Rep's Sinatra production has nearly perfect pitch
By Tahree Lane - Toledo Blade

Frank Sinatra once explained his success in three words: "Sing great songs."

And how! Listening to two hours of the songs he recorded (about 1,300) is proof of his skill at selecting strong melodies with wonderful lyrics. Many of the tunes are so recognizable, you'll find yourself humming along with the four actors who enthusiastically belt out solos, duets, and quartet harmonies.

My Way, A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra is a revue at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre through April 3. Most of the five dozen songs are clustered into beefy medleys with a shared theme, such as the moon, cities, love and marriage, summer, and Broadway.

The swanky set, with three geometric back drops, a bar at one side and a table for two at the other, has an Art Deco feel. And a 1950s-style chrome microphone on a stand is the perfect centerpiece. On an elevated platform, a drummer, pianist, and bassist in formal attire provide delicious accompaniment.

The singers/actors - Maribeth Hill, John Hopkins, Zachary Lahey, and Janna Ravel - exchange abundant good chemistry. All four are seasoned actors with good voices and they lend the show the requisite casual, cabaret feel, sometimes chatting up the audience under the direction of Hopkins, who does double duty here. There are also some pretty good dance steps, choreographed by the same Hopkins.

This is a mellow way to spend an early spring evening. You're likely to leave eager to track down a Sinatra recording to refresh your memory of just how marvelous Ol' Blue Eyes was.

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