‘Rat Pack Show’ at Palace rescheduled to May 9, 2013

The Palace Theatre has announced another rescheduling of “Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show,” which had been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15. (The Saturday date had been the rescheduled date for the event which was originally slated to be Friday, March 23.

Tickets for the show will be honored on the new date. For those unable to attend, refunds are available at the original point of purchase.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9, performance are on sale at the Palace box office, Ticketmaster.com and by phone at 800-745-3000.

Call the Palace Theatre box office at 465-4663 for more information.

Staying in Vegas

Show coming to Palace recreates antics of famed Rat Pack
By Michael Eck
Published 1:33 p.m., Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/living/article/Staying-in-Vegas-3859793.php#ixzz26NfmihLf

Sandy Hackett is Joey Bishop, which is strange.

He should be Buddy Hackett.

The former Hackett is the son of the latter, the rubber-faced comedian who made more appearances on Johnny Carson‘s “Tonight Show” than just about anyone (often when Bishop was guest-hosting).

But instead of portraying his dad in “Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show,” he becomes his father’s old buddy, deadpan comic Bishop.

He’ll play the role Saturday at the Palace Theatre, alongside David DeCosta as Frank Sinatra, Dezmond Meeks as Sammy Davis, Jr. and Tony Basile as Dean Martin.

The elder Hackett — who died in 2003, at age 78 — was a few years too young to hang regularly with the legendarily fast Las Vegas crew, but he did get to know the members, particularly Bishop.

“He lived up the street,” Sandy Hackett said of Bishop in an interview last spring. “He was Uncle Joey to me. He and my father were tight. They worked together, they golfed together, they hung out together.”

“The Rat Pack Show” was originally slated to land at the Palace in March, but was rescheduled due to booking issues.

In a perfect bit of Hollywood nepotism, Hackett has written a role for his wife, Lisa Dawn Miller, in the show, as “Frank’s One Love.”

Like Hackett, Miller brings a showbiz bloodline with her. She is the daughter of Motown songwriter Ron Miller, who penned hits like “For Once In My Life,” “Touch Me In The Morning,” “I’ve Never Been To Me,” “If I Could” and “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday.”

Hackett called him “Our generation’s William Shakespeare, in song.”

In the program, Miller sings previously unpublished songs by her father, including “Wasn’t That a Good Time.”

For his part, Hackett said that growing up in the shadow of a famous funny man was a wonderful experience.

“My dad was naturally funny. He thought funny, he did things funny, he walked and talked funny. But he was also very introspective. He was well-read, he knew things, he quoted things, and his comedy came from all the enrichment of that.”

“And he knew every joke. That was one of the first things he ever told me, was to learn every joke there is, because you never know when you’re going to need it.”

Hackett feels his program is closer to the real feel of The Rat Pack than other similar package shows.

“(Knowing some of these guys) had a huge effect on this show. There are other Rat Pack shows out there, and honestly, most of the producers who have put these things together don’t understand what they’re trying to create. They’re just copying other stuff. They’re not honoring the spirit of these guys. These guys were the brightest entertainers of their time. They were the icons of the their time. They were funny, they were charming.”

“At the time of the Rat Pack, Frank was the number one live gate attraction, number one box office attraction and number one recording artist, all at the same time. No other entertainer in history has ever held all three at once.”

Like the Rat Packers, Hackett is an old-school entertainer. His website lists work as stage comic, actor, writer, producer and director.

He said that bringing Bishop back to life is one of his favorite tasks.

“Joey was known as the mouse of The Rat Pack because he was so deadpan. He would deliver something to you with such aplomb and no expression. It is so much fun to play him and to do that.”

“When I talked to him, he said it all came down to one thing — attitude.”

Michael Eck is a freelance writer from Albany and a frequent contributor to the Times Union.

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