A true American icon, one of the first teen idols, a major movie star, and one of the original Rat Packers, Frank Sinatra did things his way. Not only did he set the standard for cool style and beautiful melodies, he was the first singer to become a major movie star and won an Oscar for From Here to Eternity for Best Supporting Actor. During his long career, he won numerous Grammy awards and was one of the pioneers for the Las Vegas musical entertainment scene.
Beginning July 15, TexARTS will present My Way, A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra directed by Sarah Gay and choreographed by Laura Walberg. This theatre production does not focus on impersonating Sinatra, instead it is a tribute to his career, style, and talent. The show is full of songs, dances, and witty stories of Ol’ Blue Eyes, which is set in a stylish nightclub where four singers convey the feel and attitude of Sinatra. In between the song medleys, the actors share humorous stories, quotes, and memories of Sinatra’s rich life.
This tribute includes more than fifty of his most popular songs including those smooth, toe-tapping melodies like, The Lady is a Tramp, New York, New York, and I’ve Got You Under My Skin. The talented cast that will delight audiences are Leslie Hollingsworth, Matt Harris Andersen, Michael Marchese, and Megan Richards Wright. Hollingsworth said of the show, “you just can't listen to Frank without feeling what he was singing - you can just tell he put his whole being into the music. That's what we're trying to do in this show - emulate those emotions that people connected to at such a deep level. And we're having a great time doing it too!”
Helping to bring Sinatra’s legendary career to life are the award winning husband and wife team of John Vander Gheynst and Leslie Hollingsworth. In 2015, the Austin Critics Table Awards, awarded them for their work in Chicago at Half and Half Productions. Hollingsworth was awarded Best Actress in a Musical and Vander Gheynst awarded for Best Musical Direction.
Audiences will also remember Leslie Hollingsworth who starred in I’ll Be Seeing You and The Holiday Cabaret at TexARTS. She is a B. Iden Payne winner for Rocky Horror Picture Show at Zach Theatre and Sing Muse at Vortex Repertory Theatre.
John Vander Gheynst was nominated for Hairspray at Zilker Theatre by the Austin Critics Table Awards, 2016. In 2013 he was awarded a B. Iden Payne award for Outstanding Music Direction for Little Shop of Horrors at Zilker Theatre. Vander Gheynst has played with a variety of artists including Kenny Garrett, The Temptations, Mary Wilson, My Brother’s Keeper, Jerry Lewis, and numerous symphony orchestras. He has played in or conducted over 80 different musicals including the Broadway touring productions of Little Shop of Horrors and The Producers.
Vander Gheynst reflected on Sinatra and this production, “his sound, arrangements, and musical choices were the gold standard for good taste, and he did everything in a big way. With TexArts’ production of “My Way,” we are seeking to recreate the larger-than-life musical essence that was actually the reflection of the man himself.”
Hollingsworth summed up Sinatra by saying, “there are three things that you can never do while angry...jump on a trampoline, blow bubbles and sing along to Frank Sinatra.” If you are a Sinatra fan or just love great music, you will love this show! My Way, A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra runs July 15 – 24 at the Kam and James Morris Theatre. Tickets are available at the TexARTS box office at 2300 Lohman’s Spur, Suite 160 in Lakeway, by phone at 512-852-9079 x101 or online at www.tex-arts.org.
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