BWW Reviews: Sandy Hackett's RAT PACK - Vintage Vegas Lives & It's Lots of Fun
Even if you never got to see them, it's a good bet that you know the Rat Pack - Sinatra, Davis, Martin and Bishop - well. This is because, in a world where we lionize the mundane and everyone is a star, these guys were truly iconic, emblematic of Las Vegas. Their spirit lives on today in Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show at the Riviera Hotel on the Strip.
In the show, (from left in photo) David DeCosta is Sinatra, Johnny Edwards plays Dean Martin, Doug Starks is Sammy Davis, Jr., and Sandy Hackett - son of Buddy - is Joey Bishop. It is a warm, loving tribute to these icons and audiences seem to just love it. Also appearing is a woman of mystery, a character called "Frank's One Love," played by Lisa Dawn Miller. She sings a song called Wasn't I A Good Time, written by her father, Ron Miller, a prolific songwriter who also wrote the hit, For Once In My Life.
Miller and Hackett are the producers of the show and, if there goal was to give the audiences both a good time and a taste of vintage Las Vegas, they have succeeded.
They are backed by a six-piece orchestra of terrific musicians. In fact, the vintage Vegas mood is set at the beginning when sax player Jim D'Arrigo comes out and does a solo that transports us back to the day and aptly sets the scene for what is to follow.
Now, these guys stay in character and it is clear who each is playing. But it's important to note that these are not "impersonators." They are tribute artists. Yes, they have the sound and look that is similar to the originals, but the love with which each portrait is infused makes it clear that homage is being paid. And, best of all, the show is lots of fun with the interplay between performers and between performers and audience keeping it interesting and funny.
The room they play is the stereotypical Las Vegas lounge and that is perfect, going a long way toward creating the right ambiance.
Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show is something everyone who loves Las Vegas - or who loves the idea of what Las Vegas was - should see.
The show plays at 7 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets are $81.77, $63.59 and $45.41, exclusive of taxes and fees. Go to www.RiveriaHotel.com.
From This Author Ellen Sterling