The Men and Their Music | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Men and Their Music

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More than just a human jukebox, Ron Hawking brings as much appreciation as impersonation to his Rat Pack impressions, especially of Frank Sinatra. As in the eight-year hit His Way, Hawking's earlier musical memory album, his songs here are energized by a terrific band and a female backup duo. Paying the highest compliment--imitation--to the singers who shaped him, Hawking obligingly delivers the voices and moves, if not bodies and souls, of Bobby Darin, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Jimmy Durante, and Frankie Valli. Though in the second act Hawking expertly imagines a posthumous Rat Pack reunion in a heavenly Copa Lounge, he's at his best in a first-act salute to Burt Bacharach that's less impersonation than tribute to a soul mate. --Lawrence Bommer a Open run: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport, 312-423-6612 or 866-809-3075, $49.50-$55.50.

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