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• SLIDESHOW: Rat Pack Show
WORCESTER — Ring-a-ding-ding! Those were the watchwords Sunday afternoon at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts at 2 Southbridge St. as Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show pulled into the city for a concert that was originally scheduled for Feb. 9 but was snowed out. The wait was worth it for the more than 1,400 Rat Pack fans in attendance.

As conceived by producer Sandy Hackett, the show asks the question “What if singers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and comedian Joey Bishop could return to Las Vegas one day for one last engagement at The Sands.” God Himself (the voice of the late comedian and Rat Pack regular Buddy Hackett, the father of Sandy Hackett) answers that question by sending the four entertainers down to Earth for that final performance.

In the early 1960s Sinatra, Martin, Davis and Bishop formed the core of a coterie of other entertainers that the press dubbed “The Rat Pack.” The pack came into being during the filming of the movie Ocean's 11 in Las Vegas, which featured all four men.

They would eventually work up an act of sorts that frequently played The Sands on the Las Vegas strip. Hollywood celebrities flocked to these shows, followed by the general public, giving a big boost to Vegas.

The Rat Pack show got off to a rousing start as Frank (Danny Grewen), Dean (Tom Wallek), Sammy (Louie Velez) and Joey (Sandy Hackett himself) rushed the stage four abreast for Berry Gordy's “Hello Again.”

Dean, Sammy and Joey then sang the “Chicago Is” background vocals for Frank on Sammy Cahn''s “My Kind of Town” before Dean took over the stage.

As the affable Dean Martin, Tom Wallek managed to capture Martin's laconic vocal style on “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)” with lyrics in both Italian and English. Then, all he had to do was sing “When the moon hits your like a big pizza pie” for the audience to respond with the song's next line (and title): “That's amore!”

To end the first act of what is essentially a musical, Louie Velez provided his remarkable interpretation of Sammy Davis Jr. on a swinging version of Harold Arlen's “That Old Black Magic” and especially on Anthony Newley's “What Kind of Fool Am I,” belting out the lyrics just like Sammy used to do.

Sammy doffed a derby for Jerry Jeff Walker's “Mr. Bojangles” before moving to Motown Ron Miller's “Will I Still Be Me,” a heartfelt response to “I”ve Gotta be Me,” one of Sammy's biggest hits. Miller's daughter is Lisa Dawn Miller, Sandy Hackett's wife and also a producer for The Rat Pack Show.

The second act concentrated on the music of Frank Sinatra. Danny Grewen cocked a fedora over one eye and suddenly he was Sinatra, working his way through a series of songs associated with The Chairman of the Board: A medley that included Jimmy Van Heusen's “Come Fly With Me,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and Cole Porter's “I've Got You Under My Skin” a joyous “For Once in My Life,” another Ron Miller tune (no, Stevie Wonder didn't write it), and a tender version of “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.”

As Frank's One Love (rumored to be actress Ava Gardner), Lisa Dawn Miller sang her father's “Wasn't I A Good Time” as Sinatra sulked on a barstool with a drink in his hand. The bad mood didn't last, though, as Frank rejoined Dean, Sammy and Joey on stage for a swinging version of Kurt Weill's “Mack the Knife” and a rousing “New York, New York.”

Grewen presented a crowd-pleasing turn as Sinatra singing “My Way” before the Rat Pack ended things up with a shouting “Birth of the Blues.”

Lisa Dawn Miller provided the encore to a standing ovation with a moving version of her father's “If I Could,” an inspirational song about parent-child relationships that was a nice touch on Mother's Day.

As Joey Bishop, Sandy Hackett was the glue that held the show together. His hilarious stand-up routine had the crowd in stitches, as did his schtick in between songs.

There are several Rat Pack shows out there, but if you're looking for authenticity instead of imitation, Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show is the one to see.

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