The Rat Pack Biography

Set against the glitzy backdrop of Las Vegas’ Sands Casino in 1962, The Rat Pack featured larger-than-life showbiz characters who made up the group of insiders and hangers-on who surrounded Frank Sinatra in his ring-a-ding heyday; among them Sammy Davis Jnr. and Dean Martin. The fact that all three of these men had deep character flaws is not what this show was about. What it was about is entertainment and that it delivered with aplomEssaying the leading roles were Stephen Triffit (Sinatra), George Long (Davis) and Mark Adams (Martin). The three principals are accompanied by three Vegas showgirls played by Nikki Stokes, Giselle Wright and Nikki Belsher. The songs and jokes and the casual yet well-rehearsed delivery of the originals is ably presented and as entertainment few could quibble. The Rat Pack ran at London’s Peacock Theatre late in 2002, then moved to the Haymarket Theatre March-May 2003 before transferring to the Strand Theatre in June of that year. The show, directed and choreographed by Mitch Sebastian, featured many songs strongly associated with that masterly trio of entertainers for which they are backed by an on-stage big band: ‘Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime’, ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, ‘Me And My Shadow’, ‘Memories Are Made Of This’, ‘Mr Bojangles’, ‘Night And Day’, ‘One For My Baby’, ‘Sway’, ‘Strangers In The Night’, ‘That’s Amore’, ‘That Old Black Magic’, ‘The Lady Is A Tramp’, ‘Volare’, ‘Witchcraft’. Additional Sinatra material was included although outside of the 1962 time frame: ‘New York, New York’ and ‘My Way’.

Concurrently, a show entitled Rat Pack Confidential, adapted for the stage by Paul Sirett from Shawn Levy’s book of the same name was staged in the UK. Premiered at Nottingham Playhouse in August 2002, it opened at London’s Whitehall Theatre in September 2003. Directed by Giles Croft, this show also featured some of the trio’s songs but delved more deeply into the often-disagreeable side of the Sinatra clan.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.