There is much Las Vegas lore about the “Rat Pack, ” a spontaneous and short-lived superstar act that came about some four-and-a-half decades ago when Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were filming “Ocean’s Eleven” by day and interrupting each other’s Vegas cabaret acts by night. Cast members Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford often joined in the antics as well, and Lawford’s cousin, a young presidential hopeful named John Kennedy, even came to check the act out before his notorious post-election disavowal of anything Sinatra-related because of alleged mob ties. The brainchild of Sandy Hackett, son of late comedian Buddy Hackett and lifelong friend of last surviving Pack member Joey Bishop, whom Hackett also plays in the show, “The Tribute” seeks to recreate one of those evenings in truly impressive detail. Complete with a twelve-piece big band and vintage arrangements, the show incorporates short separate sets by all four performers that wisely includes their biggest hits, even post-Rat Pack, and routines as well as featuring them singing arrangements devised at the time for them to do together. And while the music holds up remarkably well, the comedy—much of which is genuine and line-for-line from actual Pack performances—has not aged as well with its emphasis on race, ethnicity, booze and cigarettes. But for those seeking to either relive or get a sense of the values of an earlier era, this is your show. (Dennis Polkow).
Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted, (312)988-9000. Through May 28.