Review: Sinatra:Raw

Sinatra:Raw – Edinburgh Preview


Review by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

I met with Richard Shelton last week and we had a chat about his new show ~ Sinatra:Raw. (Watch the video interview here) My interest piqued even further, I headed to see a preview of the show before it goes to Edinburgh.

As we take to our seats in a cabaret/bar setting reminiscent of a Vegas venue, there is a piece of paper on the table. “The management welcomes you to The Purple Room, Palm Springs -1971 for Mr Sinatra’s last pre-retirement concert. Please sit back and enjoy the show!’ What follows is 70 minutes of song, dialogue, audience interaction, charisma and charm – just as you would expect from Mr Sinatra.

What I’d hoped for most is to learn from this show. To receive an insight into the man behind the public persona and that’s exactly what happened. We learned of his politics, his American patriotic passion, his drive, his deep love for Ava Gardner, anger over betrayals and all of this combined with interjections of well-known songs and the background behind some of them.

Photo Betty Zapata

Richard Shelton channelled Frank Sinatra and for me during the shows 70 minutes Richard left the building. Full of charm but showing his anger at how he was treated, there was a perfect balance. As for the songs, close your eyes and take in the sound, of Richard absolutely nailing Frank Sinatra’s voice, as it washes over you. Open your eyes and the likeness is there for all to see.

In Summary

If you are heading to Edinburgh this year be sure to take in Richard Shelton‘s show Sinatra:Raw. You’ll be amazed at what you learn, and if you already know it, then just go to enjoy the music and the sheer brilliance of the performance. At the end of the show there was even a little request slot and I was delighted that someone, had more nerve than me and, asked for ‘Luck Be A Lady’, my ultimate favourite song featured in Guys and Dolls.  It was sheer heaven to hear, normally a big production number, just the voice was all we needed here. I felt like a lucky lady having seen this preview, so don’t miss it if you are in Edinburgh this year!

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