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Michel looks like Martin, sounds like Sinatra


“I look like Dean and I sound like Frank. I’m cursed,” says Rick Michel.

Cursed with good problems to have perhaps. But after playing Dean Martin for years — first in “The Rat Pack is Back” and later in a self-produced Rat Pack tribute “Drinkin’-Swingin’-Singin’” — Michel turned his full focus to Ol’ Blue Eyes and packed the show pavilion at the M Resort with last year’s “Sinatra Forever.”

“It’s not an impersonation, it’s an interpretation,” Michel says of the need not to worry about which drinkin’ buddy he resembles.

An encore on Saturday brings back the 24-piece band with strings. Michel also does a Sinatra program called “A Musical Journey” which is more narrative biography, but this one is a looser hit parade: “most of the mainstream songs of Frank Sinatra,” he says, along with a few rarities.

“Since I have the strings I’m gonna take advantage of them,” he explains of fan favorites such as “The House I Live In.”

Casual fans also may have forgotten the three-disc 1980 “Trilogy” album beyond “Theme from ‘New York New York.’” But Michel says he’s been struck by “You and Me (We Wanted It All)” and the even less-heard “That’s What God Looks Like to Me.”

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

 

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