With almost half a century gone by since their infamous Las Vegas performances, the legendary statuses of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin show no sign of fading. Christmas with the Rat Pack pays homage to this, allowing modern audiences the opportunity to feel the live music in their chest, smell Sammy’s cigarette smoke and hear the ice clink in Dean’s glass.
This is a tribute show with class. Set in the famous Sands Hotel, the production has a level of authenticity that elevates it beyond the usual karaoke. The early 1960’s style stage houses the brilliant live band as the cast faithfully perform the old favourites.
Stephen Triffit as Frank, Mark Adams as Dean and George Long as Sammy all do a satisfying job of mimicking their alter-egos physically as well as aurally. The mannerisms and vocal tics of the real life Rat Pack are all here, alongside playful banter between songs, revealing a real chemistry between the performers.
There is a real attention to detail in the design of the show. Of particular note is the costume design, which pays real attention to the individual style of each crooner’s suit: Sammy’s ruffled shirt, Dean’s oversized jacket and Frank’s patent shoes are all here. Clad in diamonds and satin, backing singers The Burelli Sisters look as heavenly as their harmonies sound.
The song list features old standards including "Mack the Knife", "New York, New York" and "Volare", with a few Christmas songs thrown in to justify the title and re-packaging of the original Rat Pack show. The highlight is George Long’s atmospheric rendition of "Mr Bojangles", with the introduction eliciting an excited murmur from the audience as cigarette smoke swirls in the spotlight.
Although Christmas with the Rat Pack is a great feel-good night out, those who have seen the original version may feel slightly cheated if they are expecting an all-new Christmas show. That said, fans and first-timers who want to have a cool, classy and easy evening will love it.