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The Rat Pack Live in Nashville

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Well, in a way. Last night, I had the thrill of attending The Rat Pack: Live at the Sands show at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. This is a stage show that reenacts the legendary performances of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. at the height of their careers.

The show, which is also known as The Rat Pack—Live from Las Vegas debuted in England in 2000 and toured for three years. When it opened at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2002, it was to sold-out audiences and rave reviews. The show set box office records with the highest-ever advance sales in one day at London’s Strand Theatre. It is now touring in the United States and is in Nashville this week.

The actors portraying Frank and Sammy were perfect in their roles—from their voices to their body language, to their mannerisms and looks. The actor who portrayed Dean Martin—my favorite singer—looked a little like him (although from the distance we were sitting away from the stage, could have passed for Ed Sullivan, too)—is not the actor who originated the role. While he had the speech pattern and body language down pat, he didn’t sound anything like Dean when he sang. He was a good singer, but just sounded nothing like Dean.

Having dead guys as my favorite singers, it’s hard to get to go see the music I love performed live by the performers I want to hear. So seeing this show gave me what might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience in a small way what it might have been like to see these legendary singers in their prime.

What made the evening even more fun is that I went with a new friend, Ruth. I met Ruth through the internet—saw where she had commented on someone’s blog, visited her myspace site and discovered not only does she live in the Nashville area, but that we have so many things in common—from our favorite movies, to the actors we adore, to the movies we obsess over. Over dinner, we both discovered in the other person someone we could talk about these favorites and passions that no one else in our lives has ever really understood—including this music and these singers. So sealing a friendship in addition to seeing the show made it a night to remember.

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