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The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular, Grand Opera House, York

Reviewer: Fran Winter

[Rating:2.5]

“Not what I expected” was commonly heard in the stairwells as the audience filtered out of the Grand Opera House, and one would have to agree. The show would have been more appropriately entitled ‘A Low Budget Night with the Rat Pack’, it is in no way spectacular.

The Rat Pack are; James Jnr as Sammy Davis Jnr, Wayne Kennedy as Dean Martin and Roman Marek as Frank Sinatra. Although poor lookalikes of their namesakes, their voices easily make up for this, if you close your eyes you can easily be tricked in to thinking you are listening to the actual artists.

Stand out performances of the night are Roman’s rendition of the Sinatra classic My Way, a fitting emotional tribute to the artist, with a photo montage of Frank being projected on to the screen behind. Also, Kennedy portrays Dean’s love of alcohol throughout the show, highlighted when regaling the audience with Little ol’ Wine Drinker Me.

The best vocal performance of the night is James Jnr’s version of What Kinda Fool Am I, so strong and clear is his vocal ability that this show seems too amateurish for his talents.

The Vegas showgirls are a disappointment. For a ‘spectacular’, you may expect a whole dance troupe. Unfortunately there are only two girls and their presence on stage looks unnecessary throughout. The choreography and set are amateurish and would not look out of place in a school production. The only ‘scene changes’ provided as such are from the girls changing costume (some of which looked like they had been purchased in Ann Summers) and the changes on the projection screen.

Credit has to be given to the excellent band, individuals showcase their talents in solo spots throughout the show. Special mention needs to be given the saxophone and trumpet soloists.

There is good use of humorous interludes throughout the show, and the chemistry between the three stars and the added audience interaction is an enjoyable part of the show. The real life tension between Sinatra and Sammy Davis is captured in a comical way throughout the show and results in some excellent duets including Me and my Shadow.

The majority of the audience clearly enjoy the show, as during the second half there is a noticeable increase in cheering, whistling and clapping.

For a show entitled ‘Vegas Spectacular’, one would expect glitz and glamour, but unfortunately this show lacks lustre.

 

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