Dean Colley makes a point of talking about the lyrics “pack up the babies and grab the old ladies” from one of Neil Diamond’s mega-hits, “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.” And that line is a great recommendation for anyone who wants to head out and have a fantastic time enjoying Hot August Night: The Neil Diamond Song Book starring Dean Colley.
Colley is an exciting performer who has Diamond’s sexy and soulful good looks, plus the persona that makes the music legend come alive. His singing voice has the passion, and his hips have the swagger of the real deal.
Colley was the spotlight with his superb band Hot August Night, playing all the Diamond favorites in a tribute show that was enthusiastically embraced by the audience at the El Portal’s Monroe Theatre. In the cozy setting, Colley recreated a more intimate version of Neil Diamond’s classic 1972 Greek Theatre concert that became one of the best-selling live albums of all-time.
It’s a crowd-pleasing show especially for baby-boomers who want to clap and sing along to songs that bring back good memories, like rocking to “Sweet Caroline” and shouting out “Good times never seemed so good.” The nostalgic tunes included “Forever In Blue Jeans,” “A Solitary Man,” “Kentucky Woman,” “Cracklin Rosie,” “Song Sung Blue,” and “America,” among many others. The duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” was a highlight with backup singer Maira Barela.
Hot August Night: The Neil Diamond Song Book starring Dean Colley was presented by 3,000 Miles Off Broadway Productions with Ron Kurtz, executive producer; associate producer/sound design, Gary Grantham; and lighting design, Zac Codner. It plays the El Portal June 6th to June 15th, Fri., and Sat. at 8 p.m.; and Sat. and Sun. at 3 p.m. at the El Portal, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Call for tickets (818) 508-4200, or online www.elportaltheatre.com.