Frank Sanazi's Das Vegas Nights
Frank Sanazi, Blond Ambition and Voodoo Rooms
The Voodoo Rooms
What if Germany had won the war? What would Vegas look and sound like? That’s the basic concept of Das Vegas Nights, which sees Pete Cunningham return to the Fringe stage in the guise of crooner-cum-dictator Frank Sanazi, launching into such hits as "Third Reich" (to the tune of "That’s Life") or "Meinway", with an appreciable set of lungs and a rich singing voice, peppering the song with bursts of fitful German and Hitlerian gesticulations, then interspersing the music with some themed stand-up and groan-worthy one-liners.
There is certainly a point where the endless Nazi joke starts to run out of steam. In this case, it’s around the midway point, where after Frank and his friend, Dean Stalin, have had their turns, it becomes clear that there isn’t going to be too much else getting pulled out of the hat.
As it transpires, the third act to appear is Spliff Richard, a reggae-rendition of Sir Cliff, which is an ambitious but far harder sell to a largely 30-something crowd of Edinburgh Fringe-goers. There were more than a few blank looks at the gags, and despite a couple of funny jokes, there was a palpable sense that this wasn’t what was expected on the menu.
Ultimately, Das Vegas Nights is still a decent shout for a late night beery Fringe audience. What’s more, it’s kind of a “does what it says on the tin” sort of show. If you expect more than some lyric-swapped Sinatra songs and some really cheesy variety-act style jokes, then you’re probably looking in the wrong place.
But to quote Sanazi, “let’s keep comedy edgy!” And I applaud that sentiment, particularly as, in this case, the dangerous edge of comedy is far beyond this rather tame and predictable, if amusing all the same, stuff.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan