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April 12, 13, 2013

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Stand-up comedian Tom Dreesen set to headline Sinatra tribute


Over the decades since Frank Sinatra's transition in 1998, many entertainers have taken to the stage to pay tribute to the legendary recording artist and actor through music and spoken word.

In a two-night engagement at Los Angeles' oldest continually-operating theatre company, veteran comedian and actor Tom Dreesen is set to memorialize Sinatra's memory in a jocular style that has made him one of the more beloved stand-ups on late-night television.

With more than 500 appearances on national TV, including scores of guest spots on The Tonight Show, Dreeson will headline two shows at Theatre West on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13. Each performance starts at 8 p.m.

Dreeson, who was Sinatra's opening act for 13 years, has also worked alongside recording artists Smokey Robinson, Liza Minnelli, Natalie Cole and the late Sammy Davis, Jr.

The classic master of ceremonies, whom Sinatra once dubbed a "saloon comedian," has received critical acclaim nationwide for his act, titled "An Evening of Laughter and Stories of Sinatra."

The United States Navy veteran continues to perform for troops stationed domestically and abroad.

For three decades, Dreesen has donated his talent to more than 100 charities, including "Day for Darlene," a philanthropic effort he founded in his late sister's name that benefits multiple sclerosis research.

The Harvey, Illinois, native's career in comedy began in the late 1960s, when Dreesen teamed with fellow actor and comedian Tim Reid. He and Reid made history by becoming the nation's first biracial comedy duo, presenting material that is now considered cutting-edge for its time.

Dreesen's 1989 album, titled "That White Boy's Crazy," was recorded before a live, all-black audience. Today, the nostalgic release is considered a collector's item.