My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra
Indianapolis Civic Theatre
Directed by Cynthia Collins
Through Feb. 10
Indianapolis Civic Theatre offers a cabaret-style tribute to Frank Sinatra as a low-key retrospective with four vocalists and a three-person combo having a good time emulating, rather than impersonating, the signature style of a legend in My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra.
Co-creators David Grapes and Todd Olson grouped a sampling of the thousand-plus Sinatra songs into 10 sets of medleys with three to 10 titles each. Covered in Act 1 are favorites, Broadway hits, cities (including his 1973 career comeback “New York, New York”), young love, summer songs and love and marriage, arranged for the four singers to interact and intersect somewhat like doubles tennis.
Act 2 features “loser,” big flirt, moon-themed and survivor songs. The list could easily be a course on 20th century popular music by the greats and near-greats.
The arc of the program somewhat follows Sinatra’s life, closing on a reflective note, hence the title of the tribute, My Way.
Cynthia Collins directed and choreographed the show in a cabaret setting with the combo on stage and the vocalists directly addressing the audience with interludes of spoken text about Sinatra’s life and the context of some of the songs. Katy Gentry, Annette “Missie” Hirsch, Troy Johnson and Tobin Strader showcased each song with period moves. Terry Woods on piano, Frank Niemiec on drums and Al French on bass floated the arrangements on an even tempo, with modulated dynamics to enable the songs to move gracefully from one to the other.
Ryan Koharchik’s hue-shifting lighting and Michael J. Lasley’s sound design enhance James O. Schumacher’s Mondrian-like scenic design. Jean Engstrom’s costumes in combinations of black and white suggest the glitz of the era.
My Way continues through Feb. 10 at Civic Theatre, on the campus of Marian College. Call 317-923-4597 or log on to www.civictheatre.org for tickets and information."