Sinatra is back, well almost

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Frank Sinatra is back in Blackpool for a summer season tomorrow night. . . 64 years after he appeared in the resort!

Naturally that would be the biggest stage comeback in showbusiness history, but instead Sinatra: The Main Event is a re-creation of the singer’s 1974 show in New York.

That was when 20,000 people were crammed into the city’s Madison Square Garden – actually billed as the greatest comeback in showbusiness history.

To mark the 40th anniversary, West End and Hollywood star Richard Shelton, supported by the Syd Lawrence Orchestra – voted Best Big Band in the Land – perform a show that will feature such Sinatra classics as My Kind of Town, The Lady Is a Tramp, I Get a Kick Out of You, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, You Are the Sunshine of My Life and the song that would become his signature, My Way.

Sinatra: The Main Event, will open on American Independence Day, for a summer season at the 850-seat Globe Theatre at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

It plays every Friday and Saturday until September 6 and is also due to play London’s Cadogan Hall in October.

Sinatra himself appeared in concert in Blackpool twice. In July 1950, with his career on the wane in the US, he became Blackpool’s highest-paid performer ever at a princely £2,000 a show at the Opera House.

“You know I could be mayor of this town!” he told local chauffeur Frank Lucas, when he was mobbed by hundreds of excitable fans banging on the car’s windows on his arrival at the theatre.

“They lov me in this town, don’t they?” said the man who returned for two further performances in 1953.

Richard Shelton performed as Frank Sinatra in the West End in Rat Pack Confidential. He has also performed as Sinatra in front of the Royal Family at Windsor and Prince Albert in Monaco. He was twice personally chosen by Elton John to appear as Sinatra at his famous annual White Tie and Tiara Ball.

Shelton, a British actor now resident in Los Angeles, recently recorded a new album, An Englishman in Love in LA, in Frank Sinatra’s actual studio at Capital Records in Hollywood, backed by some of the remaining Sinatra musicians. He also performed as Sinatra in LA with Hollywood star Jeff Goldblum accompanying him on piano.

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