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STAGE LISTINGS
The Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey & Dean

You know you've made it when God is your warm-up act. And while it may be little more than a convenient, tossed-off premise, God (voice of the late Buddy Hackett) recalling the Rat Pack from their heavenly lounge to play one last gig has about the right ring of latter-day hokeyness and chutzpah to it. If it sounds cheesy, as soon as the sizzling band strikes up the first tune and Frank (Tom Tiratto), Sammy (Louie Velez), and Dino (Andy DiMino) belt out a flawless "Where or When," you realize it's also very much the real deal. The brainchild of Hackett's son Sandy (who, in addition to writing and directing, holds his own alongside veteran performer-impersonators as an excellent Joey Bishop), The Tribute infectiously recreates those storied Las Vegas evenings of the early 1960s when Sinatra, Davis, Martin, and dead-pan comedian Bishop (who, incidentally, dwells not in heaven but in Santa Monica) sang, joked, horsed around, boozed up, and caroused, while making their audience feel like they were partying with the Rat Pack. Notwithstanding a certain concession to the session (toning down the decidedly off-color humor and raunch of an earlier era), this is hep history come alive. (Avila)

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