Looking at theatre and the arts across North East England, the North East Theatre Guide continues to celebrate culture in our region.
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REVIEW: The Rat Pack ★★★★ at Sunderland Empire
The Rat Pack – Live From Las Vegas ★★★★
17th March 2018
A show that takes you back to the glory days of
swing. A time before the Beatles or rock n roll. When the stars wore suits and
ties. A time when different singers sang the hits that songwriters created. But
only Frank delivered My Way.
We are big fans of live music so it was a great pleasure to see a fabulous
and talented 12 piece band on stage. They didn't put a foot wrong for the duration
of the 2 hour set.
This is a tribute concert to the original "Rat Pack" Dean
Martin, Sammy Davies Junior and, of course, the leader of the pack Frank
Each act begins with a funny voice over trying to suggest Frank had no
criminal connections. "Frank" (Garrett Phillips) is the first to appear and
the soothing golden tones washed over the Sunderland crowd in a pleasant way.
"Sammy" (David Hayes) is conceived as the joker in the pack. Funnily
enough, he is presented as a bit of an outsider in some ways. Perhaps that is
just my interpretation of the on stage banter that proliferates the show.Mr Bojangles was one highlight of his
Finally, with an alcohol dependency which is flagged up at regular
intervals, along comes Dean Martin (Keiron Crook) who also gets a chance to shine on some classic hits
such as That’s Amore and Everybody Loves Somebody. The Burelli
Sisters also appear at regular interval with some stunning outfits to match
their complementary voices.
And what hits they were! Tonight we get to enjoy New York New York, The Lady Is A Tramp,The Old Black Magic and my favourite of the evening Mack The Knife. The hits are very much
of that era and are well worth another listen.
In the second act "Ella Fitzgerald" (Nicola Emmanuel) joins the party. With a couple of
duets to add to her solo number, she is off the stage oh so quickly which was a
The show has great musicianship and knows what it is aiming to do: to
replicate the Vegas shows and to perform the hits that made these 4 famous.
Added into the mix are jokes and scripted banter to show off their on
stage chemistry. It is a show of it’s time. The performers smoke and
drink on stage, the conversation isn’t always politically correct so it feels
more dated in some ways.
Rat Pack - Live From Las Vegas is a pleasing performance. A live band
and some engaging singers take you back to a simpler time. The songs have stood
the test of time, especially the show closer My Way.
Review by Stephen Oliver
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