Printable CopyTHE RAD PACK
The Arkaba Hotel
Until 20 Feb 2020

Review by Jamie Wright

Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. were three of the most successful entertainers of the middle decades of the 20th century; they were also very good friends and often performed together – often going by the name ‘The Rat Pack’.

Michael Coumi has put together a tribute to these legendary entertainers and, accompanied by Doug Phillips and Stephen Tongun, they’ve given it an Adelaide twist and named it ‘The Rad Pack’. With a couple of guest appearances and backed by the excellent band Breezin, it’s an hour and a half of ‘crooner’ standards, comedy and numbers from the American songbook.

Highlights included a soulful rendition of ‘What a Wonderful World’, a stirring ‘New York, New York’ and a charming (and cleverly gender-flipped) version of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ with special guest Stefanie Rossi.

The three leads looked the part, smart in their tuxedos. They’re all capable performers with good stage presence and shine throughout, but are undermined by an uneven structure and some frankly strange choices – mostly significantly the decision to, on a few occasions, only sing a couple of bars of what would be absolute crowd-pleasers. You could feel the excitement build in the audience when these numbers kicked off, only to have it fade away when the song was cut short.

The banter between the three didn’t come across as naturally as it should, and the comedy scenes weren’t as strong as the singing; this also affected the momentum – all too important with a longer show.

There’s definitely the makings of a great show amongst what we saw here on the night. Here’s hoping we see what the Rad Pack can do when it all comes together.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

Doug Phillips is a member of the ATG team.