiful people of this city. Our favorite moments consist of comedy sketches and subtle biographical moments and the spontaneous madness. (Brooklynn) How does the music and comedy of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis remain relevant and iconic over 50 years after their initial debut as a duo? (Tony Cee) The music and comedy of this iconic team will always remain relevant–they are the blueprint of what any performer should aspire to achieve. They are funny without being offensive or rude, and as a bonus they can sing in their own right and partner in two part harmony. (Brooklynn) What should an audience expect when they come to watch “The Martin and Lewis Tribute Show” perform? (Tony Cee) Expect the unexpected–the show is filled with a surprise element that will deliver the audience with a feeling they are on a journey through time with a show that covers a lifetime of diverse approaches to true entertainment. (Brooklynn) If there is one thing that the audience should take away from the performance of “The Martin and Lewis Tribute Show,” what should it be? (Tony Cee) The audience should be prepared to leave the show completely feeling they have seen the real deal–they will believe they saw the real Martin and Lewis live and experience what it would have been like to have been at their live shows back in the day. The show takes an approach that this is what they would be doing now if they were still with us! *Some answers have been edited for clarity.