"The Rat Pack is Back" had a one-night stand at The Milwaukee Theatre Saturday night and, while it invoked a whisper of the neon nights of Las Vegas in the '60s, it did so with more of a miss than the roar of a solid hit.
We'll excuse the occasional missed notes, the flat notes and the tawdry lyric embellishments. There were sufficient highlights to make the evening worthwhile.
Kyle Diamond, who played Sammy Davis Jr., gave us a wonderful "Mr. Bojangles." To be sure, it wasn't Sammy's Bojangles, but it was sweet and poignant just the same.
Drew Anthony, appearing as Dean Martin, struck the best note in voice, appearance and manner. We didn't need to close our eyes to recall Dino's "That's Amore" or "Volare." His tone, cadence and timbre was the best of the evening.
The ostensible star of the show, Brian Duprey as Frank Sinatra, hit it just right on many phrases of the several Sinatra standards he offered. But periodic phrases don't make a song and too many missed notes left too much to be desired.
We should note that we've been spoiled by other invokers. We saw the Rat Pack in London's West End and were anticipating a performance equally reminiscent of this quintessential quartet. Alas, it was not to be.
The patter and humor when the above threesome was joined on stage by Mickey Joseph, playing Joey Bishop, was at best sophomoric. It reminded us of how humor has evolved – or devolved, depending on one's point of view. It is nice to note that they didn't resort to the barrage of F-bombs that parades as humor today, but painful to recall the way women were cast in the humor of that era.
In recent months, Milwaukee has been host to top-drawer invokers with the Janis Joplin revue, the Bee Gees and Abba. Shows of this genre need to carry one away to that particular time and place and leave one feeling that you were in the presence of the original. This Rat Pack has a ways to go to hit that distinction.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Larry Tarnoff
Published Aug. 6, 2012
Here's a bit of rock trivia to start your week: What is the only band whose core members each have been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? (Hint - it's not the Beatles.) Give yourself a pat on the iPod if you said CSN&Y. That is, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young ... three of whom (all but Neil Young) were in concert Sunday night at the Riverside Theater.
Published July 1, 2012
A half century after their formation, the Beach Boys brought their California surf and sun to the Marcus Amphitheater Sunday night. It's been a long and sometimes painful journey, with the loss of Dennis and Carl Wilson and Brian Wilson's personal problems. But for the baby boomers at Summerfest Sunday night, the 2012 iteration of this iconic band left nothing to be desired.