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'Rat Pack Returns' brings back a golden era

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POSTED: April 4, 2009 1:00 a.m.
Photo by Ross Blair/

'The Rat Pack' woos the crowd March 31 at the Johnny Mercer Theater.

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It was as if a time warp had occurred in downtown Savannah March 31 - bringing with it sights and sounds of a long gone era.

Even though 'The Rat Pack Returns' was an installment of the Johnny Mercer Theater's 'Broadway in Savannah' series, it was far from your average off-Broadway production. Instead of the ever-changing scenery and elaborate costumes synonymous with the series, 'Rat Pack' had one stagnant background - that of an old school Vegas big band show. And you know what? It worked.

Impersonators/look-alikes for the illustrious foursome (Frank Sinatra,  Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop) brought to life a golden era of entertainment that I'm too young to have witnessed first hand and found myself forming a new found appreciation for as the night progressed.

Despite some fears to the contrary, this show had no resemblance to a cheap celebrity impersonator gig. 'The Rat Pack Returns' is the real deal - and kudos to the actors and production staff for achieving that with bare minimum effects.

If there were any disappointed folks in the crowd come intermission, I feel sure that feeling was relinquished in the second half as actor/singer David DeCosta entered the storyline. Not only does DeCosta have a hauntingly similar voice to Old Blue Eyes, he looks JUST LIKE a young Sinatra. I found myself picturing the scene at the play's audition when DeCosta tried out. I'm certain it didn't take long for him to get the job.

Cheeseball comedy interspersed with classic tunes from the singing group, but all of it seemed genuine and true to the original antics.  
 Bottom line – ‘Rat Pack’ is a roaring success and a shining tribute to those who are portrayed as it consistently reminded why the Rat Pack is embedded into American culture.

The final installment of this season's 'Broadway in Savannah' series concludes April 14 with 'The Pajama Game' on April 14. Call 651-6556 or visit www.savannahcivic.com for tickets.

 

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