Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Show

My mum and her partner came to visit last weekend, and we took them to see the Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Show at Trowbridge's Civic Centre. I don't have photos for you as they asked us not to take photos or video, otherwise I'd have sneaked one or two. We all love the music of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, and it gave us all something fun to do for the night.

I've never been to an event like that before, with singers recreating performances. They did a good job – 'Sinatra' was very good, 'Dean Martin' didn't quite hit it for me (a good performer, but not Dean Martin-like enough for me), and Sammy Davis Jr... great voice, but looked completely wrong, very tall for one thing. He pulled off lots of SDJ's classic poses, and I think if he grew the iconic facial hair that would help. The performers stayed in character throughout, so 'Dean Martin' would enjoy a drink or two while one of the others were singing, 'Sinatra' would flirt with the dancing girls, and so on. They also recreated some of the original routines from the 1950s/1960s, though I did feel that with some of those involving 'Sammy Davis Junior' the jokes would have been better left in the past. (I might have been in a small group there, however, as plenty of people seemed to find the jokes funny.) I should mention the dancers – two, I'd have preferred four or six – who were decent, and the band, who were excellent.

Initially a couple of things really didn't help the atmosphere. First was the venue: the Civic was extensively refurbished a few years back, and the emphasis appears to have been on functionality. It's essentially one large room with a stage, plus a lobby with a very utilitarian bar. The technical side of things in the main room is fantastic, with a truly impressive lighting rig and a MASSIVE glitter ball. The venue is clean, got plenty of loos, it's really accessible... and it's essentially soulless. The emphasis on functionality appears to have extended to getting furniture and fittings that simply get the job done, so while there were sofas and chairs in the lobby, the sofas didn't match the chairs and neither matched the bar and it all felt horribly lacking in personality and warmth. It's probably great for conferences, but it's not ideal for anything where you want a bit of atmosphere. Then there was the audience. The people who went enthusiastic and splendid, and had dressed up nicely, but there weren't as many people as we'd expected, and they had a lot of hall to fill. Sat in rows of chairs, we were acutely aware of the empty space. I think the show would be better in a theatre or, in a venue like the Civic, it would be better if seating was arranged around tables, like in a proper Vegas cabaret, as that would help the feel of the event immensely.

However, the aesthetic appeal of the venue and the size of the audience aren't things the performers had control over. The show did indeed go on, and once things really got going, everyone who did go seemed to have a tremendous time. I'm really glad we went. The show is touring, and if you get the chance to see it in a venue that doesn't feel like a church hall on steroids, I'd recommend it.

In the Obligatory Outfit Photo I am wearing a cobalt blue dress by Fever (a couple of years old), and a blue AB diamante brooch and earrings set that I'm pretty sure is Coro, but I'm not 100% certain as it's not signed.

15 comments :

  1. Sounds like a great show, can't beat a bit of Rat Pack!

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    1. It was fun! I'd have liked a larger crowd and a few more dancing girls - we did wonder if there were only two because of the ticket sales as there are definitely more at other venues - but it was a fun night nonetheless.

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  2. Might just seek this one out, I've been wanting to take the plunge with the Elvis ones we have this way for some time...

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  3. I never thought I'd enjoy a tribute act but loved The Counterfeit Stones last year. I like the sound of the massive glitter-ball but its a shame the venue wasn't cosier and more glam in keeping with the fabulously dressed clientèle, you included. That cobalt blue dress looks incredible on you. xxx

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    1. Thank you! It's not a colour I used to wear much, but I can wear blue as long as it's not pale blue. Pale blue just makes me look ill.

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  4. Ooohh, what a smashing cobalt blue dress! I love the elegant, vibrant shade and think it looks terrific with your colouring, dear Mim. How lovely that you got to catch this delightful show!

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thank you! It's not a colour I wear much - makes me feel like either Margaret Thatcher or an air hostess, and I'd hate for anyone to think I was copying the Duchess of Cambridge. But it is a zingy shade.

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  5. I've never gone to a tribute show, though we have a fellow locally that does a good Elvis (I'm told). A venue can really be distracting, can't it?

    What a fantastic dress-and the lady in it. Perfect for the theatre.

    Yeah, racial jokes probably should go away now-they don't really add much even if it is accurate for the era. Sammy Davis had to put up with an awful lot of it in his day.

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    1. That's how I felt - Sammy Davis was tailoring things to a particular audience at a particular time, but we're beyond that time. Surely he must have had some other schtick in his decades of performing...

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  6. Oh I love that colour on you, it's so striking, you look fabulous! I've never been to anything like this but can imagine that it didn't quite work in an oversized church hall. Shame as it sounds like it was a good performance.

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    1. Thanks! I think I'm a 'spring', I need a lot of colour. If I wear too many neutrals, I just wind up looking neutral myself. Some people are beautifully framed by beige, it sets them off like a frame round a picture, but I just wind up looking like there's nothing in the frame.

      The Civic seems to want to be all things to all people and winds up not being much of anything - albeit with superb sound and lighting kit.

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  7. This sounds like a fun night out, despite not being at capacity. Loving that colour blue on you, it's super! I have a few things from Fever, a few years back they had loads of vintage inspired stuff but seem to have veered off a bit now. x

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    1. Yes, Fever haven't hit the mark much for me in recent years. It's hard to put into words, but it's not enough of anything... all very nice, but somehow lacking in the little details that make you want *that* particular garment.

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  8. Mim,
    You look so ROYAL in that blue.. oh, my.. regency colors suits you well. :)
    It looks to me that you have had a good time, and I'm glad. We all deserve to have lots and lots of fun in this life..

    Marija

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