THE RAT PACK – LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS Review

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A 5 Star performance from Sinatra, Davis Jnr and Martin. Legends will be legends forever!

This was a night to re live the Legends that graced the Sands Hotel in Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin.

The Rat Pack – Live from Las Vegas was conceived in 2000, after updates, variations and venues – It currently holds the record for playing in the most houses (eight) in London’s West End. The Peacock Theatre, Theatre Royal Haymarket, Novello Theatre , Savoy Theatre, London Palladium, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Adelphi Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre have played host
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After transferring from the Savoy Theatre, they have just come off the back of a seasonal production of a ‘Christmas with the Ratpack’ version of the show.

Now 2018 has started there was no better way to kick this year off with the ‘Live in Las Vegas’ show which also now includes a celebration of the fantastic Ella Fitzgerald.

Set in the Sands Hotel. Early 1960’s. The Las Vegas Strip, here we were left to imagine we were in the audience to see the entertainment for the night.

The stage had Matthew Freeman who was the excellent musical director for this show to the left of the stage seated at a Piano, a big band to the rear on a raised stage. A see through screen with it a vision of a figure. Yes Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, The Leader Frank Sinatra could be seen. Starting off with ‘It was a very good year’, the screen raised to leave Sinatra to walk down the steps of the stage.

Played by Garrett Phillips you could of mistaken him for the man himself. An excellent voice, dressed to the nines in a slick black suit, and polished shiny black shoes. This was a throwback to when men dressed properly. Charisma shone from Phillips and after his song introduced us to the night ahead. Conveyed not as a throwback and tribute to the legends but as if it were an actual performance – we were transported back in time watching in person.

We were told we would get to see friends Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin – played by David Hayes and Nigel Casey respectively. Each introduced via their preferences and characteristics of the type of drinkers they were.

One by one we got to listen as each came on stage for a few solo songs in turn showing us the individual talents and sound each actor was capable of. Then in turn we witnessed duets and trios together. The show was also full of quips and non pc jokes about relgion,race or charactaristics of eachother – friends joking with eachother in a way you wouldnt be able to do in the modern day era without being criticised for.

The venue lent itself to this production in that its interior let the sound echo around the stalls, giving us a chance to truly take in the sounds. Joined on stage sporadically by the sweet sounds of the Burelli sisters who brought sweet melodic sounds and even more glamour to the stage.

The great thing about this show was that you don’t have to be from the era to love this show, the songs sang are classics in themselves and have lasted the generations. We have all heard them, we have all enjoyed them. This was a chance to do that all over again. If you did happen to be from the era it was then a chance to re live these legends that you were lucky enough to see originally.

This was when musicians didnt need theatrics on stage, although we did have strips of confetti fill the air at one point, which was as extravagant as it got. This was when artists could carry the room on the notes of their voie and charisma that the Rat Pack had.

Filled with all the classics you would expect to hear from a Rat Pack show. Reeling off New York,New York, Mack the Knife, Thats Life, Mr Bojangles, My Kinda Town, The lady is a tramp and many more.

With this new version we celebrate Ella Fitzgerlad who makes a brief appearance played by the excellent Nicola Emmanuel. This was a nice addition to accompany the male bravado that came with the pack and Nicola is obviously a star unto herself.

Garret Phillips plays the Leader excellently, a voice and look to match the original man himself, his persona flows throughout the show. Enthralled and focused the audience watched and let themselves be drawn back into the world of Sinatra.Not one song could i pick out as a showstopper as there were many – we can however tell you Garrett can hold a note! Displayed on two occasions in this show.

David Hayes brings a sense of fun and a ball of energy to the role of Davis Jnr, i was particuarly impressed with the rendition of Mr Bojangles early on in the show. Leaving the amazing Nigel Casey portray Dean Martin was a masterstroke, while he may not exactly match Dean Martin for looks, his portrayal and humour was fantastic. Being the man who loves the ladies he drank himself through the show whilst performing hit after hit.

 

In the end a standing ovation came, and no more than this cast deserved. Bring me back to the Sands Hotel anytime you want!

The Ratpack Live from Las Vegas runs until the 3rd February at Theatre Royal Haymarket, so grab your tickets now.