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Sinatra - Through the Years (tour - Eastbourne, Congress Theatre)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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In these days of fleeting fame and here today-gone tomorrow celebrities ,it is easy to wonder if we are ever likely to see a true global superstar again but, in his amazing catalogue of fantastic music, at least we will always have the memory of one of the very best – Francis Albert Sinatra.

Stephen Triffitt, star of the international hit show The Rat Pack, doesn’t just play Sinatra. As soon as the music starts ,he is Sinatra - and in this show, as well as getting to hear a selection of Sinatra’s very finest songs, we also get to learn just about everything there is to know about the man who had a, sometimes controversial, singing and acting career that lasted an amazing 60 years.

Triffitt narrates the show using a prepared script from which, occasionally, he strays away to add a more personal touch to the proceedings. He starts by relating stories of Sinatra’s early career with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey at Columbia Records],and the audience is stunned by some of the facts and figures that are included to illustrate what a prolific and productive time that was.

The first of the songs in the show is “All or nothing at all”, after which we learn that, despite its million-selling status, when it was first released it sold a paltry 8,000 copies. It is those “behind the scenes” details throughout the performance that give a down-to-earth quality to the show and leave the audience feeling like they are somehow party to a few showbusiness secrets.

However, it is not the secrets that we are here for, it’s the music and that is provided by the 13-piece SandS ShowS Big Band which, under the musical direction of Chris Dean, provides the jazz/swing sound that is so well loved. Together with Triffitt’s amazingly accurate portrayal of Sinatra’s distinctive voice, hit follows hit, million-seller follows million-seller, and the reaction from the audience get louder and more enthusiastic.

In part two the big guns are unleashed and, after learning about Sinatra’s time at Capitol Records working with Nelson Riddle, his links with the Kennedys and his alleged connection to “The Mob”, Triffitt performs yet more songs including “Fly me to the moon”, “Pennies from heaven” “I’ve got you under my skin” and the haunting “Angel eyes”.

As the show reaches its climax we hear hits from Sinatra’s own label Reprise Records. “My kind of town”, Strangers in the night”, Luck be a lady and “Mack the knife” follow one after the other and lead to inevitable “New York, New York” finale. Triffitt returns to the stage to delight the audience with a flawless rendition of “My way” and leaves to a tremendous standing ovation.

Following this tryout, Sinatra – Through The Years will be touring the country either late in 2012 or early in 2013. All lovers of popular music should fight to get tickets for this superb show.


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