Dead Martin comes to life

Dead Martin comes to life

AND TAKE US OUT: No variety show is complete without group sing-a-long. Photo by Jeff Templin


What: The Dead Martin Variety Hour
When: Final Fridays, 10:30 p.m.
Where: Roxy's Downtown, 412-1/2 E. Douglas
How much: $10, plus two drinks

The Dead Martin Variety Hour, brain child of F5's own Don Winsor, debuted without a hitch this past Final Friday at Roxy's Downtown, 412-1/2 E. Douglas, and for those of you who didn't drag your old bones out to the 10:30 show, you'll want to mark your calendars now for next month's performance on Friday, Feb. 27.

Zombie-host Dead Martin (played by Winsor) aimed to showcase Wichita's talent — both noteworthy and not worthy — and what he ended up with was a motley crew of performers ranging from a stand-up comedian, a magician to a washed-up drag queen. Dead is exasperated with the eccentric line-up and only makes it through the performance with the help of an electric cigarette and a glass of scotch. (Dead Martin does everything with a glass of scotch.) A show that opens with a hand-farted rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner" can only go up hill, amirite?

The audience was entertained (if not enlightened) by the likes of Ray Wills, Richard Bruhn, Leif Starbuck, Kyle Vespestad, Daniel Pewewardy as Danny Lambo (Hollywood, CA), Tim Rogers, Tara Heartstring (from American Rose Burlesque) with Kevin Sowers, Patty Reeder, Kylie Jo Smith and Randy Ervin. And the two-drink minimum was hardly necessary, as all indulged in seconds, thirds and then some of an assortment of Roxy's house cocktails; even the performers waited for their acts from the comfort of the bar in the back of the house.

Roxy's was the perfect venue to recall a live studio audience a la The Dean Martin Show, and Winsor just the Renaissance-actor to portray "the world's most beloved zombie crooner."

At only $10 a ticket (plus the two-drink minimum), The Dead Martin Variety Hour is just the right price to pique the public's interest without breaking their bank accounts.

No two performances will be the same, Winsor has promised, so if you missed this month's show — you'll never be able to see it again, but you can buy your tickets now to see a fresh line up of local talent next month (though this reviewer hopes to see some return acts). Reserve your tickets by calling (316) 265-4400. Additionally, if you've got a talent you'd like to unveil at next month's performance, you can submit your act to Join Winsor in keeping Wichita weird by supporting the show next month. Bring your friends, but leave the kids at home.