In his Gotham club debut, Lorenzo Lamas acknowledged a comfortable career in action pics and TV soaps and shyly confessed, “Nothing is as frightening as this.” Michael Feinstein heard Lamas sing at an AIDS benefit and recruited him to perform at his posh Big Apple eatery; turns out he possesses a lusty baritone, and his savory repertoire boasted the kind of romanticism sculpted to perfection by the likes of Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer and Richard Rodgers.
The hunk, who bears a strong resemblance to his late film star dad Fernando Lamas, noted that long before “Little Deuce Coupe,” the quintessential seductive vehicle song was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Surrey With the Fringe on Top.” Lamas framed it in clip-clop pace that illustrated the charm of old-fashioned courtship.
The Latin lover in him surfaced with “Perfidia,” “Amore” and Desi Arnaz trademark “El Cumbanchero.” Most alluring was “You Belong to My Heart,” a Latin love song crooned by basso Ezio Pinza to Lana Turner in “Mr. Imperium.” It had the ladies swooning.
But a rather strained segment found Lamas in the Bogart role of Rick making his farewell speech to Ilsa from “Casablanca.” Incorporating an old Co-Star recording, Ilsa is portrayed by Lamas’ silver-screen mother Arlene Dahl, who gleamed with pride from a ringside table. Equally dismissible was “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening,” the ditty he used to salute Jane Wyman, his former co-star in “Falcon Crest.”