The Tap Pack
Five fleet-footed entertainers putting a tap spin on Rat Pack-style showbiz
This Australian song and (especially) dance show loosely models itself after the legendary Rat Pack. The premise is not without its cheesy side. We're introduced to five guys whose worst character traits range from smarmy to stupid.
They're not impersonating Frank, Dean or Sammy or any of the lesser Rat Packers, but instead playing sketched-in showbiz buddies in under-shaped scenes meant to set up their wisecracking camaraderie and occasionally mildly conflicted relationships.
Little of this amounts to much as theatre. Several exchanges of dialogue feel forced while supposed attempts at humour fall flat. There are also some unnecessary and frankly pretty pathetic attempts at magic and juggling.
What saves the performance, and helps turn it into semi-engaging commercial entertainment, is sheer talent. Two of the five sing, one of them better than passably once he drops Sinatra-style crooning. And all of them are good – and at least two very good – at hoofing.
After a blistering solo or two, and a few firecracker group unison routines, the gentlemen relax, wax spontaneously and hit a collective stride that would've more usefully been present at the start if artifice hadn't gotten in the way.
Assembly George Square Theatre, until 29 Aug, 7pm, £15 (£12).