Is that Tony Danza, the song-and-dance man?

Tuesday, June 20th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Doing a one-man show, playing a lawyer on `Family Law' and producing keeps Danza dancing.

So, let's see:

There's Tony Danza, the executive producer. "Out of Time," the latest release from his Katie Face Productions company, premiered Sunday on Showtime and will be repeated at 8:45 a.m. Saturday.

Then there's Tony Danza, the song-and-dance man. He's going to show up at Hollywood's Cinegrill Wednesday, June 21, and will remain there through Saturday, June 24, with an act he says he's been constructing for quite a while.
And there's still Tony Danza, the actor. Columbia TriStar Television has just signed him to the cast of the CBS drama series "Family Law." He will be portraying an attorney with a troubled past who joins the law firm headed by Kathleen Quinlan, Julie Warner, Dixie Carter and Chris McDonald.

He may also be reprising his role as another lawyer, street-smart Tommy Silva on ABC's "The Practice." "They've asked me back to do the opening episode," Danza says. "I'd like to, but I don't know whether I'll have the time."

Besides, his concentration for the moment is on the Cinegrill, where he says he will be doing "an eclectic act of about 70 minutes. I'm doing some pop, some Beatles, some do-wop and swing. It's just me and a quartet and at some point in there I do a set of Louis Prima stuff -- `Marie,' `Angelina' and `When You Smile.' "

Danza says he would like to see something more come from that, especially since "I've been trying for five years to play LA, but you know how this business is. They pigeonhole you and that's where you could stay.

"But that's all right. I understand why that's done and it's helped me put this act together. I've kind of fashioned it about my life."

Danza says that preparation began five years ago after he was seriously injured in a skiing accident. "I had always wanted to do some other things and I felt if I were going to do it I should try it right away. So, I started to build this act, kind of poking fun at myself and doing some singing and dancing. This actually started as a comedy act with a little music. Now it's a music act with a little comedy."

He laughs as he reflects on that, finally stating "I know I'm not the best singer in the world, but I can dance."

He did both during a two-week booking in New York City and says that is what he will do at the Cinegrill and during a 14-day Eastern mini-tour after this engagement.

Once that ends his attention could turn back to production with a venture that is well removed from "Out of Time," a film loosely based on the Rip Van Winkle legend. Equally loosely constructed, it is set in 1980 and stars James McDaniel of "NYPD Blue" as a carefree adult who drinks from a mysterious spring and falls asleep for 20 years, awakening in time to save his family and town from an unscrupulous businessman.

Danza says he was only minimally involved in that one, but could be far more connected to a project he is discussing with Keith Carradine. "We play two guys whose spouses die in a plane crash and we try to find out what happened. This is starting as a one-shot deal, but it might develop into a series."