Crystal Bay Casino: Ghosts of Rat Pack past dwell at Tahoe

Rat Pack
The Dean-O-Holics return on Friday, Dec. 21, to the Rat Pack’s old stomping grounds of Crystal Bay.

Is that a dirty martini?

Chances are, it is. The Dean-O-Holics bring a “Rat Pack Christmas’’ to the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the show.

Reno’s Bob Caudle channels Dean Martin for the tribute performances, lending a local flavor to a pack that gave meaning to gansta entertainers long before hip-hop took those reins. The Tribute Masters website lays out the show.

“The atmosphere? Pure Las Vegas, Nevada, circa 1960. The Summit… Swingin’, smoke-filled and flowin’ with booze. Broads and pallies, a gasser of a time and a sound that will knock you right out of your Mary Janes (editor’s note: No, not the Tom Petty kind.)

“The act? Strictly Rat Pack: Frank, Dean, Sammy and the gang, backed by the swinging Lil Big Band. It’s live. It’s 18-karat fun, baby. It’s the Dean-O-Holics.

“The Dean-O-Holics, for two years running winners of the National Rising Star Award for best Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin tribute band, are selling out performances everywhere, including Frank’s old place, the Sinatra Showroom at Lake Tahoe’s Cal-Neva Resort (before its current renovation.)”

The Rat Pack is legendary for its exploits at Lake Tahoe. In addition to its hold on North Shore’s Cal-Neva, Sinatra’s son, Frank Jr., 19, was kidnapped from a South Shore casino in 1963. Sinatra senior paid $240,000 for junior’s release and a trio of abductors was soon arrested and eventually convicted.

Ransom negotiations were conducted by pay phone (remember those?) and Sinatra reportedly became worried that he would run out of pocket change. That prompted him to carry 10 dimes in his pocket for the rest of his life. The Associated Press reported that Sinatra was buried in 1998 with 10 dimes in his pocket. His son died in 2016.

But Saturday’s show promises to be straight-up fun, recalling the good-old days of a bygone era. Be there, or be square.

 — Randy Hashagen


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Tahoe Onstage is an online entertainment and sports magazine covering Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Reno, the Carson Valley and June Lake.

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