Today is the 24th anniversary of the death of legendary singer Frank Sinatra. The Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre plans to pay tribute to Sinatra with a ‘Sentimental Journey’ this summer (Image courtesy of Facebook).

LOGAN – Today is the 24th anniversary of the death of Francis Albert Sinatra and the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the legendary singer’s life.

On August 3, the UFOMT will present a Sentimental Journey, a salute to Ol’ Blue Eyes’ music starring soloist Michael Corvino and the Festival Opera’s singers, dancers and orchestra.

With an orchestra conducted by James M. Bankhead, the UFOMT is billing this tribute as “a delightful trip down memory lane,” featuring all of Sinatra’s most beloved hits.

The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Ellen Eccles Theatre in downtown Logan.

Born to Italian immigrant parents in Hoboken, NJ in 1915, Sinatra began his career in the swing era with bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. The idol of the so called “bobby soxers” in the 1940s, Sinatra released his first album in 1946 and followed up a string of highly successful albums.

Sinatra was most at home performing live. He became one of Las Vegas’ best-known residency acts, often performing with his Rat Pack colleagues, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.

But Sinatra had another life as a star of the silver screen.

In recognition of Sinatra’s movie career, the UFOMT will host a film retrospective of his movies at the Utah Theatre, running simultaneously with the Festival Opera’s live theater season in July and early August.

The film series will lead off with Sinatra’s Oscar-winning 1953 performance in From Here to Eternity. Based on an acclaimed pre-World War II drama written by James Jones, Sinatra co-starred with But Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Donna Reed, Ernest Borgnine and Deborah Kerr.

Come Blow Your Horn is a film version of a play by Neil Simon. Criticized by his conservative parents as “a bum,” Sinatra rebels by teaching his brother (Tony Bill) all the tricks of chasing women in this 1963 comedy. Sinatra co-stars with Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Rush and Jill St. John.

In The Manchurian Candidate, Sinatra is a Korean War veteran who is haunted by the dawning realization that he may have been brainwashed while a prisoner. Directed by John Frankenheimer, this 1962 political drama co-stars Angela Lansbury, Lawrence Harvey and Janet Leigh.

Von Ryan’s Express is one of Sinatra’s lessor known films. He plays an Army Air Corps officer leading an elaborate prison break in Italy during War War II. The film co-stars Trevor Howard, Brad Dexter and Edward Mulhare.

In Pay Joey, a musical adaptation of a stage play, Sinatra plays an out-right cad, but a lovable one. As a wise-cracking lounge lizard, Sinatra must choose between the lovely Kim Novak and the leggy Rita Hayworth. The film is noted for the standard songs “The Lady is a Tramp” and “I Could Write a Book.”

As gambler Nathan Detroit in the film version of the musical Guys and Dolls, Sinatra nicknamed his co-star Marlon Brando “mumbles.” You’ll see why. The cast included Jean Simmons and Stubby Kaye.

In Oceans 11, Sinatra leads a crowd of his Rat Pack colleagues in a raid on Las Vegas casinos. The film has been recently remade (and remade and remade), but this is the original and best version. Oceans 11 co-stars Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Angie Dickinson.

On the Town was a 1949 musical directed by Gene Kelly. Sinatra co-stars with Kelly as sailors who wreck havoc during a 24-hour leave in New York City. The dance film co-stars Ann Miller and Vera-Ellen.

The Joker is Wild is a musical drama biography of comic Joe E. Lewis. The film stars Sinatra with co-stars Eddie Albert, Mitzi Gaynor and Jean Crain.

Finally, High Society is a musical version of the film The Philadelphia Story. The original film starred Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. This remake has Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. It’s a hoot.

Dates and times of the Sinatra film retrospective are still pending.


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