The Rat Pack is Back! | The Fabulous Fox Theatre

 

Rat-Pack 75

Whether he was gliding across stage with graceful kicks, sneaking up behind Frank Sinatra to interrupt his moment, or balancing a drink in his hand, it was all signature Dean.



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The Rat Pack is Back! opened with the four members on stage, but Drew Anthony, who comprised the role of Dean Martin stole the show. The audience—consisting of a mostly 60+ year-old crowd—clapped, swayed, and belly laughed to Dean’s right on the money impersonation. Whether he was gliding across stage with graceful kicks, sneaking up behind Frank Sinatra to interrupt his moment, or balancing a drink in his hand, it was all signature Dean. The highlight of the evening was Dean parading on stage in Superman underwear and Indian costume posing as the Lone Ranger’s (Sammy Davis Jr.) sidekick, Tonto. He rewarded the audience with his signature song, “Everybody Loves Somebody,” proving to be charismatic and, at the same time, endearing. Just like Dean, Anthony could make you laugh while still charming the ladies.

Brian Duprey, as Frank Sinatra, didn’t disappoint. He sounded and looked like Frank, playing the man in charge. You could feel the audience’s anticipation of their beloved Frank coming on stage. As they relaxed in their seats, crowd members sang along with his popular tunes including “Luck Be a Lady” and “My Way.” He looked the part in his black tuxedo and patent leather shoes, with a handkerchief neatly tucked into his front left pocket. He was cool, calm, and in control.

The four man group was rounded out with Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis, Jr. impersonators. Neither looked like either celebrity, but their efforts were commendable. There were some recognizable mannerisms, like Sammy’s signature dance moves to “Mr. Bojangles” and Joey’s pace in presenting jokes, but not enough to have you believe the real deal was on stage.

The set was simple, but did look like an early 1960s band stand—band to the left on a stair step platform marked RP (Rat Pack) and piano to the right. There were lots of kudos to the band, compliments to the Fox Theatre, and a positive interaction with the audience. Dean connected with a young woman by stealing her drink, Joey served as waiter to the front row, and Frank recognized birthdays and anniversaries.

Dean, Frank, Joey and Sammy Jr. demonstrated chemistry on stage. They interacted flawlessly. It appeared they had been working together since the early 60s. Each one exhibited warmth and a happiness to just be doing what they loved, performing.

Their fans came to reminisce and relive an era, to play along with The Rat Pack and go back to a decade when everyone was passionate about jazz and swing. Then, a contemporary joke about Charlie Sheen or someone born in 1991 brought you back to reality and that was not a good thing. Enjoying an evening with some old friends would have been enough. But hey, they did it their way. | Regina Randall

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