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Image: Promo for The Rat Pack - Live From Las VegasThe Rat Pack – Live From Las Vegas

Thursday July 24th 2008
Summer Pops Festival
The Echo Arena, Liverpool

Director: Mitch Sebastian
Producer: Paul Walden & Derek Nicol
Cast: Stephen Triffitt, Jason Pennycooke, Nigel Casey

Running Time: 2hours 40 mins.

Oh the good old days. When men posted mail and real  men drank and smoked and womanised and had mob connections and sang and danced and occasionally acted. Imagine the so called “bad-lads” doing that today? Would they stand the pace nearly as well as Dino, Frank or Sammy? No chance.

And as for political correctness? In Frank, Sammy and Dino’s day, that meant the Mayor paid his gambling dues on time and little else and so is decidedly absent in this production, which all adds to the “atmosphere” quite nicely.

 

Anyway, back to the show. First off, let’s get this straight. Number 1, The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas is so well polished it’s easy to see why over 1 million have seen it in its various guises. Number 2, it’s a theatre show and not something that is best suited for a huge arena. As a result, a lot of the intimacy in being able to see the “greats” on stage, especially Nigel Casey’s Dean Martin and his perpetual drunken tom-foolery, become lost in the vast space separating him from his audience. This is a shame as clearly the man’s got the little old wine drinker’s habits and mannerisms down to a fine art.

Stephen Triffitt as Frank took a little time to ease into the vocal power of his target, whereas Jason Pennycooke as Sam seemed to be reborn as the glass-eyed maestro vocally, but dipped a little on the dancing.

Yet. With this said, these observations only stack up when each performer is on stage alone. Together, they are a powerful combination and deliver a show that is deeply evocative as they knock out the greatest hits of all three – a fantastic version of Mr Bojangles by Pennycooke, Its My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is) by Triffitt and Volare by Casey are all notable highlights that get the crowd dancing in the aisles, thanks in no small part to an eighteen-piece orchestra led by Matthew Freeman.

Yes, this was fun and yes it was well staged, but a little more intimacy next time gentlemen if you please?


The Rat Pack - Live From Las Vegas review 2006 | 2007


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