‘Sinatra: Raw’ Is Exceptionally Well Done!

By Ernest Kearney  —  Writer/Performer Richard Shelton’s Sinatra: Raw is, in a fashion, the mirrored opposite to the other musical homage of HFF23, Performer Rainee Blake’s Take Me As I Am: A Joni Mitchell Tribute.

Whereas I have heard the complaint (the only one that I’ve heard) that the show, while superb musically, gave slight attention to the persona of Mitchell, that is definitely not the case with this show.

Shelton’s handling of the Sinatra standards – I’ve Got You Under My Skin, One For My Baby, It Was a Very Good Year, and others, are exemplary and cannot be faulted in any way. 

Perhaps he does not convey Sinatra’s voice with the finely etched precision that Blake does in her handling of Mitchell’s most memorable tunes, but Shelton’s own pipes are as appreciable as those of the focus of his show.

Where Shelton’s effort excels in the excess is in his conveyance of the singer himself, one of the most emblematic entertainers of history, as well as of the tumultuous times that served in crystallizing the man.

Shelton — in recreating Sinatra’s celebrated “farewell” performance in Palm Springs, The Purple Room — presents his audience with a portrait of the towering crooner from his legendary “blue eyes” down to his very human clay feet.

The audience is treated to the full humanity and folly of Sinatra as well as of the inescapable historical tapestry of which he was so much a part and which was so much a part of him.

Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolution

With Blake’s show, you will leave feeling you have heard Mitchell, leaving Shelton’s show you’ll go feeling you have met the “Chairman of the Board.”

A very bright Gold Medal.


Sinatra: Raw playing at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2023
 The Broadwater (Studio) in Hollywood.

For Hollywood Fringe Festival Details, Sinatra: Raw Show Information, and Tickets Click HERE.


Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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