Bob Anderson’s tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes is making a play for the Great White Way.
“Frank: The Man. The Music,” late of Palazzo Theater, is being revitalized as Anderson has signed multiple Tony Award-winner Eva Price and her partner, Carl Flanigan, as the musical’s general managers under their Maximum Entertainment Company operation.
Price’s credits include “On Your Feet,” the Gloria and Emilio Estefan story; “Dear Evan Hansen” and the revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma.” She’s worked with more than 15 Broadway musicals, plays and concerts and is a member of The Broadway League’s Board of Governors.
The next step for “Frank” is simple, but legendarily difficult: Find a theater on Broadway ready to stage the show by its targeted spring 2019 opening.
“We are in great shape and I’m honored to be working with Eva Price and Carl Flanigan,” Anderson said Friday afternoon. “This has been such a haul, man, more than five years. But we’re moving closer and I’m really excited.”
Anderson performed in full costume and makeup with a 31-piece orchestra in the original version of the show, which ran for 11 months from December 2014 through November 2015 at Palazzo Theater. The production closed just three weeks before Sinatra’s 100th birthday on Dec. 12.
A master vocal impressionist, Anderson is a revered live performer on the Strip, dating to his famously fortuitous debut, when he was called in at the last minute to open for Nancy Sinatra at the Sahara in 1972. He had shown up to the hotel somewhat bedraggled and in cut-off denim shorts, seeking the next and nearest gig. It happened to be that night. Sinatra summoned Anderson after the Everly Brothers — who were also on the bill — got into a heated argument and backed out of the show.
Anderson’s heyday on the Strip was from mid-1970s to mid 1980s at the Top of the Dunes lounge at the Dunes hotel-casino. The shows started at midnight, or later, and drew the biggest names of the day. Anderson has performed rote interpretations of such Vegas icons as Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin and Mel Torme.
In July 2017, Anderson filmed a concert version of “Frank” at Avalon Hollywood Theater to pitch to such national outlets as HBO or Netflix. Todd Fisher, son of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher whose Hollywood Motion Picture Experience is based in Las Vegas, produced that show. There is still no final decision on where or when that finished performance will appear.
Oddly, Sinatra’s only appearance on Broadway was at the URIS Theater New York from Sept. 8-Sept. 20, 1975, running a total of 16 performances.
“The goal for this show has always been to bring it to Broadway, and we think we have the audience for it,” Anderson said
“It’s some of the greatest music ever performed,”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.