Arts & Culture News

We Learned Tony Danza Is in on the Joke With Elton, and More, Ahead of His Greenville Show

Tony Danza is tackling the American Songbook.
Tony Danza is tackling the American Songbook. Courtesy of Tony Danza
This weekend, Tony Danza will be showing Dallas stages who's boss. The TV legend will be bringing his Standards & Stories tour to Greenville this Saturday, Dec. 17, for a special performance at the Texan Theater in Greenville. Fans can expect several treats from the actor, as he shares stories from his career, tap dances to music played by his four-piece band, and plays songs on his ukelele.

With a career spanning over 40 years, Danza has formed connections with audiences by way of iconic television shows such as Taxi and Who’s The Boss. Today, he remains a charismatic household name with his role as Stefano Marchetti, the godfather of New York City’s mafia scene, on Starz’s Power Book III: Raising Kanan.

While people who grew up with Danza may relish the stories from his early days of acting, Standards & Stories also sees him entertaining audience by way of music, through his performance of songs from the American Songbook.

“One of the things I really love about the American Songbook is the lyrics and the stories they tell,” Danza says. “The songs are like little stories, and it's incredible. I’ve been tap dancing now for quite a while, so there's some of that in the act. And my new secret weapon is my ukulele. I picked up a ukulele a few years ago, and it's just become such a big part of my life and a part of the show.”

The habit of playing the ukulele began after he received a calendar from his ex-wife that gave him something to do each day. One of the calendar days instructed him to get a ukulele chord book and practice for 30 minutes a day for 30 days.

“It was a warm thought, and I said, ‘Let me try it,’ so I did,” Danza says. “And it's the most amazing thing. I really suggest people ... I always recommend people do it, because it's really such a happy little instrumen, and you can do all sorts of crazy things with it.”

Throughout the show, Danza plans to play “a little Billie Holiday” on the uke, and promises the show is “the most fun to watch.”

Danza has enjoyed touring and seeing fans, but for him, it's about the destination, not the journey.

“The travel isn’t the best thing in the world," he says.

So far, he's been to St. Charles, Illinois; Dubuque, Iowa; and New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he performed at the Zeiteron, a “100-year-old, refurbished theater.”

“The band is smoking, and we make some good music, and we get some laughs ... It's a little bit of a throwback to something from another time." – Tony Danza

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Granted, these aren’t the biggest vacation destinations, but that’s why Danza is loving his tour. He is seeing parts of the country he normally wouldn’t get to see.

“I always try to bone up a bit on where we’re going,” Danza says. “We’ve been all over the country. Would I ever [otherwise] go to Greenville? I’m not sure. But I’m excited that this tour brings me there.”

Tickets for the show cost a whopping $775 per person. We reached out to Danza's PR for more details but they referred us to the ticket website which only says “Dinner made with Tony’s family recipes is included!”

Danza lives in Manhattan, where he says there is currently a Broadway production of Almost Famous running. The Cameron Crowe film famously features the song “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. And as Phoebe from Friends pointed out, it sounds as though the lyrics say, “Hold me closer, Tony Danza,” instead of the song’s actual lyrics, “Hold me closer, tiny dancer.”

“That song is playing [in New York] all the time,” Danza says. “Almost in a loop. And Elton John recently performed it with my name.”

If the show’s many reviews hold up, fans can expect an incredible show. Danza promises the show will have the feel of one of those old variety shows on television, which featured a host who would introduce a slew of comedic sketches and musical performances.

“The band is smoking, and we make some good music, and we get some laughs,” Danza says. “It's a little bit of a throwback to something to another time."

Tony Danza will perform on Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Texan Theater, 2712 Lee St.
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Alex Gonzalez has been a contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2018. He is a Dallas native whose work has appeared in Local Profile, MTV News and the Austin American-Statesman. He has eclectic taste in music and enjoys writing about art, food and culture.
Contact: Alex Gonzalez

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