Rosalind Knight reports on The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas – Cambridge Corn Exchange, 3 Mar 2007

Artist Visiting Cambridgeshire
The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas should probably have been re-named ‘live from the Cambridge Corn Exchange', but that wouldn't have had quite the same ring to it. Besides, you could almost be fooled into thinking you were in an American club watching the original Rat Pack. The show, currently on tour in the UK and America, features songs from Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin. The numbers are sung in true swing style, with an energetic cast supported by a powerful 15-piece orchestra.

The first half is livelier than the second, with big ensemble pieces and some classic tunes such as New York, New York, That's Amore and The Lady is a Tramp. The second half features more mellow solos, which aren't as well known to people who aren't Rat Pack fans. However, the great thing about this show is that there are enough different ingredients to appeal to a range of audiences, not just those who are Sinatra disciples. As well as great singing, dancing and some gorgeous costumes, there is plenty of banter, slapstick and stand-up comedy. Who can resist laughing at a drunk Dean Martin swaying across the stage, mocking the people in the front row before crying ‘I've started a whisky diet. Last week I lost four days!'?

Those who don't consider themselves fans of this music or who couldn't name any Dean Martin or Sammy Davis Jr songs would be surprised at how many tunes they recognise. This music has filtered its way through the decades via different artists, adverts and films, and for those who remember the Rat Pack the first time round or just fancy a night of entertainment, this show is a great way to see these classic tunes performed in the style that suits them best.

Writer: Rosalind Knight