It’s hard to believe that the current generation has no idea who the rat pack were or what they did, but down in New Hope Pennsylvania the traveling group THE RAT PACK are keeping Frank, Dean and Sammy’s style alive.
This was a first venture for the Hunterdon County News to the Bucks County Playhouse, I know shame on us, but what we discovered was a charming theater where every seat has a great view of the proceedings and the audio system is fantastic. The staff treated us just wonderfully and it was easy to get in and out. We can recommend seeing anything at this lovely spot along the Delaware.
This production tries to re create the shows that the rat pack used to do in Las Vegas. It starts with the Joey Bishop Character, played perfectly by Sandy Hacket – son of legendary comedian Buddy Hacket – doing stand up and he immediately grabs the crowd and gets the group giggling. As the show continues his pop in to the skits are really a high point of the afternoon and you can’t help but belly laugh.
Tony Wallek then comes out as Dean Martin and he mixes comedy and singing and you begin to realize that the voices on these gentlemen are simply terrific.
Kenny Jones play the part of Sammy Davis Junior and Mr. Bo jangles has a hop to his step and some power in his lungs. He gives the drums a nice beating also, which brings us to another point.
The band is fantastic. You have a trombone, a trumpet, a sax, a drummer, bass and piano player and they can really swing. They provide a fine backbone and you can imagine what is was like in Vegas with these guys having to play for hours while the pack rolled along long into the night.
There is a short intermission where you can go out to the bar on the deck that gives you a lovely view of the Delaware and enjoy some nice acoustical guitar music. It gives you a chance to stretch your legs and seemed to be the perfect amount of time to have a beverage, go to the bathroom and get back in your seat for second act.
Angelo Barbaro plays Frank Sinatra and let me tell you something if you shut your eyes you would think old blue eyes was back from the grave crooning in front of you. He is simply wonderful and starts the second act with a nice medley of Sinatra songs.
And then the show gets really fun as all four guys interact with each other, singing, dancing, doing a bit of stand up and clowning around and the mood is light, fun and just wonderful. Interaction with the crowd was also a very nice touch.
The great thing about this show is that it is appropriate for all ages. The theater was definitely filled with an older generation but there were a lot of young people to trying to get a glimpse of what was and you could easily bring four generations of your family and all would enjoy. If you are a fan of the PACK then this is something not to be missed. We had a great time, Bravo –