REVIEW: The Rat Pack – Live From Las Vegas, Theatre Royal Haymarket

This entertaining and lively show gives audiences a real taste of what it would have been like to see The Rat Pack performing live. 

4 The Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas featuring Ella Fitzgerald Centenary Celebration Garrett Phillips (Frank Sinatra) Nicola Emmanuelle (Ella Fitzgerald) PHOTO Betty Zapata
Garrett Phillips (Frank Sinatra) and Nicola Emmanuelle (Ella Fitzgerald) (c)Betty Zapata. 

Oozing with charm and charisma, The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas is a wonderful way to explore the music and talent of three iconic singers in a relaxed environment.

Every element of Mitch Sebastian’s production seems to have been thoroughly researched to get the feeling of what it would have been like to see Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin performing live – without it coming simply across as a ‘tribute act’. This is certainly more than that.

The playful banter between the cast in particular really reflects the strong bond that there was between the three of them as well as the ability to capture such different and huge personalities to great effect. Of course the humour to some modern ears will come across as dated, but it actually reflects The Rat Pack era well – just about testing boundaries of good taste but delivered with charm that it is impossible to take offence.

Performing classic songs such as ‘I’ve Got you Under My Skin’, ‘Mr Bojangles’ and ‘That’s Amore’, the show is a delight if you are looking for some nostalgia and high quality sounding performances – not only from the cast but also from the live big band, who provide great energy and sophisticated performances that enhance the vocals of the cast well.

But the show is also a celebration of Ella Fitzgerald and showcases this well in the second act with wonderful duets of ‘The Lady is  A Tramp’ and ‘S’Wonderful’ for example, performed with great sophistication by Nicola Emmanuelle as Ella Fitzgerald and Garrett Phillips as Frank Sinatra. Emmanuelle has great warmth and depth to her vocals, hitting each note perfectly, while Phillips evokes the cool and sophisticated nature of Sinatra with ease.

Elsewhere, David Hayes as Sammy Davis Jr captures the spirit of the singer as well as his showmanship that is really showcased in his rendition of ‘Mr Bojangles’. When he is on stage you can’t take your eyes off him, wondering what he is going to do next. Nigel Casey as Dean Martin also manages to capture the singer’s charm and laid back nature, constantly goofing around during performances of ‘That’s Amore’ and ‘Sway’ for example makes his performance very natural and amusing to watch.

Of course, the links between performances could have been slightly smoother – particularly as one singer is replaced by another and occasionally a few of the lyrics were lost over the lively performance of the big band – but these are minor complaints in a show that entertains from beginning to end.

Charming and entertaining  it is great to have The Rat Pack back in town for audiences to enjoy!

The Rat Pack – Live from Las Vegas continues to play at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until the 3rd February. To book tickets click here or visit:  , Encore Tickets and  Theatre Tickets .  

Rating: ❤❤❤❤

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