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Arts & Entertainment

Theater Review: “Henry Prego Sings Frank Sinatra

From Issue: Volume XX - Number 23
11/19/2012


By Ben Miles

Henry Prego Sings Frank Sinatra

Call him Ol’ Blue eyes; or The Voice; or Chairman of the Board. However you identify him, Frank Sinatra was America’s crooner incarnate. From his resonate, uniquely recognizable baritone to his innate interpretive abilities (both as a vocalist and as an Academy Award-winning actor), Sinatra was a singular 20th century sensation.

Now, Southern California audiences have an opportunity not to see Sinatra live (after all, he died in 1998), but to see a remarkable recreation of this master’s musical prowess in the corporal form of Sinatra doppelganger extraordinaire, Henry Prego (at the Encore Dinner Theatre and Club in Tustin, through December 2).

With the Henry Prego Big Band lending full-blown back up, Prego (a veteran of long-running “Rat Pack Live” tribute shows in Las Vegas and London), not only is a dead ringer for the late singer in terms of his bright-eyed, tuxedo-clad appearance, vocally he is spot-on in a variety of Sinatra classics, including “Come Fly With Me,” “ The Summer Wind,” “Strangers in the Night,” “New York, New York,” and “My Way,” to mention just a few of the memorable numbers recited from the Sinatra songbook.

What’s even more wonderful about Prego’s presentation is that he never overtly claims to be the signing legend; nevertheless the emotionality, sound, phrasing and demeanor exuded by Prego is unmistakably vintage Sinatra. Prego only goes so far as to say he is an ambassador for the Sinatra songbook. And what an effective diplomat he proves to be. Prego, telling of his own journey into show business, allows us to understand how Sinatra serves as a creative inspiration to so many popular recording artists from Barbra Streisand to Michael Buble to Justin Timberlake to Justin Bieber.

Further, “Henry Prego Sings Frank Sinatra: Live at the Sands,” is both dinner and a show. Similar to a Sin City showroom, the entertainment begins with hardworking comedian, Mark Cohen, getting laughs from exchanges with the audience such as, comic: “Where are you from?” Patron:“(The city of) Orange.” Comic: “Oh, that’s appealing.”

Additionally, the Encore Dinner Theatre and Club offers a varied menu, a full-bar, and to-die-for desserts. With an efficient wait staff, comfortable rotating chairs and terrific views from every area of the theater, “Henry Prego, et al” is a pleasing, multisensory experience.

“Henry Prego Sings Frank Sinatra: Live From the Sands” continues at the Encore Theatre and Club, 690 El Camino Real, Tustin, through December 2. For reservations, call (855) 545–5400. For online ticketing and further information, visit www.encoredinnertheatre.com.