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Volume 24, Number 6 — June 2017

Review: "The Rat Pack" Ought to Pack 'Em In

Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre Production

By ROBERT McKINNEY | SPECIAL TO THE HERALD COURIER | July 25, 2010

WYTHEVILLE, VA — If you're old enough to remember "the day" when to call yourself a singer you actually had to be able to sing, then you will be positively delighted at Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre's current production featuring the music of "Sammy," "Deano" and "Ol' Blue Eyes" — aka Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

Luciano Correa as Dean Martin, David Hayes as Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Sands as Sinatra are all "a-number one, top-of-the-heap" performers. Correa and Hayes actually could come very close to passing as Martin and Davis, and, although Sands doesn't exactly look like Sinatra, shut your eyes and you'd swear the "Chairman" himself was on the Wohlfahrt Haus stage in Wytheville.

These were, especially in their later years, primarily Las Vegas-style performers: suave, cool and with just a hint of devil-may-care, but they were the greatest at what they did. Our memories of the men, of course, will gradually fade as the generations they enthralled cash in our chips, but many of the songs they made famous will live on for centuries.

"That's Amore," "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime," "Once in a Lifetime," "Luck Be A Lady" and "New York, New York" are classics. These and many more are in this show.

If there is a single show-stopper in this production, it is, of course, Sinatra's "My Way" performed by Tony Sands so accurately, so movingly and so gravelly-smooth that it, alone, makes the drive to Wytheville worth it.

Oh, and by the way, the guys are backed up by Jessica DeHart, Selah Grace and Keysha M. Mabra, all of whom must go through at least a dozen costume changes ranging from high-kicking Vegas showgirls to stunning red-white-and blue dresses for the patriotic final number.

George Bailey is the emcee for this great retrospective revue.

This is one of the best shows Wohlfahrt Haus has staged for more than a year, the food is good and plentiful, the selection of mixed drinks and other beverages superb, and at every performance they have all us old veterans stand up and receive a round of applause. I like that.

"The Rat Pack & Company" is on stage through Sept. 5, 2010.

For dates, time and reservations: (888) 950-3382 or (276) 223-0891.

A! ExtraTopics: Family, Music, Theatre