Sinatra tribute leaves audience humming

Sam Perlman
Door County Advocate

Frank Sinatra was a towering cultural figure in 20th century America, and this summer Door Off Broadway Dinner Theatre celebrates the life and times of Sinatra in the first of two productions scheduled for it's fifth anniversary season.

"My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra" features 50 songs from throughout Sinatra's career, songs both familiar and less so from the vast catalog of more than 1,300 tunes Sinatra sang during his decades-long career.

The format of the show is a series of medleys, interspersed with brief anecdotes and quotes from the life and times of Frank Sinatra. The songs are grouped into thematic medley, including a "Broadway Medley" consisting of songs from landmark musical theater; and the "Cities Medley," which includes "I Love Paris," "L.A. Is My Lady" and the inevitable "New York, New York" and "My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)."

The second act opens with the terrific "Losers Medley." which includes "Drinkin' Again" and "One for My Baby." The medleys refelct the innovation of the "concept album" that Sinatra pioneered in the early 1960s - songs chosen thematically, instead of just randomly selected for a recording. The show closes as most Sinatra shows closed in the 1970s and beyond, with Sinatra's late life anthem, "My Way," written by Paul Anka..

The cast of two women and two men who cover all this musical territory in just over 90 minutes consists of Kyla A. Belich, Clayton Jensen, Marty McNamee and Ann Teisher. Teisher showcases the strongest voice among the four, and McNamee demonstrates a breezy effortlessness in his dance steps, both solo and swinging his female dance partners around the floor. A jazzy trio of David Bech on piano, Rachel Meagher on upright bass and Sturgeon Bay drummer Bruce Newbern ably backs the cast.

"My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra" is a celebration not only of Sinatra's life, but also of the Great American Songbook. If you're a fan - and really, who isn't? - the production is a pleasurable way to immerse yourself in the music and legacy of Frank Sinatra for an evening. Even the most casual "Frankophile" will leave the theater humming his or her favorite Sinatra tune.



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