Sinatra Rules in DMT’s “My Way”

By : Martha Kennelly : 2/20/08

“My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra,” the clever, tuneful musical revue featuring songs Sinatra made famous, opened last weekend at Hayward’s Douglas Morrisson Theatre to an enthusiastic audience.

If Old Blue Eye’s ghost was lingering in the wings, it must have been happy at the applause greeting his signature numbers and the standing ovation at the program’s end.

The four vocalists identified simply by gender and number (Man #1, Woman #2, etc.) were further listed in the program as Shauna Shoptaw, Christa Boggs and Robert Sholty, all of them familiar to DMT audiences, plus Peter Alexander, making his local debut.

By their relaxed interaction the four created an atmosphere well suited to Sinatra’s style and music. A revue has only the sketchiest of plots, just enough to introduce the vocals, but the quartet infused the program with the charm and humor of their dialog. The simple choreography, developed by Faith Blevins who also directed, slipped into place easily.

Effective set design (credit George Ledo) represented a nightclub’s spacious interior with the combo (drums, bass, piano) at one side, the bar on the other. A large clear space in front (small tables at either side) easily accommodated the simple dance routines.

The audience positively purred when the vocalists moved into numbers like “New York, New York,” “That Old Black Magic” or “Fly Me to the Moon,” the latter having served as the wake-up call for the first moon mission astronauts.

Frank Sinatra was a man who attracted legend throughout his life, some of which the script touched on. After enumerating his many affairs of the heart, the actors summed it up in kindly fashion— “He was married four times and went out on a lot of dates!”

Sinatra’s blessing was unique: “May you live to be a hundred and the last voice you hear be mine!” Unique also is the single line on his tombstone: “The Best Is Yet To Be.”

Very much a man who did it “My Way,” Sinatra was once asked how he became so successful.

His answer in three words: “Sing good songs!” And he really did, as the songs in “My Way,” all 56 of them, demonstrate. Want a three word review of “My Way”? Go see it!

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