Frank Sinatra, one of music's great icons, is all set to ignite the South African stage in 2019 in a dazzling big band international show, SINATRA AND ME, featuring celebrated British performer, Richard Shelton who has been described as "one of the world’s finest Sinatra interpreters". Shelton is an award-winning actor and singer and his show comes directly from the West End and Los Angeles. He will be accompanied on stage by Adam Howard’s 17-piece Joburg Big Band.
This highly acclaimed show kicks off in Durban at the Rockwood Theatre on 12 March with four shows before heading to Gauteng, The Mandela at Joburg Theatre from 21 March, and is bound to hit all the high notes with Sinatra fans.
"I’m very excited to be making my first visit to South Africa," he says, "and being in the position to combine my two passions, travel and the music of Frank Sinatra and a big band. It is the perfect way to make what I hope will be the first of many visits."
Talking about the show, Shelton says: "The show focuses on the wonderful music of Sinatra with hits including ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, ‘It Was a Very Good Year’ and ‘One For My Baby,’ as well as lesser known hits, including a very intimate rendition of ‘My Foolish Heart’.
"The show is brought together with a narrative that looks at my time starring as Sinatra in London’s West End to the synchronicity between our lives, borne out by many incredible coincidences in LA including how his tuxedo literally walked into my life, a fact which was verified by Sir Roger Moore (James Bond) on live TV. I was also one of the last people to be inside Sinatra’s last home as it was being demolished. It was completely by chance. We also have original music in the show including the title track scored for a big-band arrangement, ’Sinatra and Me’, which we recorded in East West Studios, LA, where Sinatra recorded ‘My Way’ and ‘A Very Good Year’.”
“Naturally, my biggest influence is the music of Frank Sinatra but also vocal stylings from singers including Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett. Musically, I’m influenced by the greats including Oscar Peterson, Count Basie but also by a lot of classical music. I’m drawn to musical arrangements that allow the lyrics to flow. For me, the lyrics come first. You have to be able to tell a story first and foremost. That’s not to discredit the music, but unless there’s space to make the lyrics really mean something for the audience, you have nothing.”
Shelton received a ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ award for his performance as Frank Sinatra in Rat Pack Confidential. Now South African audiences will get an opportunity to see him recreate the many magical moments in Sinatra’s musical career.
Richard has performed for HRH Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, for Sir Elton John at his ‘White Tie and Tiara Ball‘, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the BBC Big Band, at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and on countless international TV and radio shows.
As an actor, Richard is known to British TV audiences for playing series regular Dr Adam Forsythe in the TV show Emmerdale. Richard recently made his US TV debut playing Mr Benson in ‘House of Lies’.
Hear the world’s greatest Sinatra interpreter sing the coolest Sinatra songs – an unforgettable night of song and storytelling.