Sometimes it pays to look like a celebrity — if you’ve got the talent to back it up. It works for Drew Anthony and Kenny Jones, who play Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. in “The Rat Pack is Back!”
The show, which has played for years at a Las Vegas hotel, travels to the Rosemont Theatre for one performance on Oct. 19.
“When I first came to Las Vegas, I was just a singer looking for work,” Anthony recalled. “Because I resembled Dean Martin, I was approached for the role.” That was in 2006. Anthony has been crooning Martin’s hits ever since.
Anthony noted that, like Martin, he’s 100 percent Italian-American. In addition, “My mother loved him. She always watched ‘The Dean Martin Show’ and played his records,” he said.
Once Anthony was hired to perform as Martin, he watched videos of the singer and read books about him.
It doesn’t take much for Anthony to transform into Martin for shows. “I don’t have to put any makeup on,” he explained. “I don’t do anything except comb my hair down so it falls like his fell. Other than that, I feel like it’s a lot of me. You basically go out there and sing and joke.”
Kenny Jones also relishes his time singing and joking as part of the Rat Pack. He has been playing Sammy Davis, Jr. for eight years.
“I grew up on the Motown air, but we always knew of Sammy,” Jones said. “I always thought he was very cool — a great singer. I was always imitating people so when I got the opportunity to do him, that was easy.”
What Jones likes best about playing Davis is “bringing back the music and the tribute to the guy. I thought he was an excellent musician and entertainer.”
Jones’s favorite number is “What Kind of Fool Am I.”
“It’s a very good ballad about a man who’s done everything and had it all but still can’t find that one person,” he explained.
Jones definitely undergoes a transformation for the stage that fools audience members. He reported, “When I come out of my costume and I put on my clothes, I can walk past the same people and they don’t even know me.”