They were the essence of cool in the easy, breezy mid-1960s — guys who built their performing personas around “booze, broads and bright lights.”
Although the group informally known as the Rat Pack loosely encompassed a bunch of singers, actors and comedians who chummed around in Las Vegas, at its epi-centre were Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.
This core trio will be portrayed in An Evening With The Rat Pack touring production, which stops on Monday at the Memorial Centre in Red Deer.
Attempting to resurrect the legendary chemistry of the three carefree chums will be Andy DiMino (Martin), Lambus Dean (Davis), and Gary Anthony (Sinatra).
This Jaguar Music Group tribute presentation will also try to recreate the performers’ songs and banter in an era during which the high life was lived with a cigarette in one hand and a highball in the other.
Martin, one of the most popular American entertainers of the mid-20th century, was nicknamed the “King of Cool” due to his seemingly effortless charisma. His relaxed, crooning voice earned him dozens of hits, including Memories Are Made of This, That’s Amore, Everybody Loves Somebody, You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves You and Volare.
Davis was primarily a song and dance man, who was also known for his celebrity impersonations. He was dubbed the World’s Greatest Entertainer after starring in movies, TV and Broadway shows, becoming a recording artist and Vegas showman. The African-American performer had a 1972 hit, The Candy Man, and was a large financial supporter of civil rights causes.
Of the group, Sinatra, who was known as “Chairman of the Board,” projected the most edgy image with his tough-guy movie roles, marriages and mob connections. He began his music career in the swing era of Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, then became a bobby soxers’ idol in the 1940s.
Sinatra later became an acclaimed movie actor, winning an Academy Award for his 1953 supporting performance in From Here to Eternity.
In the recording studio, he produced the hits In the Wee Small Hours, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely, Nice ‘n’ Easy, Strangers in the Night and his signature song, My Way.
In their devil-may-care fashion, members of the Rat Pack always supported each other. When one member of the group was scheduled to perform, there was a good chance another would drop in for an impromptu visit in front of a Vegas audience.
That kind of interaction is sure to transpire when An Evening With the Rat Pack plays in Red Deer, with musical support from the Sin City Orchestra.
Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show are $41.85 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.