* CARME'S VINTAGE VEGAS. Reviewed on Feb. 11 (evening performance) at Largo Cultural Center in Largo, Fla.
Carme Pitrello, who performs under the name Carme, is a unique, one-of-a-kind entertainer who delivers a show that enables an audience to enjoy and recall some of the great music and performers of yesteryear.
The 79-year-old Carme, a recent inductee into the Las Vegas Entertainers Hall of Fame, continues to prove himself as one of the most versatile performers anywhere and an absolute master on stage.
An Italian singer with a powerful baritone voice, Carme keeps the audience laughing, and it's more than obvious that he continues to love what he's doing, and his lifetime in the entertainment industry is a testimony to his multi-faceted talent.
Carme's on-stage reportoire is versatile, to say the least. The show opened with several well-delivered standards from the '40s, '50s and '60s -- such as "Time After Time", "I've Got To Be Me" and "After The Lovin'" -- backed by a 10-man orchestra that included a pianist, guitarist, drummer and seven horn players.
But that was only the beginning. The show continued with a string of jokes, anecdotes, impersonations and one of the best yodeling demonstrations heard anywhere.
One of the show's highlights came after intermission, with a series of playful impressions of famous vocalists such as Engelbert Humperdinck, Louie Prima, Jimmy Durante and Louie "Satchmo" Armstrong.
There are so many entertainers who attempt to impersonate Elvis Presley, so Carme's Elvis imitation wasn't anything special, but he amused the crowd with imitations of Tom Jones (with wiggling hips) and Dean Martin (with drink glass in hand).
He also did a "two-faced" rendition of the 1984 hit "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson. During that song, he performed with headgear that was Nelson-like on one side and Iglesias-like on the other, and he effectively rotated his head while switching from one voice to the other.
With each impersonation, he accompanied the act with such things as different clothing and wigs, and those performances played well to the audience.
Much of the show is remindful of Las Vegas in the 50’s and 60’s, and that's undoubtedly due, in part, to the fact that Carme performed in Sin City in that time frame and for years thereafter.
Carme seems to have an instinctive knowledge and feel of what his audience wants, giving him a built-in and natural rapport with the show-goers.
Without a doubt, it was a great show from start to finish, and by the end of the evening, the crowd knew that they had seen a special performance.
Therefore, it certainly was no surprise that Carme received a standing ovation from the near-capacity crowd when the show concluded.
Links to a promotional video and Carme's Web site
To view a promotional video for Carme's Vintage Vegas stage production -- including clips and snippets of many features of one of his typical performances -- click here.
To visit Carme's Web site -- which includes his biography, photo gallery, information on upcoming performances and showtime videos -- click here.