“Come Fly Away” soars with Sinatra

“Luck Be a Lady,” “My Way,” and “New York New York” were just a few of the 27 hit songs from Frank Sinatra, which starred in the new dance musical, “Come Fly Away.” Choreographed by Tony Award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp, the blend of dance, music, and pantomime helped to create an intricate and confusing storyline for the audience to try and follow.

The Southern California premiere for the musical was held at The Pantages Theater in Hollywood on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

The crowd was filled with die-hard fans of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” Attendees young and old could be heard singing and seen dancing along to their favorite songs.

Throughout the play, four couples are featured as they fall in and out of love within a 1940s swing nightclub including a live swing band lead by Rob Cookman.

Each couple’s relationship unfolds through different scenes, each set to its own Frank Sinatra song.

“You Make Me Feel Young,” which featured Ron Todorowski and Maullauri Esquibel as Marty and Betsy, was a fun and sweet scene in which the characters’ innocent love for each other drowns out the sinful and problematic setting of the nightclub.

In contrast to that innocence, the very sensual scene set to “Makin’ Whoopee” put the entire ensemble cast to work simulating sex.

The best performance of the night featured Marceea Molina and Martin Harvey as Kate and Hank performing to “That’s Life.”

Kate, the club tramp, reaches her low point and is aimlessly stumbling around in a drunken state when her love interest throughout the play, Hank, comes to save her from her destructive behavior with a fight.

The intensity of the dancers’ moves drew the audience in. Molina and Harvey’s aggressive moves recreated the struggle of a very physical lovers’ quarrel.

All of the music was from the catalogue of Sinatra, and if an audience member doesn’t know his music, they can still somewhat follow the play.

Tharp choreographed great pieces that involved some elements of acting that assisted in fostering chemistry within the couples.

Although the dancing was beyond beautiful, this musical should be renamed a “Dance-sical” because it consisted only of dancing and music, “Come Fly Away” didn’t involve any actual singing or acting.

This unusual musical was interesting to view but, a musical fan might not be able appreciate that dancing is the center focus of this play rather than singing.