Sinatra still owns Vegas.
Frank Sinatra is on the Las Vegas Strip once again.
This time it's not a cheap impersonator either. It's Frank Sinatra himself whose voice was gleaned from a vast collection of master recordings from the Sinatra library. The show is called Sinatra - Dance With Me and even though the shows concept is kinda hard to describe you can say that it is Sinatra himself who is the star of the show.
The show is essentially a modern Sinatra ballet with a live big band on stage.
But different things will stand out in this show for different people. Dance fans will undoubtedly be thrilled with the choreography that the shows legendary creator Twyla Tharp delivers. The cast is outstanding and for a layman dance appreciator such as myself there is so much excellence happening throughout the show that it's hard to know where to look much of the time. The dancers have personality and ability abound. It's so obvious and they are so wonderful.
What might not be so obvious is how you weave Frank Sinatra's voice from past recordings into a dance show with a live big band on stage. It was Music Supervisor Dave Pierce who had to figure that out.
How do you weave just the first few lines from Stardust into the opening of the show and have an 18 wheeler big band ready to go from 0-60 mph at the drop of a hat? For that matter, keep in mind that when Sinatra recorded he liked to record his vocals at the same time as the band AND in the same room much of the time. How do you pull just HIM from the mix and not the rest of the band? It's no easy task. Well, Dave Pierce and his team did a fantastic job making it work.
The show had so many Sinatra gems such as Fly Me to the Moon, That's Life and My Way. But the real treasure for me was to hear powerful versions of I'm Gonna Live 'Til I Die and a quirky number called Lean Baby. Those songs added depth to the Sinatra repertoire.
What struck me more than anything in Sinatra - Dance With Me was how incredible Frank Sinatra could sing. Hearing the show in the context we did was like hearing Frank with a new set of ears. He was a laser beam in all aspects of singing. His sense of time, his pitch and his ability to improvise was epic. Nobody could swing like Frank.
Frank Sinatra still owns Las Vegas just like he did in the '60's but this time he's at The Wynn. The show adds fun, class and shine to the strip. Sinatra - Dance With Me really was delicious. In fact, I was even lucky enough to shake Steve Wynn's hand after the premiere and tell him in person that the show "was like an all day sucker!" He laughed and his and his whole entourage agreed.