Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – until 5th May 2018.
Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth
For the majority, when thinking of The Rat Pack; images of Frank Sinatra and his buddies, smoking and drinking on stage, glamorous ladies with beautiful voices will spring to mind. That is pretty much what you find during the two act Live From Las Vegas, West End production. This is not just a touring tribute act. This is almost a carbon copy of the performances that the Rat Pack used to give their audiences in times gone by.
You are transported back in time to the luxurious Sands Hotel to see Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin lead the show. Vocals are backed by the wonderful Burelli sisters trio who also provide well choreographed routines. Special guest Ella Fitzgerald appears during the second half.
The stage is set and one by one we meet the popular singers…lots of dialog and banter between the main three acts. The personalities of each of the artists are well replicated and instantly you are most drawn to Dean Martin, played by Nigel Casey. Martin is the charming and tipsy comic that he was. Casey has the best voice out of the three main male acts, smooth, clear and evidently well trained.
Stephen Triffett playing Frank Sinatra, had all the Sinatra charm but lacked on the vocals somewhat due to poor diction in parts and just missing the absolute perfect edge that Franks voice had. Triffett sang some of the most famous out of the catalogue including ‘My Way’ and ‘New York, New York’.
David Hayes as Sammy Davis-Junior was full of energy, charisma and charm. Some fine dancing moves coming from his quick tapping feet and very similar in personality and voice to the original.
The Burelli Sister Trio, supplied the most harmonious backing vocals and also had a little stint on their own as their introduction which was spot on. The costumes that the glam three wear are a great depiction of the era and inject the necessary glamour, style and colour in to the show.
The star of the show that should have been centre stage for much more than she was, was Nicola Emmanuelle. What a voice, she was powerful and clear and filled every inch of the auditorium with her jazzy tones. The audience loved her portrayal of Ella Fitzgerald, applause galore.
The 11 piece band kept the stage alive at times and really ploughed energy in to the atmosphere throughout. Conducted by Martin Freeman.
This show is full of authenticities and if you look hard enough you will notice little touches like the fact that no actor has an individual body microphone and they just have the use of lead microphones at all times. Cigarettes are smoked on stage and of course the stage is set with the old school, typically cabaret, light up steps.
If you are a fan of this music then this would be the show you should make the effort to attend. You will be taken back in time and treat to some of the most famous songs from the Rat Pack era.