Style is back in style: ‘The Rat Pack’ hits the Fabulous Fox

You’ve listened to his records. You’ve taken a picture with him at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. And now you can see him in concert-sort of.

Frank Sinatra (Louis Hoover) led his fellow stylish buddies Dean Martin (Nigel Casey) and Sammy Davis Jr. (David Hayes) in “The Rat Pack: Live at the Sands,” which hit the stage Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. The trio sang their classic hits and “palled” around just like their old times at the Las Vegas Sands Hotel.

The kings of cool cracked jokes that were mostly lost on the audience, either because they were delivered too quickly or because jokes about anti-homosexuality and the Ku Kux Klan did not smoothly transition into today’s politically correct world. But the three performers were completely immersed in their characters and the time period: Sinatra lamented his separation from Ava Gardner, Martin played up his alcohol problem and Davis jumped around onstage for attention.

The music, under the direction of conductor and pianist Andy Rumble, was spot on. Instead of taking the liberty to alter or update the classic arrangements, Rumble and his 15-piece orchestra kept the tunes in their familiar form, which the audience appreciated. The musical Burelli sisters (Anna Carmichael, Lucie Florentine and Andrea Windelaar) act as back-up singers and dance partners for the stylish trio.

The Rat Pack’s 1960s stint at the Sands Hotel came about when Sinatra, Martin, Davis, comedian Joey Bishop and actor Peter Lawford were in Las Vegas filming Ocean’s Eleven-yes, the original. They would often perform unannounced at the Sands or would show up during a scheduled Rat Pack performance and join onstage. Their famed ad-libbed comedy routines have been adapted for the scripted “Live at the Sands,” though the dialogue and dance sequences seem as natural as if they were undirected.

The London tribute show-known overseas as “The Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas”-runs until Oct. 14.