Rick Faugno’s “Songs My Idols Sang (And Danced)” Delights South Point Audience
Rick Faugno is 30, but his musical choices will be embraced and enjoyed by anyone who loves the old classics. Rick’s one man 80 minute song and dance show at South Point is titled “Songs My Idols Sang (And Danced). When I saw his performance on March 21, it included the songs and/or dances of the likes of Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr, Gene Kelly, and Tony Bennett.
Faugno plays the role of Frankie Valli in the hit musical Jersey Boys playing at the Palazzo, but contractual agreements prohibit him from sharing that music on any other stage. That’s fine.
As Rick tells the story of his life through words, songs, and dancing, he incorporates classics and favorites such as “I Feel A Song Comin’ On,” “Without A Song,” “Fly Me To The Moon,” and “I’ve Got you Under My Skin.”
He is backed by seven talented musicians led by his Jersey Boys musical conductor Keith Thompson. This young performer is like a visitor that’s come through a time machine. There’s no modern twist added to the songs, no laser lights or loud music. When he does numbers like “Stepping Out with My Baby” or Straighten Up and Fly Right” they are done the way we remember them by the original performers. He does not imitate. He pays homage. He channels the feelings that the original artists used as they interpreted the material.
Rick uses a broom as the perfect prop to dance his way through “Putting on the Ritz”. As we move forward in his life story, he explains the influences his parents and grandmother had on his musical choices and approach to his craft.
It doesn’t give the story away to tell you that Rick was tap dancing at age four and made his Broadway debut at 12 in the Will Rodgers Follies. It just explains in part how he has managed to hone his craft so well. Rick is slight in build and light on his feet with a poise, grace, and understanding of his material that is way beyond his years.
His list of Broadway theatre credits also includes performances in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “Conversations With My Father,” “Wonderful Town,” “Fosse,” and the national tours of “Jersey Boys,” “The Boy Friend,” and “Fosse.”
Rick’s interpretation of Sammy Davis Jrs’ Bojangles is a show stopper. Rick describes Sammy as a Renaissance Man and says that is what he wants to be. I think he’s there.
Rick just released his debut CD, “Songs My Idols Sang (and Danced)!” available at the Palazzo and online at www.cdbaby.com. For more information, visit Rick’s website http://web.mac.com/rickfaugno
Rick will be back at South Point on April 25th. Tickets are $20, $25 and $30. Call 797-8055 or buy tickets online at www.southpointcasino.com, and at the South Point Box Office, 9777 Las Vegas Boulevard South.