REVIEW: Rat Pack, Morecambe
Not exactly the infamous Sands Hotel, Las Vegas, with its rich and famous audience enjoying a pre-show dinner of filet mignon, lobster and caviar washed down with expensive champagne.
However, my wife and I had our Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls and were looking forward to ice cream at the interval.
Show time – four musicians arrived on stage – keyboards, drums, bass guitar and saxophone/clarinet.
Not the normal full Buddy Greco Band as advertised I suspect but I can understand that 120 plus ticket sales can only support so many artists.
While the musicians played a few bars of My Way, David Alacey as Frank Sinatra entered the auditorium flanked by two Vegas show girls dressed in thong-like costumes with green bodices and green feathers.
David Alacey, in a short dark lounge suit, opened the show with ‘I’ve got the World on a String’ while the girls performed dance-type moves to the music.
Three more numbers followed and Sinatra fans would readily recognise them. David Alacey was stylish, professional and very well rehearsed in Sinatra mannerisms. Hand movements, facial expressions, movement around the stage and when talking, the American drawl.
His choice of Sinatra songs thoughout the evening were my kind of music and although he sang well and his voice blended well with the chosen songs and arrangements, I did not hear the Sinatra voice.
The four musicians worked exceptionally hard trying to emulate the big band sound, and with another three in the brass section they may well have succeeded.
Paul Drakeley, as Dean Martin, arrived complete with drink in hand, show girls now in Western outfits and stetsons. ‘Little ole Wine Drinker’ and ‘King of the Road’ followed. Very good.
Anita Harris was introduced (yes, the original Anita Harris) and she performed three songs – ‘Putting on the Ritz’, ‘What I did for Love’ and ‘Route 66.’
Frank and Dean joined Anita and sang ‘Where or When.’
Anita left the stage and there followed a Frank and Dean medley of ‘Volare,’ ‘That Old Black Magic,’ ‘Witchcraft,’ ‘Come Fly With Me’ and then the interval.
No ice cream – disappointed.
Along with Frank and Dean, then in formal black tie attire, Des Coleman as Sammy Davis Junior joined the party.
They sang a number together from Guys and Dolls and then Sammy solos – ‘Candy Man,’ ‘What Kind of Fool am I’ and ‘The Rhythm of Life.’
The show girls were dressed as hippies complete with long blonde hair, tambourines and dark glasses.
The girls changed into Rio-style outfits for ‘Quando Quando,’ Dean slurred ‘That’s Amore’ and Anita returned in a sparkling full length red outfit and from the show Chicago sang ‘All that Jazz,’ accompanied brilliantly by Sean Whittle on keyboard.
Many more songs were sung than I have mentioned and the show girls had nearly as many outfit changes. The three guys, by then in white tuxedos, along with Anita and the girls in stars and stripes, brought the evening to a close with ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ and ‘New York, New York.’
An excellent entertaining, professional show well received by the audience. Good value for money. Anita Harris, unbelievable.
I play Sinatra music at home regularly and have done for many years. My wife, not a Sinatra fan, said on the way home that it was the first show she had been to where she knew all of the words to all of the songs, and also said that it was the best she had seen at the Platform.
Review by Frank Lambert
The Platform, Morecambe