Deck the halls with nostalgia

Tam Ward as Frank Sinatra

The height of sophistication for the in-crowd in the 1950s and 60s was sight of the Rat Pack in Vegas led by the unmistakable figure of Frank Sinatra recreated here by Tam Ward

Christmas with the Rat Pack

The New Alexandra Theatre

***

CLASSIC songs with a frosting of nostalgia ensures a trip down Memory Lane to the Sands Hotel in Vegas in the fifties.

On stage are Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr belting out their show-stopping favourites.

The show is part concert, part tribute band, part comedy and a good dose of impersonation.

All three leads are impressive in their roles – they sound and carry the mannerisms of the Rat Pack – Tam Ward as Sinatra, Jay Marsh as Davis Jr and Phil Barley as a somewhat tipsy Martin.

Together they croon their way through classics such as Come Fly With Mr, Mr Bojangles, Baby It’s Cold Outside, That’s Amore, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and Once In A Lifetime.

But this is the Christmas show so it needs a good dose of festive spirit. This comes in the shape of a number of medleys which take in excerpts from carols including Silent Night, Good King Wenceslas and Oh Come All Ye Faithful as well as seasonal songs such as White Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

The boys are given strong accompaniment by Leanne Howell, Chelsea Labadini and Emily Thomas as the Burelli Sisters and a full swing band.

It’s all very fun and festive while reminding us that the Rat Pack delivered some wonderful songs and great entertainment. To 06-12-14

Diane Parkes

04-12-14

Getting in the swing

****

 NOW here’s a show that will send you home with a warm glow as three quality singers revive memories of a trio of American super stars who became Las Vegas legends.

The easy to listen to music of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin lives on, and for the past 14 years a version of this concert has been on tour somewhere.

But this time there is, appropriately, a seasonal theme with a few carols and a lively finale which includes Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – and the inevitable drinks trolley becomes a toboggan!

Handsome Phil Barley is perhaps the most convincing in the role of Martin, rarely seen without a drink in his hand and cleverly staging a stumble down five steps without spilling a drop of his Jack Daniels. He did fall over near the end of the opening night performance . . . but surely the booze wasn’t real.

The gags and one-liners are there aplenty…..including ‘I’m on a whisky diet – lost four days last week”, and Barley does justice to That’s Amore.

Tam Ward is comfortable as Ol’ Blue Eyes Sinatra with songs like Fly Me to the Moon and New York New York, while Jay Marsh is an amusing Sammy Davis, though I’ve heard the emotional Mr Bojangles performed better, and there is easy on the eye glamour with Leanne Howell, Chelsea Labadini and Emily Thomas as the Burelli Sisters.

The twelve-strong band led by Matthew Freeman are outstanding, and the fun begins before curtain up with the tongue-in-cheek announcement denying that the show is sponsored by organised crime.

Coinciding with the Rat Pack’s visit, the theatre launched its smart new Ambassador Lounge which will be sold as a premium package. To 06.12.14

Paul Marston

04-12-14 

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