'My Way' cast sparkles in Sinatra revue

Review by Examiner.com

My Way - Farmer's When you're paying tribute to Frank Sinatra by way of surveying his immense body of work, it helps to have the talent and showmanship to properly do it justice. Happily, the 4-member cast of "My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra" has both these qualities in abundance.

A production of Actors Theatre of Indiana, "My Way" opened Friday, May 10 and runs through May 19, and again from May 30 through June 10. It is being presented at Studio Theater at Carmel's Center for the Performing Arts. This reviewer attended the Saturday performance.

The show is directed by ATI co-founder/artistic director Don Farrell, who is also a cast member. Other performers in the show include Cynthia Collins (also an ATI co-founder), Mary Jayne Waddell and Michael Dotson.

"My Way" includes 57 pop, jazz and swing standards associated with Sinatra, whose storied career spanned nearly 60 years and during which he earned the nicknames "Chairman of the Board" and "Ol' Blue Eyes." The songs performed in the show are either sung in their entirety or are excerpted.

Actors Indiana My WayThe quartet was backed by a very fine trio consisting of Brent Marty on piano, Greg Gegogeine on bass and Greg Wolff on drums. Terry Woods serves as the show's music director.

The show lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes, with one intermission, and is fast-paced thanks to Farrell's tight direction. It features the versatile performers singing solo, in duets or all together as they move to Collins' spot-on choreography, capturing the style and attitude of the decades during which Sinatra performed the mid 1930s through the late '90s.

Bernie Killian's set replicates a club or lounge and incorporates a fully stocked bar, an upstage playing area for the trio, and a downstage playing area with a small circular platform on which an old-style microphone stands. With an air of urban sophistication, it beautifully captures the world that Sinatra inhabited. Contributing to the theatrical authenticity of each song vignette is David Lapham's effective lighting design. The seamless sound design of Christopher Strange makes it possible for the cast members' strong vocals to be properly showcased, whether singing solo, in unison or while harmonizing.

Though Sinatra himself is the biggest attraction, it's the appealing, energetic and talented cast of "My Way" that makes the show not only an exercise in nostalgia, but also an entertaining and emotionally satisfying experience as well.

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