Sammy lives in sweet tribute act
AS a fourth-generation showman, Wayne Scott Kermond was destined for a career under bright lights. The performer is the star of Candy Man, a song and dance spectacular which celebrates the life and music of Sammy Davis Jr. Kermond was 18 when he first met Sammy Davis Jr, the ‘‘ultimate song-anddance man’’, but he says it wasn’t until two decades later he realised how the chance encounter had shaped his career. ‘‘I met him when he was out here in Australia for some shows – my mum and dad were also entertainers and they were invited to a private supper party with him,’’ he says. ‘‘It was an amazing night. We got up and jammed and danced. Twenty years later, I realised how special that night was. I met him again a couple of years later after a show. He recognised me. He came over, put his arm around me and said he remembered me. He told me how much he enjoyed my performance.’’ That ‘‘cherished moment’’ is one Kermond relates to his audience in Candy Man – something that enables the show to merge Kermond and Sammy Davis Jr’s journeys into one. The son of an AfricanAmerican vaudeville entertainer and a Puerto Rican tap dancer, Davis was surrounded by showbiz from an early age. He was best known as a member of the Rat Pack, alongside Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. A fourth generation performer in the Kermond family, Kermond was also born into the industry. ‘‘I am most impressed by Sammy’s versatility and in many ways my career is the same – I sing, dance, tap dance, do acrobatics and comedy,’’ Kermond says. ‘‘I tell his journey and as the show evolves the audience hears my story as well.’’ A seven-piece band and a chorus of three singer/dancers join Kermond on stage in his Candy Man production. The setlist covers everything from Mr. Bojangles to The Candy Man and What Kind of Fool Am I. ‘‘I also do impressions throughout the show. But it is not a tribute show as such, it’s more of a celebration,’’ he says. ‘‘The show is pure entertainment with pure song and dance.’’
Wayne Scott Kermond’s Candy Man plays Twin Town on Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $39.
– ROSE SADLEIR