The Rat Pack – Live from Las Vegas showcases some of the nation's favourite entertainers from an era where sparkly costumes and dinner suites went hand-in-hand with incredibly talented performers. Set in the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, and featuring actors playing Frank Sinatra, Samuel Davis Jr and Dean Martin, the audience was treated to some wonderful renditions of songs like “Amore” and “New York, New York”.
The show is a good mix of classics and lesser-known numbers (to me, that is, though to avid fans I would imagine not), held together with strong vocals and a foray or two into the possible on-stage relationships between the performers.
I could see the resemblance between the actors and the original Rat Pack, some more than others, and I thought Nigel Casey gave a particularly impressive performance as Dean Martin. Some of the humour was lost on the audience but Casey appeared to immediately lift spirits as he came on stage and made me chuckle throughout.
Ella Fitzgerald, played by Nicola Emmanuelle, appeared at just the right time, oozing confidence and energy. Her vocals were amazing, both solo and in group numbers, and it was a shame she had so few songs.
So I guess there's something for everyone in this - a proper feel-good show. I'm thinking oohhh my mum would love Frank, and my sisters would love Ella and Sammy and, well, I'll keep Dean for myself thank you, for a repeat performance of my favourite song of the night “Volare”.
I loved the female backing group, “The Burelli Sisters” who were mesmerizing - great harmonies, flawless vocals and clever choreography. The band was also brilliant, and energy levels did drop when they were not providing the full backing. The “oomph” they gave to the performances rippled through the audience as people started to sway along.
The final numbers left the audience wanting more, with a few people in the stalls (and a fair few upstairs) offering a standing ovation.
The Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas wouldn’t be ranked at the top of my favourites list but, as a detox to the overly complex, high production-value West End shows, this easy listening journey back into the past deserves to be on your list to experience before it retires.
The Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas is on at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. The month run is due to end in early February.
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