Review: Rat Pack Live, the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, February 4

The Rat Pack Live, the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe. Picture: SARAH LAMB

The Rat Pack Live, the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe. Picture: SARAH LAMB - Credit: Archant

Lil’ol wine drinker me could be the soundtrack to life for many of us and certainly proved popular when sung with gusto by Dean “Dino” Martin as one of the opening songs.

The show began with Frank Sinatra performing a trio of ol’ blue eyes hits including Something’s Gotta Give and Ain’t That a Kick.

Next on stage came Sammy Davis Jnr to complete the trio, whose pedigree includes many performances in the West End and on Broadway.

Sammy, who has performed in New York’s famous Rainbow Rooms, sang That Old Black Magic, closely followed by a stunning Mr Bojangles complete with some proficient tap dancing enhancing his SD Jnr factor.

What was surprising was not only the rich quality and strength of all three vocal performances, but the comedy between the three. It made the show more of an amusing musical with some perfectly timed slapstick comedy, which I’ve been told is extremely hard to master.

Dino was the one who won me over and his rendition of That’s Amore had the audience singing with enthusiasm, even though it was still only the first half of the show. The trio returned in the second with Gonna Live Till I Die, followed up by Night and Day which showed their ability to harmonise, all three vocals blending together beautifully.

More comic moments followed during You Make Me Feel So Young where Frank and Sammy take it in turns to sing a line and cleverly propel Dino away from his mic every time he tries to sing his third line.

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The proficient band - which included two keyboards, a double bass, drums and a three-piece brass section - took the mood down to a more sultry pace and Frank was left alone to sing Girl from Ipanema, simply sitting on a stool under a spotlight; and I’ve got you under my skin which included a great big jazzy instrumental break alluding to more up-tempo music to follow.

Sammy joined Frank for the well-choreographed Me and My Shadow. Then it was time for more audience participation with Candy Man from the 1971 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dino returned to the stage for a lively Hey Mumbo, improvising some of the lyrics due to his “inebriation” in true Martin style.

All three came together for a rousing version of New York, New York which again had the audience singing and clapping along. They took their bows to shouts of more and Frank graciously returned to sing a masterful version of My Way, which made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

As he came to the final chorus he was re-joined by his buddies and together all sang Viva Las Vegas - a fitting end to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon’s entertainment. Their efforts were rewarded by rapturous applause and a standing ovation.

Sarah Lamb

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