When you hear the name Ol’ Blue Eyes, only one name should come to mind, Frank Sinatra; the noted singer and actor with a career of over sixty years. His start in the swing era led him to a solo career then a legendary turn as part of the Las Vegas Rat Pack. The Las Vegas stop opened doors for a movie career which included an Academy Award in 1954 for Best Supporting Actor for From Here to Eternity.
So what better way to honor Frank Sinatra than with Maestro Jack Everly leading the BSO SuperPops, featuring Broadway’s Tony DeSare, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Frankie Moreno for an evening of Sinatra’s greatest hits called “A Tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes.”
‘A Tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes’ is truly an over the moon concert!
The concert started with a breathtaking instrumental medley featuring “New York New York,” giving the audience non-stop highlights from Sinatra’s career. Two pictures of Sinatra graced each corner of the stage, one of a young Frank, the other of a seasoned performer.
Maestro Everly provided several stories about the rise and fall of Sinatra’s career including his debut at the Hippodrome in Baltimore. Sinatra’s hard edge and charitable nature were also noted within the stories. One particular story that stood out was Sinatra’s fighting for inclusion of the African American population on the Vegas strip including standing up for Sammy Davis Jr and Ella Fitzgerald to be able to walk thru the front door and not thru the kitchen.
The incomparable Ann Hampton Callaway’s version of “Blues in the Night” was spiced up to the point where I felt as if I was in a smoke filled blues club with a shot of whiskey in front of me.
I felt many of the songs presented demonstrated the high and low points of Frank’s life. “Time After Time” had me reflecting over my own life, looking to my future. A highlight was the song “Something Stupid” the first duet with his daughter Nancy, performed brilliantly by Frankie and Ann.
Tony’s performance of the biographical, “It Was a Very Good Year” from 1965 kept the theme of reflection going throughout the night. Receiving the biggest ovation of the evening, “All of Me” featured dueling pianos which had me envisioning Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and yes, Mozart all within the seven minute section of the show.
The evening presented had me rising with the highs of Sinatra’s life and understanding the lows through a song selection enabling the stellar cast to shine.
Very few performers have achieved a legacy as an actor and a musician like Frank Sinatra. The fondness of Old Blue Eyes is evident in every singer’s turn with the microphone and swinging note played by the fabulous BSO. “A Tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes” is truly an over the moon concert!
Running Time: 120 minutes including a 15 minute intermission.
“A Tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes” plays through January 29 at the Meyerhoff in Baltimore, MD. For more information, visit online.