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My View: “Direct From The Bar” Deana Martin – A Friars Toast

My View: “Direct From The Bar” Deana Martin – A Friars Toast

In a darkened Frank Sinatra Dining Room an off stage voice using that classic Dean Martin intro “ And Now Direct FromThe Bar” announced co-hosts Bill Boggs, Bruce Charet and countless actors, singers, celebrities and friends to toast one of the most beloved entertainers in show business…..Deana Martin.

It is said the Friars only “Roast” the ones they love, but for Deana the extra special designation of “Toast” was used to headline an evening that will forever be remembered by those present. 

Joe Piscopo was the first to come “direct from the bars” in the Billy Crystal, Barbra Streisand, Ed Sullivan, or Milton Berle rooms at the Friars to entertain and Toast Deana.  Dean Martin used to begin by saying “How Long Have Been On”?,  but there weren’t enough hours in the evening as ( in order of appearance) Tony Lo Bianco, Tony Orlando, Joseph Baldassare, Steve Tyrell, Joe Mantegna, Franco Harris, Phil rinaldi, Bob Newhart, Steve Baglio, Ken Dicamillo, Regis Philbin, Mike Marino, Eddi Eason, Bobby Rydell, Richard Barone, Tony Babino, Sal Scognamillo, Vince Ferragamo, Robert Davi, Will Friedwald, Bonnie Hunt, Sal Viviano, Melinda Read and Angela Bacari sang and spoke about Deana.  It was thrilling as the night ended with Deana pointing to her necklace which holds the medal given to her father by the Friars in 1951 and of course singing “When Somebody Loves Somebody Sometime”.  Everybody loved everybody at the Friars last night.

Deana Martin & John Griffeth

Bill Boggs

Joe Piscopo & Tony Lo Bianco

Joe Mantegna

Stephen Sorokoff & Sunny Sessa

Ralph Compagone & John Griffeth

David Steinberg

Robert Davi


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is thrilled to be the cabaret/ music and co-theatre editor. email:

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