If you caught the reflections of the cast of Christmas with the Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas in a frosty glass of Jack Daniels, you could be forgiven for believing that you were sharing the evening with musical royalty.
Their sharp suits, loose gestures and rolling shoulders are keenly observed, their look cleanly devised and their vocal performances capture the sound and the spirit of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr remarkably well.
Crooning their way through the Rat Pack songbook with an impressive twelve-piece band, Stephen Triffit, Mark Adams and George Long are a formidable trio. Triffit’s impersonation of Sinatra is uncanny, booming with the smooth ferocity of that Hell’s Kitchen vocal, modelling his mannerisms on Old Blue Eyes perfectly. Adams steals the show as Dean Martin, making the audience swoon as he croons and, although his footwork fails to impress as Sammy David Jr’s did, George Long’s performance is at times arresting and chilling.
And yet, the turkey has been somewhat overcooked in this festive tribute show. Although the production bills itself as a Christmas show which lets it snow and hauls out the holly, much more time is devoted to songs like “Mambo Italiano” than “Mary’s Boychild”. Whilst there is not an issue with their presence, there is an issue with their proportion, cramming the majority of the seasonal tunes into the middle of the second act and opting for Rat Pack parodies, not recognisable originals, on too many occasions.
Nonetheless, Christmas with the Rat Pack is an enjoyable and entertaining evening. Whether or not it is the perfect prelude to the season is not so clear.