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The Rat Pack: A Symphonic Celebration

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Somewhere, in between lip-synching entertainers and paparazzi, in an industry that relies on fashionable looks and pairs them with questionable talent, the innocence and beauty of pop music has been lost. But it was found again Saturday night at Robinson Center Music Hall, where the audience was delighted, wooed even, by the sweetly infectious musical stylings of some of pop's most beloved and sentimental entertainers.

The three enormously talented Broadway vets who emulated Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. belted out tunes with enough swagger and sway that we found ourselves whining, “Where has all the romance gone?”

The infamous drinker, the infamous player and the multitalented Davis Jr. burst to life on stage. They took us several generations back and the audience cheered in collective anticipation as the ASO flawlessly delivered the opening notes of classics like “That's Amore,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime.” Particularly convincing were Eric Jordan Young as “Sammy” and Nat Chandler as “Dean.” Down to even the slightest posturing of the body and the hands, it wasn't hard to see that Young relished the role — his poignant rendition of “Mr. Bojangles” was a showstopper. When Nat Chandler sang, I settled back and envisioned Venetian gondolas and falling in love as the elegant music swelled and the strings resonated like the music of songbirds. It was lovely. And I wasn't the only one. As I left the auditorium, I noticed an elderly couple dancing alone in the lobby with total abandon. Music this classy is a reason to celebrate, anytime, anywhere.

Jennie Swanson

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