Sinatra remembered in new stage show

Nancy Provod

Radio City Music Hall in New York City was graced by the presence of one the 20th century’s most prominent singers/actors: Frank Sinatra. Through the magic of media, Sinatra’s death in 1998 didn’t stop him from performing; or at least that is how the show made it seem.

Hosted by jazz musician John Pizzarelli and featuring the Radio City Rockettes, “Sinatra: His Voice, His World, His Way” consisted of old video footage of Sinatra’s live performances with the background vocals removed. Cameras on stage also filmed what was happening on the stage in a similar fashion using black and white film. All video footage was projected on screens over the stage making it appear as if they were filming somewhere in the building. The company did an amazing job of matching old footage with the real life show.

The idea behind the show was a trip through the life and career of Francis Albert Sinatra, from his start as a 19-year-old performing in a local group called the Hoboken Four, to singing with Tommy Dorsey’s big band, to becoming one of the most well known solo performers.

A tribute to the Rat Pack incorporated eight-foot puppet likenesses of the members of the Rat Pack including a tap dancing Sammy Davis Jr. and a martini-sipping Dean Martin.

Sinatra crooned such classics as “Come Fly with Me,” “I Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good,” “Nancy (With the Laughing Face),” and, of course, “That’s Life.” The film footage of Sinatra singing was accompanied by a live orchestra and Pizzarelli’s band, The John Pizzarelli Trio.

The audience was made up of all generations and ages who together laughed, cried, and were amazed by the show. One woman in attendance summed it all up when she was overheard saying “It was the experience of a lifetime. No words can describe it.”