The first time I saw and heard Dean Regan perform was at The North Hollywood Church of Religious Science. Dean is a phenomenal singer with a vocal style and range that is reminiscent of the giants in Old School Broadway.
As an Artist, how do you keep such beautiful and grand music relevant in the pop driven LA Music world?
DR: I’ve found that “beauty” and “grandeur” are relevant everywhere. Los Angelinos love good, moving, driving music; music that sets our hearts soaring and bodies dancing. The heart that drives all of the truly beautiful and grand songs from the American Popular Songbook – especially those from Broadway – reaches out and touches everyone. We chose the cuts on my most recent album, “Give My Regards to Broadway” (available at iTunes, CDBaby and www.DeanRegan.com), to do just that: make your heart soar and your body dance.
When did you discover music? And did you know you were Broadway bound?
DR: Music discovered me. Like so many, I felt like a “fish out of water” as a youth. Living in the suburbs of Chicago music found me. The Arts gave me a place to belong. Through music, I became part of singing groups and theatrical shows. And that “fish out of water” feeling slowly went away. Movie musicals first reached out to me (“Man of LaMancha,” “Oliver,” “Mary Poppins”). I acted and sang from a very early age but “Broadway” came into the picture when my high school drama teacher, Mrs. Matthews and her husband took me to New York City on Spring Break. Together we saw seven shows in just six days (“Pippin,” “A Chorus Line,” “Raisin,” “Irene,” “A Moon for the Misbegotten” among others). After that first trip, I was hooked and eventually moved to New York City to perform in Joseph Papp’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.
What kind of venues do you play? Your favorite performance?
DR: As a concert artist, performing arts centers across the country are primarily where I get to sing my heart out. We have created a series of four concerts that we bring to performing arts centers: “Give My Regard to Broadway,” “The Best of Times,” “Mr. Sinatra” and “A Broadway Christmas.” My next performance is always my favorite performance. I dp have two “favorite” concert performances. One concert performance was here on the West Coast and the other on the East Coast. In LA, I played the BP Hall at The Walt Disney Concert Hall. We presented a concert for the members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It was one of the most memorable evenings because the people who presented the concert were lovingly and dedicated to the members of the LA Phil. Getting the members of LA Phil up dancin’ during my “Big Band Medley” was a thrill. The other concert was in New York City at Feinstein’s on Park Avenue. I was performing at one of the most hallowed cabaret venues in the world and my family and high school drama teacher, Mrs. Matthews was there. Also, among the celebrities in the audience was my mentor Betty Buckley and Broadway veteran Jeanne Lehman French.
Who inspired you musically?
DR: Ben Vereen, Barbara Streisand, Betty Buckley, Jane Olivor, Amanda McBroom, Larry Moss, Calvin Remsberg, Nick Fryman and Mr. Sinatra.
If you had to name a Show Tune or Standard to describe your life what might it be?
DR: Hmmmm. Well, I’ll give you two, one actual and one fictional: “Defying Gravity” (actual title); “Enter Stage Right and Dance as Fast as You Can” (fictional title).
Name a Show Tune or Standard that describes your dream five years from now?
DR: “For Good” (actual title); “I Had No Idea It Could Be This Good!” (fictional title).
How do you feel about education and the music education in the schools?
DR: Arts, Music and Drama are essential for our youth. If they are not included in our school curriculum. Of course, if you can’t read, write or do math. you’re going to be afloat in life and bounce like a leaf on a rushing stream. However, if you can’t express your inner ideas through some medium; if you can’t imagine alternative realities and personalities and “musicalities,” you are not coming close to fulfilling your potential as a human being. Reading inspires imagination, writing expresses imagination, math can be remarkably creative and expansive BUT without the ability to pick up a paint brush or an instrument or stand on a stage and reach beyond your personal fears, you are keeping your light under a basket. Without the Arts we live in a “2-dimensional” world and so do our children. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching various levels of studenst and it is an honor to see that special spark that the Arts brings to the lives of the students. (I speak about that “spark” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY4gOClvWgM.)
Carole: In closing, as a lover of all music, this quote by Dean Regan speaks tremendous truth: “One of the greatest joys of my life is being able to connect so richly with people through music. MUSIC lifts us away from our fast-paced “Facebook-posting” lives and sets us down in a place of peace that buzzes with energy and connectivity. LIVE MUSC provides a respite. And I feel truly blessed to sing for you all. ” DEAN REGAN