Rat Packer Tribute Sammy Launches National TourDate: 10 September 2002
A new show inspired by the life and talent of the late American black entertainer Sammy Davis Jr launches a ten-week UK-wide tour tonight, 10 September 2002. Sammy opens at the Sheffield Lyceum before continuing until 23 November to ten further venues, concluding at London's Theatre Royal Stratford East (11 to 23 November).
The show centres on the hopes of ten young actors, auditioning for a part in a fictional West End musical, titled Sammy. Through their eyes, we see the life of Davis, a man who overcame the description of "wrong looks, height, face and race" to charm millions while, along the way, battling through his fair share of drugs, drink, women and depression.
Born in Harlem in 1925, Sammy Davis Jr (pictured) continued to entertain until his death in Beverley Hills in 1990. A variety artist who could dance, act, sing, do impressions and tell jokes, Davis appeared in countless movies, Broadway musicals and television shows and released numerous albums, but never won a major award. In the 1950s and 60s, he was a member of Las Vegas' infamous Rat Pack, along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
Sammy - produced by Tiata Fahodzi in association with the Sammy Davis Jr Foundation - features Peter Straker (Hold On, The Phantom of the Opera) along with Donna Berlin, Jon Clairmonte, Erica Ann Deakin, Rodger Dunklee, Georgina Field, Lorraine Le-Blanc and Jason Pennycooke.
The show, billed as a 'play with music and tap', is developed and directed by Femi Elufowoja Jr and designed by Nick Barns.
- by Terri Paddock