ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
My Way: a swanky Sinatra tribute
My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra
Starring: Thom Allison, John Devorski, Kate Hennig, Sharron Matthews
Directed by: Bruce Dow
By Lori Mastronardi
Grand Theatre 2004
WE GET A KICK OUT OF YOU. Vocally charged cast members Thom Allison and
John Devorski raise their hats to Sinatra while performing the classic “That’s
Do you have 192 hours to spare? If so, you have just enough time to hear every
Frank Sinatra song.
However, if you simply prefer a taste of Sinatra’s greatest work, The
Grand Theatre’s current production, My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank
Sinatra offers samples from 56 classics, ranging from “Moonlight Serenade” to “Makin’ Whoopee.”
The curtains part to reveal four mannequin-like figures positioned atop a
set of stairs. A quartet of musicians begin to play the familiar chords of “Strangers
in the Night,” bringing the characters to life. The small, powerful cast
in turn proceeds to bring a unique sense of life to each Sinatra song.
Though the song and dance routines are reminiscent of The Lawrence Welk Show,
My Way provides entertainment for young and old alike. “I Get a Kick
Out of You” offers sexual tension laced with humour, while “That’s
Life” includes a perfectly choreographed dance routine, complete with
the essential black hat.
With dim lights and projections of stars scattered through the sky, John Devorski,
although at times appearing mechanical in movement, sang an extremely effective
version of “I Only Have Eyes for You.” Standing perfectly still,
Devorski looked straight at the audience, evoking a hush over the crowd.
Thom Allison, however, was the crowd pleaser. His smooth, yet commanding voice
projected throughout the theatre. He also paid attention to individual audience
members; sitting on the edge of the stage, singing Sinatra’s lovely lyrics
to an adoring audience member.
As for the female part of the cast, Kate Hennig was the crowd favourite — she
embodied an old-time classic voice, while her impressive pitch complemented
the males’ vocals. Sharron Matthews’ sweet, high vocals definitely
added contrast to the group, but her sound seemed more suitable for a children’s
Reminiscent of classic 1950s style, the costumes were simple, yet elegant.
The men wore sharp black tuxedos, while the women modelled black dresses, enhanced
by sparkling shawls and strappy stiletto heels.
Lighting paralleled the mood of each song to create the ideal atmosphere. “Chicago
Chicago” was reflected through bright lighting, with images of city buildings
projected onto the backdrop. The slow, romantic track “L.A. is My Lady” set
the mood through dim lighting, eliminating the chance of distraction by focusing
simply on the vocalist.
Sinatra had a successful career as one of the most important men in music.
He could sing 16 bars of notes in one breath. His secret to success was to
simply “sing great songs.”
The Grand Theatre will be showcasing My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra
until Sunday, Mar. 28. For further information call 672-2620, or visit www.grandtheatre.com.