That’s Amore

Michael Patrick Dominick

Saturday show with a Dean Martin impressionist benefits local Make-A-Wish

In 1992, Michael Patrick Dominick’s 3-year-old brother, Matt, had a life threatening brain tumor. Doctors let the family know that Matt was eligible to apply for a “wish,” via the Make-A- Wish Foundation. Wishes are designed to enrich the lives of the children and their families and reinvigorate them with hope, strength and enough happiness to take their minds off the reality they’re dealing with, even if just for a few days.

Dominick’s brother received a wish, and the family was sent to Disney World. “We could be a normal family again,” Dominick recalls. “I could see my brother, not in the hospital. It gave him a chance to be a kid. It affected my entire family.”

It had such an effect on Dominick and his parents that they decided to serve on the Make-A-Wish board. Dominick has since become a full-time employee of the Con necticut chapter. He also started a fundraiser when he was 18, a Dean Martin tribute show, that he continues sharing today. He’ll bring “A Night at the Sands: Music, Laughter and Drinks with Dean Martin” to Jazz Central on Saturday, Aug. 17.

“I always had a love of theater and music,” Dominick explains. “I grew up in a house that had Frank {Sinatra} on religiously. I always had a knack and an interest in being a performer. I touched on it when I was in high school, and it kinda took on a life of its own. I wanted to give something back to Make-A- Wish, and since I was always listening to Frank’s music {the Las Vegas live shows}, I wanted to recreate that.”

The first editions of the performance featured a small live band, although when Dominick takes the show on the road today, he performs using backing tracks.

“The solo performance is easier,” he says. The show takes audiences through classics from both Martin and Sinatra, and Dominick also shares a bit of the comedy side. “It’s a recreation of the famous Las Vegas acts. Classic songs, jokes, antics. For anyone familiar with the Vegas performances, this is literally the best of the jokes, the more popular songs.

“It’s also very interactive,” Dominick continues. “{Martin} was a legend, so it’s big shoes to fill, but I’ve gotten great feedback, something I’m very honored to hear. I try to do it as accurately as possible. Some re-enactors make it a caricature. I try to make it real.”

Dominick, who graduated from Syracuse University in 2007, is happy to make the trip back to a city he lived in for six years. He also notes that all money raised from the performance will be given back to the Central New York Make-A-Wish chapter.

“I think it’s important that people know it’s going to someone right around the corner,” he says.

Most wishes cost between $5,000 and $7,000 and the organization states on its website that it grants a wish about every 38 minutes.

“I just hope that people are excited about the event and what it’s about,” Dominick says. “It’s really going to a worthy charity. Kids are more than worthy to get a break from what they’re going through. It’s very, very good to know your dollars will help the life of a kid.”


Just the Facts
What: What: Michael Patrick Dominick performs “A Night at the Sands: Music, Laughter and Drinks with Dean Martin”
Where: Jazz Central, 441 E. Washington St.
When: Saturday, Aug. 17, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $20. Tickets are available by contacting Dominick at (215) 272-5032 or [email protected]
All proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish of Central New York


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