The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's My Way, A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra Is Just As Good as Any Fan of Ol' Blue Eyes Would Hope For It To Be

Review by David Burke, Quad City Times

My Way Clinton Showboat

From left, Livvy Marcus, Jonathan Young, Bailey Jordan Reeves and Christian Chambers in the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's "My Way - A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra."

The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (Clinton, IA)

Four energetic young performers glide through 55 Sinatra songs — anywhere from a minute-long snippet to full-length versions — in less than two hours under David Coolidge's direction, with sprinkles of humor and some biography mixed in.

Many of the songs are separated into themes, such as Broadway and the movies, songs about cities around the world, various stages of love and even those about the moon. (Admittedly a middlin'-Sinatra fan, I didn't realize he had released "Moonlight Sinatra," which is referred to in the show as one of the first "concept albums," in 1966.)

The four performers — Christian Chambers, Livvy Marcus, Bailey Jordan Reeves and Jonathan Young — each shine in multiple solos, and their harmony singing is very reminiscent of the Manhattan Transfer.

Set designer Amanda Warriner and lighting designer James Kyle Davis create a pseudo-piano bar feeling, with music director Matt Bean leading an onstage trio. Costume designer Emily Mae Billington has them attired in 1940s-esque costumes in the first act, with more tuxes and evening gowns for the second.

While the four performers don't impersonate Sinatra, Young has the swagger and Chambers the vocal chops to carry Sinatra's musical style.

The script stays largely reverent to the "Church of Frank," although little jabs — such as a litany of the 14 starlets he coupled with over the years — make an appearance now and then, and there are enough facts and trivia to keep even the most loyal fans impressed.

Coolidge, whose resumé includes six national Broadway tours as a director, keeps the evening elegant and classy, romantic and occasionally raucous.

It's Frankly a night to remember!

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