Frankly, is there anyone who can get enough of Frank Sinatra? From the audience response last night at the Milwaukee Repertory Theaters’ Stackner Cabaret, the answer is NO! And the crowd goes beyond the age demographic you might expect to see at a Sinatra Tribute. The contingent of audience members who were most likely born THIS century were there in force. And the ovation at the end of My Way was sincere and heartfelt!
No, there’s not much story here…just a bit of background on Frank Sinatra and the history of the songs…just more like two solid hours of all of Sinatra’s hits…so every cool song you’ve probably ever heard of plus a number that you might have missed!
So…we have Alex Bechtel, Kara Mikula, Nygel D Robinson, and Tiffany Topol tradings songs, verses, adding harmonies, and swapping instruments as they merrily traverse the Frank Sinatra songbook! Besides trying to guess which Frank nugget they are going to perform next, you have to add who’s going to sing it AND what instrument are they going to play. Of course piano is the anchor most of the time, but we see string bass, flute, banjo ukulele, tenor guitar, saxophone, violin, guitar, and drums at one point or another. oh, and cocktail shaker! Amazing musicianship and slick choreography as they pass off instruments between actors. And of course the vocals are spot on to the mood and theme of each song presented!
Created by David Grapes & Todd Olson | Book by Todd Olson
Original Production Directed by David Grapes
Directed & Choreographed by Kelley Faulkner
My Way, A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra runs at the Stackner Cabaret through May 1, 2022…ticket info and other pertinent data is here! And make sure you check their current COVID policy!
Extra credit reading: My Way program is here.
and a side note: this play brought this to the forefront in my mind. So I dedicate this response to the memory of Jack Covert, proprietor of Dirty Jack’s Record Rack back in the 1970 – 80s. He was a mentor and employer and my front door to the record business that I dabbled in for quite a few years. He was a bit older and was a huge Frank fan and amassed one of the largest collection of Sinatra recordings in the country. He was well known for it in collector circles and even the record company salesman that visited kept an eye open for older arcane recordings. He passed suddenly last year and I miss him.