5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Cary Hoffman turns his celebrated PBS Special into a biographical, often hilarious, and poignant one-man musical play about his love and idolization for this hero Frank Sinatra and the perils of wanting to become somebody else.
SD: How did your passion for Sinatra develop?
CH: I grew up listening to him. I had a relative that was a studio musician that played for Sinatra. His voice and persona become kind of a father figure replacement to me. I was so obsessed by his voice and since it was natural for me to sing like him, I started doing it.
SD: How do you stay true to yourself as a performer, while staying true to Sinatra?
CH: That is the reason I wrote the play/show. I am Cary singing Sinatra. Honestly, I am a Medicare recipient who looks like a rabbi that is trying to sing like him. My hook is that I can sound like Sinatra, but I am telling my story about my lifelong obsession with him.
SD: How does his music speaks to you in ways other artists’ music doesn’t.
CH: Great question! I feel like he is talking beautifully to me as a person. I feel like the beat, lyrics, and arrangements of his music are communicating to me.
SD: What is your favorite Sinatra song to perform?
CH: I love them all! I sing the hits, but I love to sing the little known songs of his. “Sleep Warm” – an amazing song and a favorite of mine. He definitely was an original and his talent that made a huge impact on music and the people who loved him. He did what he wanted and did it great.
SD: The audience may come because they want to hear about Frank Sinatra, but what should they leave with about Cary Hoffman?
CH: For me, it is giving them a gift of music and song. I want the audience to feel the respect that I have for Frank Sinatra as a musician. I’m not trying to sound like him, but I sing his music his way. This show is for all ages and would make a great Father’s Day present for any father.