Chris High reviews The Rat Pack Live From Last Vegas


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Chris High reviews: The Rat Pack Liverpool Empire Theatre

THE RAT PACK Live From Las Vegas

Chris Mann, Michael Neilson, Ashley Campbell
Producers: Paul Walden & Derek Nicol in association with Paul Woolf
Director and Choreographer: Mitch Sebastian
Vocal and Musical Supervisor: Matthew Freeman

Liverpool Empire Theatre
July 3rd 2006
Review: Martin Maloney

The Rat Pack: promotional image

THE RAT PACK
Live from Las Vegas
Reviewed


The so-called ‘Brat Pack’ of Hollywood that have been, according to the media, ‘setting the pace’ in recent years are very lucky individuals indeed, if only for the fact that they do not have to be all that talented to be a star these days. The original ‘Rat Pack’ in their heyday not only ‘set the pace’ but they were also blessed with a huge amount of talent in more than one discipline.


The trio of Chris Mann (Frank Sinatra), Michael Neilson (Dean Martin) and Ashley Campbell (Sammy Davis Junior) can, as performers in their own right, feel extremely unlucky to have been born in the wrong era, as they are true stars who, in this day and age, may not receive the rewards that their talents so richly deserve.

Not only can these gentlemen sing with the best of them they can also act, with the performances of all three being so well timed that occasionally the audience has to remind themselves they are working to a script.

Though there is no actual story line to follow and, therefore, no inane links between songs, the audience is left with the original sounds of the 50’s and 60’s that is unique to the ‘Rat Pack’, set at the Sands Hotel, Las Vegas.

The trio are superbly supported throughout by the magnificent fifteen-piece orchestra who provide live music at its best, and also by a trio of young ladies playing the Berelli Sisters. Not only do they look good, they also sound and dance superbly well and, when on the stage without any of the ‘Pack’, they can more than hold their own.

The show boasts all the classics; ‘Chicago,’ ‘Everybody Loves Somebody,’ ‘That’s Amore,’ ‘Me and My Shadow’ and ‘Candyman’ to name but a few, and all were delivered with that certain style and swagger that is synonymous with Sinatra, Martin and Davis. Some of the songs were so special in fact, the audience were held spellbound as many a shiver was sent rushing down the spine. For example, Chris Mann’s renditions of ‘New York, New York,’ ‘My Way’ and most notably ‘Mack the Knife’ were truly stunning. Michael Neilson had the majority of the laughs but his version of ‘Sway’ was outstanding whereas the highlight of the night was to be found in the capable voice of Ashley Campbell, with his interpretation of ‘Mr Bojangles’ – WOW!

For those too young to have seen the originals, for those old enough to have seen them but never got the chance and for those who actually saw them perform live, then this is very much a must see show.
9/10

 

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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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