Andy DiMino as a brilliantly conceived, uncanny total embodiment of Martin, who steals the show. “Andy DiMino channels Dean Martin from start to finish. The minute he grabs his drink, tilts his head and gives the audience that trademarked smile, you’re convinced he’s the real thing”….
The best impersonator, Andy DiMino as Dean, looks and sounds uncannily like Ol’ Red Eyes, sipping from his ever-present cocktail glass and warbling “That’s Amore,” “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” and “Evening in Roma.”
The collective gasp of 1,600 people seems to say it all.
Moments after a band completes a lively overture of familiar songs, a weekday matinee audience catches its breath when a ghost steps from the wings of the Showroom.
His birth certificate reads “Andrew DiMino,” but the audience seems convinced the late Dean Martin has swaggered onto the stage.
DiMino is one of three featured performers in The Rat Pack at the Trop, a show that attempts to create the illusion that Dino, Frank and Sammy have returned from heaven’s big saloon to entertain us one more time.
The era of the Rat Pack in the early 1960s and remember the boozing, cruising, bring-on-the-broads exploits of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., who, along with actor Peter Lawford and comedian Joey Bishop, were the original Rat Pack.
So when they gasp at “Dean,” it’s a bigger compliment than the warm applause they give the tuxedo-clad DiMino after he sings some of Martin’s signature songs and regales them, in a boozy and breezy way, with mildly suggestive jokes filled with double-entendres.
Drink in one hand and prop cigarette in the other, DiMino has Martin dialed in as he easily knocks off songs like “That’s Amore,” “Volare” and “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes.”
Their exploits at the Sands in Las Vegas have achieved almost mythic proportions over the past 46 years. Yet it was the media — and not the core members of this merry band of five — that first referred to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop as the “Rat Pack.”
The real Rat Pack, was actually formed back in the early 1950s and referred to a number of young actors — Sinatra among them — who hung out and hit the town with actor Humphrey Bogart. Legend has it that Bogart’s wife, actress Lauren Bacall, called them the Rat Pack after they staggered into her home early one morning after a long night on the town.
The Las Vegas chapter of the Rat Pack was the result of fortuitous timing, a happy accident gone improbably right.
“We were all in Las Vegas to make [the movie] Ocean’s Eleven, and it was at the same time that President Eisenhower was going to a summit meeting in Paris with [Soviet Premier Nikita] Khrushchev and [French President Charles] de Gaulle” .
Sinatra was looking at a newspaper headline about the 1960 Paris Summit and, in an off-the-cuff remark to no one in particular, said, “Hey, we outta have a summit of our own.”
Sometimes, legends have the most humble of origins.