Oh, those classy suits. Oh, those classy voices.
“The Rat Pack is Back!,” live-streamed from Las Vegas, infused a badly needed glamour and fun spin on New Year’s Eve, kicking out a drudge year with two ebullient shows.
From the limo ride along the colorful Vegas strip with Chris Jason as Frank Sinatra, Kyle Diamond as Sammy Davis Jr. and Drew Anthony as Dean Martin, drinking champagne and joking, to the historic black-and-white scenes of The Sands Hotel and club acts where the original trio starred in the early 1960s, followed by the implosion of The Sands, the lead-in was great with its historical perspective.
“I was pretty excited about the whole idea of doing an event where people can go out New Year’s Eve, celebrate, and stay safe in their cars,” said The Gateway executive artistic director Paul Allan of the shows at The Gateway Drive In Theatre. “It was as if these guys were performing in front of us live, which they were, and they weren’t even in the same state.”
The trio, currently performing at The Tuscany Suites & Casino, was available for the Dec. 31 date and producer/writer Dick Feeney, who originated the hit concept over 20 years ago, agreed to the live broadcast.
The performers emulated the jocular, relaxed energy the singers were known for, and their songs were a blessing. Chris Jason as Frank Sinatra was spot-on, performing the late singer’s style and confidence, and belted out “My Way” with assurance. Kyle Diamond played the suave, talented Sammy Davis, Jr. with élan, singing and dancing to “Mr. Bojangles” with grace. Drew Anthony was Dean Martin in looks, voice and easy, playful personification, especially singing “Volare.”
There’s even a glam Playboy bunny who appeared. She sang and joked.
“A lot of people watched a streamed event, but at The Gateway, we had a private show and you got to see something personal,” Allan said.
Allan gave a peek at what might be coming next year.
“This was a unique night and a unique period of history, and I’m looking forward to New Year’s Eve 2021 to be a little more conventional,” he said. “Almost a year ago, I was talking to a colleague about an introspective about Dick Clark’s career. That was in the works, then COVID hit. But it might come back for 2021.”