Richard Shelton has a very good reason to keep in shape: he owns a tuxedo once worn by Frank Sinatra — and it fits him perfectly without any alterations.
"Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered"
Richard Shelton performs standard as Sinatra would.
“We’re the same height and weight,” Shelton, 53, tells the Reader. “When I told Roger Moore I had the suit, he looked inside the coat and said, ‘Yeah, that’s Frank’s. I told him to go to that tailor on Saville Row.’”
That’s not the only physical similarity.
“When I put my hands in the prints at Mann’s Chinese Theatre [in Hollywood], they fit perfectly.”
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Chairman of the Board’s birth. Shelton, a British actor and singer, is celebrating by doing a three-night Sinatra tribute at the U.S. Grant downtown, Thursday through Saturday, June 18–20.
Each night will feature a slightly different set and a slightly different take on Ol’ Blue Eyes.
June 18 will features Shelton with a trio of musicians who worked with Sinatra.
On June 19, Shelton will sing Sinatra saloon songs with pianist Mike Lang on the keys. The June 20 show will re-create Sinatra’s 1974 “Main Event” concert, with a 12-piece orchestra.
Shelton is quick to emphasize that he is not a Sinatra mimic.
“My approach is a dramatic one. I go inside the energy and what informed the performances,” says Shelton. “I feel when I perform anything with Sinatra, I have to commit. There are no half measures. I enter into that energy. If you’re opening yourself, you’re letting that energy take over.”
Shelton acted as Sinatra in a British play, Rat Pack Confidential, but his appreciation of the singing legend happened almost from birth.
“When I was a child, I remember leafing through a book and saw a picture of a kid and thought, That looks like me, and it was [Sinatra],” Shelton says. “Then when I was 14, my dad got the Sinatra My Way cassette and I listened to it more than him.”
Shelton feels Sinatra’s music suits him and he’s proud the suit does as well, but he won’t let it be a crutch.
“It’s not like a superhero suit. If I let it be that, I’d go crazy. The suit is the icing on the cake, but it’s not the point,” Shelton says. “That said, it is a motivator to keep in shape so I fit in it.”