Cablevision's Radio City Entertainment, Sinatra Enterprises and founding sponsors American Express and Mercedes-Benz Tri-State Dealers will debut of Sinatra: His Voice. His World. His Way at Radio City Music Hall October 10-19. It is the first officially licensed and sanctioned, live theatrical stage production, bringing Frank Sinatra back to Radio City Music Hall with a live 40-piece orchestra, larger-than-life imagery and a full ensemble of singers and performers that will celebrate this entertainment legend. Guitarist John Pizzarelli will be the guide for the evening as the convergence of projection and cinematic technology is intertwined to create a whole new genre of live entertainment.
Sophisticated projection technology on 40-foot high moveable panels and blocks will create three-dimensional, life-like images of Frank performing and moving around the stage. The Radio City Rockettes will be featured in four to five spectacular-sized musical numbers dancing with Frank while giving new life to classic Sinatra songs.
The partnership between Radio City Entertainment and Sinatra Enterprises will mark the first time in history that Sinatra Enterprises has approved the exclusive and unrestricted use of Sinatra footage to a single entity outside the family. With access to never-before-seen footage of Frank Sinatra in concert, in studio and in rare private Sinatra personal film, Radio City Entertainment has the opportunity to create Sinatra: His Voice. His World. His Way. as one of the most intriguing live theatrical events to chronicle Sinatra's personal life and explore the true impact his private moments played in his musical styling and material. It is the first of several projects to evolve from the partnership of two iconic entertainment entities.
"Cablevision's commitment to New York City is to create world-class productions worthy of Radio City Music Hall, New York City and our audiences," said James L. Dolan, president and chief executive officer, Cablevision Systems Corporation and chairman Madison Square Garden. "Sinatra: His Voice. His World. His Way. is an historic example
of that commitment. At times heartwarming, at times cool entertainment, this show is always one thing: mesmerizing."
"My dad loved everything about Radio City-the history, the stage, the audiences, the backstage crew," said Tina Sinatra. "Radio City Entertainment is the perfect partner to bring the precious legacy-my Dad's life and his music– to the stage in a manner that honors his style and respects his artistry."
"Frank Sinatra, in his prime, will be brought to life on the stage at Radio City Music Hall via breakthrough technology, ironically at a time when his influence can be thoroughly seen in today's music, fashion and lifestyle," said James Sanna, executive producer, Radio City Entertainment. "Our Founding Sponsors, Mercedes-Benz Tri-State Dealers and American Express join us in recognizing our unique opportunity to celebrate the life of a musical legend with the requisite amount of hip that only Frank Sinatra can inspire."
To complete the task at hand, Radio City Entertainment and the Sinatra organization assembled a creative team with a full breadth of knowledge of live entertainment and cinema. Their intensive search led them to select two time Tony-Award winning director Des McAnuff as the production's creative director. McAnuff's stage and screen credits include Big River, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, the animated feature Iron Giant, as well as the critically successful film Quills and the live action animated feature Rocky and Bullwinkle. He will be joined by Colman DeKay, best known for his work as head writer for Penn and Teller, who will write the theme and transitions for the show. Robert Brill has been tapped as set designer, following up on his Broadway successes including the current Tony Award winning musical Cabaret and 2002's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
"Our audiences will feel like they are experiencing Sinatra's life first hand, through a complex combination of live performance elements, theatrical effects, video, film and the most modern staging techniques available," said McAnuff. "It is a daunting challenge and incredible opportunity for anyone who loves theater and loves Sinatra the way I do. I thank Radio City Entertainment and the Sinatra organization for allowing me to be a part of this amazing adventure."
John Pizzarelli will weave together the events of Sinatra's life through songs introduced by
rare footage from Frank's personal archive of home movies and films, as well as clips from interviews in which celebrities recount Sinatra's impact on their own careers and on music at large. These interludes will place the beloved tunes into the historical, social, and emotional context of his life. The effect will be further enhanced through the use of images of Sinatra hangouts like Hoboken, the Paramount Theatre in New York City and Las Vegas projected onto background screens and backdrops, fully surrounding the Great Stage of Radio City.
Ticket prices range from $40-$95 with limited VIP seating available. –edited by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen