At the Theatre Royal Haymarket, The Rat Pack has added five weeks to its limited season, taking it up to 24 May 2003. The concert show relives the Las Vegas glory days of the hippest cats of the 1950s and 60s, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Touring the country since 2000, the production transferred to the Haymarket on 11 March and had been booking to 19 April.
Set on a night at The Sands hotel in 1960, a trio of look and sound-alikes (currently played by Stephen Triffitt as Sinatra, Mark Adams as Martin and George Long as Davis Jr) perform a parade of cool classics like "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Witchcraft", "That's Amore", "That Old Black Magic", "My Way" and "The Lady is a Tramp" to the accompaniment of a live 15-piece Big Band and a full supporting cast.
From 6 April 2003, Sinatra impersonator Triffitt will only be appearing intermittently as he launches his own two-month solo concert tour, Stephen Triffitt Celebrates Sinatra, which continues to nearly 50 venues after opening at Croydon's Fairfield Halls. In The Rat Pack, he'll be replaced by his understudy Chris Mann.
Meanwhile, at the West End's Aldwych, Fame, which transferred to the theatre on 4 September 2002, has added another three months to its schedule and is now taking bookings up to 31 January 2004. The Runar Borge production, based on Alan Parker's 1980 Oscar-winning film and the American TV series of the same name, first opened in the West End at the Cambridge Theatre in 1995, when it was nominated for two Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Musical and Best Choreography. It returned in 1998 for a run at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
The musical's current West End run began in October 2000 at the Victoria Palace (its second outing at that venue, where it also played in 1997) before transferring back to the Cambridge in September 2001 and then to the Aldwych last year. With its on and off appearances, it has racked up some three-and-a-half years in the West End and been seen by 2.5 million people.
- by Terri Paddock