MusicNorth East & YorkshireReview

The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas – Lyceum, Sheffield

Devised, directed and choreographed by: Mitch Sebastian

Musical Supervisor: Matthew Freeman

Reviewer: Sheila Stratford

The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas takes a step back in time to the luxury Sands Hotel with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin who are there to entertain you with a night of musical enjoyment. The legendary threesome performs a medley of hit songs from the era accompanied by the glamorous and fictitious Burelli Sisters and a guest performance from Ella Fitzgerald.

The Rat Pack were legendary in the late fifties and early sixties. Those guys were relaxed, cool and heavy late-night drinkers. They oozed talent and charm. Banter abounded between them. Today the racial ribbing, Jewish jokes, glorification of drink, allusions to Mafia crime and the Burelli sisters strutting about in provocative costumes for the entertainment of the men is far less acceptable. Dean Martin was on stage drunk and teased: “The only reason he’s got a good tan, he found a bar with a skylight”. 

Stephen Triffitt, a talented actor and singer as Frank Sinatra achieves all the smooth tones of Frank’s voice and does credit to those wonderful songs such as New York, New York and My Way. David Hayes as Sammy Davis Junior has the electricity and movements of Sammy Davis though an impossible task to fully replicate the truly talented Sammy Davis who was such an acclaimed singer, dancer, actor and comedian.

Nigel Casey as Dean Martin excels when he sings Volare. The audience gasped when they thought he genuinely was falling down the stairs through too much drink. He convincingly portrayed the swagger of Dean Martin.

Amelia Adams-Pearce, Laura Darton and Joanna Walters as the Burrelli Sisters gave beautiful backing harmonies but where they really shone was in their stylised dancing and movements supporting the singers. They perform a sense of being a part of a glitzy, glamorous event in a bygone time when the role of women was quite different.

Nicola Emmanuel as Ella Fitzgerald gives a strong performance particularly with the song The Lady Is A Tramp. She has a certain charisma on stage as of course did the great jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald.

Michael Freeman the award-winning conductor, arranger and pianist led the eleven-piece band on stage throughout the show. The band accompanied the singers throughout with authentic arrangements. Seated on stage as the backdrop to the set the different mood lighting must have been a challenge for them.

The show has been running for many years and is perhaps ready for an update, but for a night of nostalgia, good songs and a step back in time The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas is sure to entertain those who look back to that era.

Runs until 5 May 2018 | Image: Contributed

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One Comment

  1. Truly believable as a night at the Sands. Did think the jokes and innuendos were a bit riske but for the sake of historical atmosphere they need to be in there.Part of the charm is the banter between the three guys and their different cultural backgrounds.It felt a bit like a biopic. Loved everything about it

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