Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Rat Pack Lounge Opens the 2018 Season


“The Rat Pack Lounge” is currently on stage at the Round Barn Theatre in Nappanee and it’s proving to be a big hit with Amish Acres audiences. Who doesn’t remember Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.?

And, if you like the music these three sang, you will love “The Rat Pack Lounge.” It features some 30 songs.

William Saunders/Sinatra (Max Mattox), Jeorge Rodrigues/Martin (Bradley Kieper) and Bobby Goldberg/Davis (Jake DuVall-Early), have all gone to their reward in heaven but are back at The Rat Pack Lounge, inherited by Vic Candelino (Greg Matzker) from his father. It’s New Year’s Eve 1997 and Candelino’s’ depression is getting to him. It seems he was never going to be a star, even though years ago Sinatra said he would be a great singer. God has sent the trio to the lounge to save him and save him they must if they want to go back to heaven.

The trio has to convince Candelino that they have come back — Their pal, Peter Lawford is down under and isn’t seen in this production, but Katherine Kerr/Angie (Randa Meierhenry) is there to add her help.

During the first act it seems it doesn’t matter what the Rat Pack does, Candelino is determined to do himself in. Nothing is going right. Sinatra promised he could sing. He can’t and proved that fact to the audience as he sings a song way off key.

Somehow, some way, the trio, with the help of Angie, manages to turn things around and all is well as the curtain closed on the first act.

The second act is entirely different. The Rat Pack Lounge has been remodeled and the five members of the cast put on a stage show that has everyone clapping and tapping their toes as each of the five takes the spotlight. Yes, five — even Vic has learned how to train his voice and presents vocals for the audience to enjoy.

All in all, it’s a winner with plenty of laughter and plenty of musical numbers. There is no real star of the show - Matzker, DuVall-Early, Matox, Meierhenry and Kieper are all talented and it shows. Artistic Director Amber Burgess, who also serves as director and choreographer, has another hit on her hands with this opening show.

The night we were there some in the audience had a hard time relating to the three characters whose bodies the Rat Pack occupies when they return. Saunders has a beard, Goldberg is white and Rodrigues weighs a few pounds more than Martin. The audience, however, adjust, and all seemed to enjoy the show.

The music is terrific. “I’m Gonna Live ‘Til I Die,” “High Hopes,’ “My Way,‘ and “Bye Bye Blackbird” are but a few of the songs featured in the first act. “It’s a Wonderful World,” “For Me and My Gal,” “What Kind of Fool Am I?” and “Your’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You,” are all featured in the second act.

By Jeri Seely
Editor in Chief
The Papers

The Rat Pack Lounge, Written by James Hindman and Ray Roderick, Musical Arrangements by John Glaudini. At the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres through May 20. For reservations and information call 800-800-4942 or go to www.amishacres.com.

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