Billed as "Frank, Sammy and Dean, The Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas" this is a glamorous recreation of a show at the Sands Theatre, Las Vegas in the 1960s. The sparkling pink-lit stairway set is framed with giant images of the superstars, a 15 piece orchestra strikes up an overture, and the spotlight focuses one by one on our lookalike stars in their tuxedos and shiny patent shoes: Stephen Triffitt got his break performing as Frank Sinatra on TVs Stars In Their Eyes, going on to perform his tribute act around the world with his suave manner and rich melodic voice. Nigel Casey is a star of West End musicals and looks every inch the slick haired and charismatic Dean Martin. Singer and dancer, Alonzo Saunders is an award winning performer on Broadway and has the stature, style and tap dancing feet of Sammy Davis Jr.
The Rat Pack was founded by Humphrey Bogart in the 1950s as a private group of his close Hollywood friends including Sinatra and Garland. In the 60s, the key players were Frank, Sammy and Dean who, as hard drinking, party loving buddies, were the pioneer entertainers in the new luxury playground for the rich and leisurely - Las Vegas. This spectacular, beautifully dressed and imaginatively directed touring show is not simply a cabaret of well known Rat Pack songs but a dramatisation of a period Las Vegas show (complete with old microphones) - the big band music, the jokes, the teasing, the bourbon drinking and the Marx Brother style antics.
But here too are all the fabulous numbers we know so well: The Lady is a Tramp, That's Amore, Mr Bojangles, New York New York, Everybody Loves Somebody, My Way - the repertoire is endless - and as the night goes on, the heat and tempo rises into a high kicking, glitzy and glamorous entertainment. The men are also joined by three beautiful blonde girls, The Burelli sisters, adding sex appeal in their crimson gowns and black basques, as they sing in perfect harmony, dance and dazzle.
This is classic and classy American showbiz at its vintage best, performed with sheer professionalism and star talent - an international smash hit on its tour from London to Texas. On the opening night at the Playhouse, Edinburgh, 1,800 people almost filled the theatre - an impressive turnout for a Monday night. The audience was not only the older generation who grew up on Sinatra songs, but young couples and girls around 10 and 12. With video extracts of Rat Pack performances currently playing on You Tube, (and delighting teenage viewers) it seems that old style Swing musical entertainment is back in vogue for all ages.
Show times: Monday, 31 March to Saturday, 5 April