The Rat Pack comes to Beaver Creek |

The Rat Pack comes to Beaver Creek

Kris Sabel
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ”

Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.

Next Wednesday we take you back in time to relive the swaggering camaraderie of Las Vegas’ favorite sons: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Joey Bishop. Join a cast of incredible musicians and a full big band as they take the Vilar Center stage with “The Rat Pack is Back!” Don’t miss this theatrical tribute to one of the greatest eras in American music heritage.

A bit of history for those unfamiliar. Back in 1960, Frank, Sammy, Dean, Joey and other notables at the time were in Vegas filming the original “Ocean’s Eleven” movie during the day. At night, Frank was performing at The Sands Hotel. Sammy, Dean and Joey would often stop by and join Frank onstage, to the unexpected delight of audiences who believed they were getting an inside look at the antics and fun that the famed friends were renowned for.

This group became know as The Rat Pack, and the free-wheeling atmosphere of their shows helped give Sin City its identity, and ultimately helped to make it the destination it is today.

These guys were some of the biggest stars of their day, and the music they sang is still popular among listeners of many generations. “The Rat Pack is Back!” is a theatrical presentation that gives us the opportunity to experience what one of these special nights would have been like, with all the songs, jokes, drinks and camaraderie that typified an evening with the original crew back in the ’60s.

The song list is a hit parade of beloved classics, backed by the sound of a 12-piece big band. Dean’s classics include “That’s Amore” and “You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You.” Sammy’s hits include “What Kind of Fool Am I?” and “That Old Black Magic.” And Frank’s timeless tunes include “Fly Me to the Moon,” “I Get a Kick Out of You” and countless others.

“The Rat Pack is Back!” was created and produced by Sandy Hackett, son of the late comedian Buddy Hackett.

The premise of the show is that God sent The Rat Pack down to earth for one more show, because they were having too much fun in Heaven, and keeping God awake. Sandy Hackett ” who plays Joey Bishop in this production ” grew up around the original Rat Pack, and performed as the opening act for his father Buddy for years.

Response from the critics is overwhelming.

“This is as close as anyone has come to capturing the feeling of the real thing,” wrote the Las Vegas Sun. “The Pack is Back! for a fabulous performance. Hilarious, bawdy bantering, merciless razzing and a swingin’ big band playing hit after hit!” said the Los Angeles Times. The San Francisco Chronicle hailed the show’s “period perfect renditions!” and the Chicago Tribune raved about the “excellent, classic comic material.”

So for an opportunity to relive ” or to experience for the first time ” the swinging style of Vegas in the ’60’s come to the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night at 7:30 pm.

And make it a double-header by coming to the VPAC on Thursday night for the National Tour of everyone’s favorite musical, “Annie,” also at 7:30 p.m.

I look forward to seeing you at the theatre for two great musical shows.

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