Review: Sinatra Raw (rating 4/5)
If The Rat Pack was the party and the drinking, then Sinatra: Raw is the morning after and the hangover.
It’s 1971 and Frank Sinatra is on stage in Palm Springs, a place people play twice in their careers; once on the way up and once on the way down. This far into his career, Sinatra is not on the way up, but it’s also not the first time he’s been down.
This time it’s different, he’s planning to quit after this show. It will, of course, turn out to be the first of many retirements but, as he drinks and sings, he talks through his life and sheds light on his battles with band leaders, record company bosses and politicians, not to mention wives, ex-wives and lovers.
For good measure he also tells stories about the good times, drinking and performing with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr, and proves why although he may have had a few regrets, there are far too few to mention.
Combining the unapologetic dialogue with songs delivered in pitch perfect style, Richard Shelton effortlessly carries off the role of Sinatra, getting the showman and the person behind the image down to a tee.
The only slight disappointment is that Sinatra is always performing for the audience and there is never a moment where he is alone with his thoughts and not defending himself with a confidence that seems to come as much from a refusal to believe he could ever be wrong than the certainty that he was always right.
This minor quibble aside however, for anyone interested in the man and his music, this is the must-see Sinatra show at the Fringe.
Gilded Balloon at The Museum until 26 August (not Wednesdays)