Retro retreat in Palm Springs
The Rat Pack in the 60′s is a lifestyle we would all want to live, oh what I would do to be an olive in Sinatra’s dry martini…if only for a weekend. That’s what the episode is all about. Weekends allow us time to get away but how about time travel? Palm Springs is a town well preserved and the vestiges of the crooning and boozing set are still very much present.
Christina had put together an amazing wardrobe so that I look the part of the young ingénue, a corn fed girl from the Midwest arriving on a bus with the hopes of making it big. My co-stars are none other than Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Impersonators of course but so good are they that when we did the scene at Melvyn’s with Frankie baby I was a bag of nerves! The actor/singer/impersonator Nick D’egidio never let his character drop and trying to match wits with Mr. Sinatra is tough. I think one of the best times I’ve had to date in front of the camera was the Golf Cart Polo game. I hate golf and it hates me but the golf cart is a completely different matter and the fact that you can play bumper cars with them while swinging a mallet just shows that they (golf carts) don’t get to show their true potential on an 18 hole course. But for me I felt like I was shooting a 1960′s madcap comedy with Frank Sinatra. We even got a chase scene in — and I was wearing high wedge heels no less!
If you go to Palm Springs you must stop by Buddy Greco’s place for fantastic music, a great dinner and a darn good martini. It’s a modern version of the old supper clubs — and like most of Palm Springs nothing about it is a musty museum like version of its once self instead the experience feels fresh and heart-poundingly alive. A real treat was to hear Joe Mattalia play piano and sing. I have known him for a while and he is a part of the Travel Channel family but I simply had no idea what a power house of pure talent he was. I think Joe is in the scene at Melvyn’s teaching me how to scat so unfortunately the episode doesn’t begin to display his virtuoso but I guess that’s what itunes is for.
Of course the true high point was the party at Frank’s old house, Twin Palms. The Party scene was incredible and if I didn’t have to sing along with a big band in front of 50 people and a camera I would have been a lot more relaxed. But let me tell you getting up there and singing with Sammy and Frank (with a song I learned 10 minutes before) was a trip! And again I really felt like I was singing with the two legends themselves so much so that when the music stopped I was so sad that my time travel experience had come to an end. And I am still kicking myself for not jumping fully clothed into Sinatra’s pool!