Victoria Mature to present cabaret show in tribute to her father, movie star Victor Mature
Victor Mature was a long-time resident of Rancho Santa Fe
Victoria Mature’s movie star father was in his 60s when she was born, so she never knew him in his younger days when he was starting out in show business or coming into his own as a leading man.
That’s why it was with some trepidation that she began watching and studying Victor Mature’s films a few years ago, not sure what she would find or how she would feel about “meeting” her father in his 20s, 30s and 40s. Turns out, she loved it.
“Getting to know my dad was a privilege, most people don’t have a video log like this,” said Mature, who currently shares her time between Rancho Santa Fe and San Diego. “It was amazing.”
Mature was so moved by the experience of getting to know her famous father – even recognizing her own facial expressions and mannerisms in her father’s on-screen persona – that she wanted to share his talents with a wider audience. She began introducing his movies at various film festivals, showing photos and telling stories about her own childhood memories of Victor Mature, who died at his Rancho Santa Fe home in 1999 at age 86.
Now, she has compiled those stories and added songs from her father’s films and stage plays, and created a cabaret-style show that she will perform for one night only on at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at VISION, 4780 Mission Gorge Place, San Diego. For more information or tickets, visit www.bodhitreeconcerts.org/victoria-mature-cabaret.
The show, performed with Ian Brandon, pianist/arranger, will include a multi-media presentation of photos and video clips. The concert is a benefit for the San Diego River Park Foundation.
The show combines two of her passions, Mature said: singing and sharing details about her father, who starred in dozens of films during his decades-long career in Hollywood.
Victor Mature was known for his roles in such “sword and sandal” films as “The Robe” and “Samson and Delilah,” said Mature. But he also starred in movies in the film noir genre, which included crime dramas with stark lighting effects and cynical heroes.
His first leading role came in “I Wake Up Screaming” with Betty Grable in 1941, and he also appeared in such film noir classics as “Kiss of Death (1947)” and “Cry of the City (1948),” Mature said.
Victor Mature was the son of an Italian-immigrant father who worked as a knife sharpener, and a mother of Swiss-German descent. His family settled in Louisville, Ky., where Victor Mature was born. He later moved to California and studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He also served with the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, having been turned down by the Navy due to being color blind.
According to his daughter, Victor Mature bought a home in Rancho Santa Fe across from what is now the Village school in the 1940s, and he moved there full-time after his retirement. An avid golfer, he could often be found on the links at the Rancho Santa Fe golf course in his later years. He was also a supporter of animal rescue efforts.
Victoria, his daughter, attended classes at the Rancho Santa Fe school when she was a child, and later pursued her own artistic interests. She earned a music degree from UCSD before moving to Italy for several years to sing classical music in a variety of venues.
She has received interest in taking her cabaret show on the road to perform it at venues in the U.S. and Europe, but hasn’t finalized those plans. She’ll also perform in an opera in San Diego this fall, presented by Bodhi Tree Concerts, which is also hosting this weekend’s cabaret performance.
Watching her father’s films and meeting his admirers has opened a window into his life that she never had before, Mature said. Among the most gratifying aspect is hearing about his impact on others.
“His career and work touched people in many ways,” she said.
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