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The Rat Pack -- Live at the Sands
a Musical Revue
CATEGORY :
by Rat Pack Touring, Ltd

COMPANY : Broadway Across America [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The Fabulous Fox [WEBSITE]
ID# 2501

SHOWING : September 25, 2007 - September 30, 2007

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Las Vegas, the Sands Hotel. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr are headlining. And you are there. The popular West End Hit travels the country, bringing a bit of the '60's Vegas Era alive.


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REVIEWS

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FUGGEDABOUDDIT …
by Dedalus
Thursday, October 4, 2007
3.0
The set is struck and the trucks are off to another road stop so you can forget about (I’m sorry, I meant to say “Fuggedabout”) seeing “The Rat Pack – Live at the Sands.” That being said, it won’t be too long before I’ve forgotten it myself.

In a nutshell, this is an alleged recreation of a 1960’s Las Vegas set performed by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Forget that “New York New York” was actually written in the ‘70’s

Forget that the production employed the latest 21st-century computer-synchronized lighting.

Forget that the Rat Pack’s Double-Entendre-laden patter was cleaned up for “Red State” America, but all the period “Coon” and “Fairy” and “Jew” jokes were left intact, for those who are nostalgic for Pre-PC humor (and don’t happen to be or to know a “Coon,” “Fairy,” or “Jew”).

Forget that the courage and comradery of popular performers accepting a minority into their “circle” was somehow missed, but all the casual cruelty and paternalistic “Massa” attitude remained (in deference to the “period,” I suppose).

Forget that Sinatra and Davis were played by Career “impersonators” who get the gestures and songs right (*), but didn’t have the acting chops to make them live as characters, and who didn’t have an ounce of charisma (**). Forget that Martin was played by a musical comedy actor who looked and sounded nothing like the original, but managed to get the only laughs of the evening out of me. And please PLEASE forget the weren’t-even-funny-then jokes about drinking (“Nobody ever got hurt by drinking!” Right…). Forget that they all missed the affection and rapport that characterized the originals.

Forget that the cavernous Fox was not the right venue to recreate the feigned intimacy that makes Vegas Nightclub entertainment actually work.

On the other hand, there were the songs. There was the band with its big and brassy sound that made the songs resonate with nostalgia. There were the three back-up singer/dancers who were so good, I spent more time watching them than the headliners. There was the beautiful image of a background “star field” that made the set appear as if it were floating in some ideal afterlife, a Vegas “Heaven” that the Rat Pack would want to run if they (and the Sands) were still around today.

If only the whole affair didn’t seem like a cheap (but expensive) Ronco rip-off cover album.

So, you miss the original “Rat Pack” and you somehow managed to miss “The Rat Pack – Live at the Sands?”

Fuggedabouddit!

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)

* They got most of the songs right – “Sammy Davis Jr.” missed the last note of “What Kind of Fool am I,” and “scooped” into it a beat or two too late. Of course the original was known to occasionally do that …

** Think for a moment – Just how much charisma can a performer have if they have dedicated their careers to “impersonating” a talent greater than their own?
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