Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Out and about

Central Florida Rat Pack performs in Brooksville


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Those who long for the days when Rat Pack members, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. ruled Las Vegas will enjoy Saturday's show at the Hernando Performing Arts Center in Brooksville.

The Central Florida Rat Pack, with tribute artists Armando Diaz, Felix J. Deneau Jr, and Steve Roman, will pay homage to those talented icons.

In 2007, Armando Diaz set the Central Florida Rat Pack in motion when Steve Roman was first to join the group, portraying Sammy Davis Jr.

Diaz initially had no intention to perform in the group, however Roman convinced him otherwise to portray "the Chairman of the Board," Frank Sinatra.

Diaz grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., where the music of Frank Sinatra was always echoing throughout the neighborhood.

Roman, raised in the Bronx, N.Y., was already a talented vocalist and had a dream to one day re-create the Rat Pack.

Felix J. Deneau Jr. was working at Universal Studios in Orlando, where he was impersonating many well-known celebrities and performing in shows, and soon met Diaz and Roman. He was the perfect fit to join the group as Dean Martin, thus the Central Florida Rat Pack was formed.

Deneau said he loves being part of the group, keeping the memory of a great performer, actor, comedian, and singer alive.

"He made so many millions of people happy, myself included, and I enjoy watching people relive their memories of him through my performance," Deneau said. "Besides, it's a lot of fun too. The Rat Pack was a special time in Vegas. They owned that time and town during that short time. I have fun emulating this performance with the other guys."

The Central Florida Rat Pack show starts at 7 p.m. at the Hernando Performing Arts Center, located at Hernando High School, 700 Bell Ave., in Brooksville. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Reserved seating is available. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, cash or check only. For groups of 6-10 people, ticket pricing is discounted to $20. Also, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, a special discount ticket price of $20 is available for those who wear green to the show.

The Hernando Performing Arts Guild will use the proceeds from the shows to provide scholarships to Hernando County high school seniors who wish to pursue an education in the performing arts.

For information or tickets, call (352) 799-5577 or visit www.hpag.org.

Hernando Today correspondent Heather Francis can be reached at toheatherfrancis@gmail.com.

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