Star rating: ★★★★
Town Hall, Birmingham – until 9 June 2017
Guest reviewer: Garry McWilliams
I was brought up on the music of The Rat Pack and I’ve rarely been in attendance at a show where I have known every song word for word. The spectacular Vegas-style show which is currently touring the UK and is now in it’s 20th year provided a superb evening’s entertainment.
The Rat Pack is of course formed of Frank Sinatra (David Alacey), Sammy Davis Junior (Des Coleman) and Dean Martin (Paul Drakeley) and a tribute show to the popular late trio wouldn’t be a tribute show without a big band. In this case the three extremely versatile performers were backed by the Buddy Greco Orchestra who were phenomenal.
As Sinatra, Alacey was everything that you would expect Sinatra to be, he sounded so much like the legend himself – I closed my eyes and I could have been listening to Sinatra himself. He gave a flawless impersonation yet is also a fantastic singer in his own right. As Sammy Davis Junior, Coleman gave a lively, enthusiastic portrayal and his soft shoe shuffle was excellent. As Dean Martin, Drakeley gave the expected ‘inebriated’ performance (Dean Martin always had a drink and a fag in his hand when he was on stage) and did tremendous justice to the late singer and actor.
The three of them bantered easily between themselves and engaged the audience regularly, encouraging them to suggest songs they’d like to hear. It was a pity that the auditorium wasn’t as full as the show deserved it to be. The songs themselves are classics and have stood the test of time and when delivered with such precision, they’re a joy to re-visit.
Highlights included the Sinatra and Greco ‘duet’ courtesy of a recording of the late Buddy Greco and the vocal talent of David Alacey. Mac The Knife and Fly Me To the Moon were also my personal favourites and a rousing rendition of New York topped off the evening in style.
Kenny Lynch guest starred and he may be slightly limited by age but his stage presence lacked none of the Kenny we know of old. His ability to tell gags and sing classic hits never waivered – when it comes to talent, he still has it in abundance.
This is a company who all have mutual respect for one another and it shines through which was as delightful to watch as the show itself. Catch it on tour at a venue near you!