'Sammy Tongiht!' returns to Sarasota

August 15, 2013 

You can't see Sammy Davis Jr. in concert, obviously, but Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is offering you the next best thing.

Las Vegas entertainer De'zhon Fields has been traveling the world performing his tribute to "Mr. Entertainment" for 10 years, including a hugely popular appearance last year in Sarasota.

He'll be back at WBTT for a two-week run in a show called "Sammy Tonight!" starting Aug. 21.

People who have seen Fields summon the spirit of Davis have marveled at the uncanny accuracy of his portrayal. A Canadian paper called him a "dead-ringer" for Davis, and a Florida critic said the resemblance is "chilling." Sammy Davis Jr. died in 1990 at age 64.

Fields looks a lot like Davis, and by all accounts he re-creates Davis' energy, and his distinctive vocals in such hits as "Yes I Can," "That Old Black Magic" and "What Kind of Fool Am I?" perfectly.

And besides all that, Fields is apparently quite a charismatic performer in his own right. A New Jersey newspaper called him "a stringy piece of electricity."

Fields has portrayed the multi-talented Davis as a member of the cast of "The Rat Pack," a popular homage to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and other members of Davis' legendary cohort.

"Sammy Tonight!" is all about Fields as Davis, with a couple of back-up singers. WBTT artistic director Nate Jacobs created the show with Fields.

Details: Aug.21-Sept. 1, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. Show times: 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $29.50. Information: 941-366-1505www.wbttsrq.org.

-- Marty Clear

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