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Thursday, September 25, 2003

Review - Live & Swingin'

Artist: The Rat Pack

Posted on Thu, Sep 25, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Publicly viewed exactly twice -- once via live, closed-circuit theatre presentations in 1965, and once on Nick at Nite in 1998 (okay, it was also screened briefly at the Museum of Television & Radio, but that wasn't exactly aimed at mass consumption) -- this 1965 concert is the stuff of which legends are made. Filmed at a St. Louis opera house in 1965 as a benefit for a local halfway house, it's been said that this performance is the only visual documentary of the Rat Pack's famously debauched stage show. That exclusivity is debatable; but as this CD/DVD set makes abundantly clear, the "famously debauched" part is spot-on. Frank, Dean and Sammy drink, smoke, cuss and make off-color jokes galore (singing a few songs here and there, too), while master of ceremonies Johnny Carson tries to roll with the punches. It's boys' night out for grown-ups.

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