Review: The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular at Grimsby’s Central Hall
THE Central Hall is not the Sands Hotel but, in the company of Deano, Frank and Sammy, we suspended reality and travelled an imaginary 6,000 miles to 1960s Las Vegas.
A time when these three men dominated the self-styled "entertainment capital of the world" and The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular has spent a decade celebrating that era.
It was a night of glamour as showgirls shimmied across the stage in an ever-changing fashion parade of alluring costumes.
The eight-piece brass-dominated band succeeded in creating the illusionary sound of a much larger orchestra, playing with striking energy and panache.
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Naturally, the night belonged to those stepping into legendary shoes; a responsibility that fell to Wayne Kennedy, as Dean Martin; Roman Marek, as Frank Sinatra; and James Jnr, portraying Sammy Davis Jnr.
True, they were not look-alikes, but as someone commented to me, "close your eyes, listen and it sounds right".
Over the course of two hours, they sashayed through a collection of instantly familiar hit songs with the audience eager to join in on cue, as and when required.
Notable numbers included Mr Bojangles, That's Life, Fly Me To The Moon, Volare, One For My Baby, The Birth Of The Blues and Little Old Wine Drinker, Me.
Indeed, Dean Martin's fondness for the bottle was a constant running gag throughout the show and whilst some of the humour bordered on being cheesy, it was difficult not to smile.
The three worked together like a well-oiled machine, whether singing in harmony or engaging in banter, often with local references.
During My Kind Of Town, Grimsby substituted for Chicago and, in a nice touch, the multi-media backdrop featured familiar local scenes.
The two halves of any show should end on a high; My Way signed off the first while New York, New York closed the show with the audience on their feet, whooping for joy and demanding more.