Pound for pound, there is no more talented cast on television today than the "Mad Men" players. We already knew that, of course, but anyone who might've demanded more evidence only needed to get to the Hollywood Theater at the MGM Grand on Tuesday night for the Las Vegas edition of the "Mad Men Live Revue."
As ancillary products go, this is as good as it gets — no T-shirt or lunch box or screensaver could come close. I only hope that a recording of one of these revue perfs makes its way onto a DVD set someday. They are entirely too much fun to be enjoyed only by a few hundred people at a time.
I was lucky enough to attend the first "Mad Men" revue in October at the El Rey Theater down the street from Variety's office (for a refresher on that show, click here). As cool as that show was, Tuesday's perf (official title: "A Night on the Town with 'Mad Men' ") had that extra ring-a-ding-ding of being staged in a Vegas showroom, ground zero of the Rat Pack. The "Mad Men" revue is clearly the spiritual successor of Frank, Dean, Sammy and Joey. And since they were kind enough to let me crash the cast afterparty at the MGM Grand's Tabu restaurant (thank you, Robin Veith), I can testify that they live it up off-stage in an old-school, keep 'em coming manner as well. It was the latest night (earliest morning) I've had in a while (hence the lateness of this posting).
Rich Sommer (Harry Crane), who was not at the El Rey, added a bit of comic relief this time around as he did a running shtick with emcee Joel Murray (Freddy Rumsen) about wanting to help out with the show. First Murray sends him off to go get him a glass of grapefruit juice and some Advil at Bally's. At one point Sommer returned to the stage in a sheer nightie — with a pair of briefs underneath — and at another point he was tasked with finding Freddy a "hot girl" to come on stage to help him out with a magic trick. (More on that below.)
"You just gotta be careful what you agree to at a Golden Globes party," Murray observed.