Although it must be one of the most unexpected comebacks of the last several years, Nancy Sinatra’s current return to the spotlight could serve as a model of how to do it — though few entertainers could pose for Playboy, record a new album and headline a contemporary music showplace after a 20-year absence from the scene as successfully as Sinatra has. Truth is, few contemporary entertainers could mount a show with as much zip as Sinatra’s House of Blues show.
Sinatra, 54, performed for 80 minutes Wednesday night; she didn’t so much take the stage as command it with a show that was totally pro and a joy to longtime fans.
Backed by a terrific band led by studio vet Don Randi, and picking the best songs from her just-released Cougar album “One More Time,” she sang just about all of her ’60s hits.
An unannounced surprise was the appearance of Lee Hazlewood, who produced and composed most of her old hits, for a set of duets.
Striding confidently onstage in a short skirt, black leather jacket, dark glasses and cowboy boots, Sinatra opened with a medley of “How Does That Grab You, Darlin’?” and John Lennon’s “Run for Your Life.” Never much of a singer technically, she has personality to spare, and retains much of the spunky character that she and Hazlewood had cooked up in the studio.
A few numbers in, a screen lowered and scenes from the singer’s brief film career were projected, showing her in a number of fetching (often skimpy) outfits and often bizarre hairstyles.
Sinatra heads next for a series of East Coast dates.