This entertaining show brings to life what it would have been like to see The Rat Pack performing live with great style and humour.
Having never been privileged enough to get to see Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin performing live on stage this was an opportunity to get a feel of what it would have been like, mixing some of their classic songs with lively humour and banter that formed their live shows.
Devised, directed and choreographed by Mitch Sebastian, this lively show is a wonderful and respectful tribute to three men who had a strong impact on the music industry with their cool charisma and instantly recognisable vocals.
With its renditions of classic songs such as ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, ‘Mr Bojangles’ and ‘That’s Amore’, The Rat Pack at Christmas will certainly find you tapping your feet and completely immersed in the antics of all of the cast for the entire show, really capturing each personality well.
But it has to be said that the show certainly seems to favour Frank Sinatra whose vocals seem to feature most heavily throughout the show, followed by Dean Martin and then Sammy Davis Jr. This seems to be because Sinatra considered himself as the person that everybody most wanted to see – which is in fact made a joke of in the show’s finale rendition of ‘That’s Life’ – but it would have been great to have heard more of Sammy Davis Jr’s music as out of them all he is the one whose music I’m least familiar with.
The cast who have been assembled for the production are equally as talented as the men that they are portraying. Garrett Phillips as Franks Sinatra, who not only looks startlingly alike Sinatra is spot on perfect vocally that is possible to close your eyes and not be able to tell the difference – particularly during ‘New York, New York’ and ‘Witchcraft’. He oozes the cool charisma of the singer with style.
In contrast to this, David Hayes has a great amount of energy and comic timing that makes his version of Sammy Davis Jr strong in presence that he lights up the stage whenever he is on. Meanwhile, Nigel Casey has perhaps a difficult job of bringing Dean Martin to the stage, with his vocals not quite as richly layered coming across as quite light in places as his version of ‘That’s Amore’ shows. But what he does do is bring Martin’s personality to life, engaging the audience’s attention with ease. Altogether, the three are able to really suggest the strong bond between all three singers well.
Some might find the humour slightly dated (not to be wondered out given the whole show is set in the 1960’s) and you don’t learn much about them as individuals, but this is a fictional gig which is deeply fascinating and a delight to watch.
Overall, Christmas With The Rat Pack has plenty to offer in the form of great music and humour that makes it a great show to watch for anyone wishing to see something other than a Christmas show. This is grown up fun.
Christmas With The Rat Pack will play at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until the 6th January and will be followed by The Rat Pack – Live from Las Vegas. To book tickets click here or visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk and Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk .