The successful Rat Pack tribute franchise produces a relaxed way into the festive season for those not entirely overdosing on Christmas cheer.
Chris Mann gets Frank Sinatra’s New Jersey drawl spot on, both during his vocal numbers and the numerous dialogues with his co-stars.
Mark Adams is less accurate as Dean Martin, with a performance that leads more towards an impression than an impersonation, but it is no less successful for that.
Dominating the pair, though, is Giles Terera. Playing Sammy Davis Junior, the man for whom the phrase ‘triple threat’ always seemed to be understating his talents, is a challenge for any actor, but Terera succeeds, stealing every scene.
Backed by an impressive big band and three female singers, the hits come thick and fast, as does the easy banter. The Christmas elements of the show are surprisingly tardy – for a while it looks as if the tree in the corner will be the only nod to the festive season. Once each singer has performed a couple of solo numbers though, the seasonal hits start to work their magic.
An extended routine in the second half, in which the guys take turn at updating the lyrics of classic Christmas songs, feels a little long and verges on the self-indulgent. While not completely out of character for the men they are portraying, it takes a little of the edge off the performance. Similarly, many of the jibes between the three friends are of a humour which, although completely appropriate for the fifties setting, cause the occasional shocked gasp at their un-PC attitudes.
Yet overall, this show can’t fail to lift the spirits.
Reviewed for The Stage