Many elements of the pop culture of the late 1950s and early 1960s were at one time dismissed as being hopelessly unhip. But, in recent years, there has been a renewed interest and appreciation for the period.

One doesn’t have to undertake too much deep thinking to realize that the pre-counterculture era has come to represent a simpler time when having fun meant escaping for a bit, but not abandoning, our everyday lives.

The “Rat Pack” epitomized the idea of a bunch of well-established buddies who take off for Vegas to have some drinks, eye some broads (in the vernacular of the day), sing a few songs and make each other laugh.

The group began with a circle of entertainer/friends that formed around Humphrey Bogart. But it is best known for its later incarnation, led by Frank Sinatra and including Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and a few others (and a handful of women on the fringes).

Anthony’s Dinner Theater and Cabaret has put together a two-hour performance piece in tribute to that latter group.

It became clear at Saturday’s opening performance that the five tuxedoed gentlemen who took to the stage were going to try to recreate the “Pack” experience largely through offering a generous helping of the songs they made famous. There was a little bit of historical background offered by theater owner Anthony Barrasso and there were just a few references to some of the classic one-liners. But mostly it was about the music.

On that level, one would have to rate the performance, backed by period recordings, as generally falling somewhere between good karaoke and above-average wedding reception entertainment. In the intimate dinner theater environment, with food and wine in abundance and nostalgia in the air, it all went over just fine with the capacity crowd of 50.

A few of the numbers particularly stood out. Paul Andriulli, a veteran of Lyric Theater productions, had his best moments on “For Once In My Life” and “My Way” (sung in Italian).

Carlo Giraulo was an early favorite with “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” and later got to handle some of the killer tunes like “I’ve Got The World On A String” and “Witchcraft.” Vinnie Fierro was a crowd favorite with “That’s Life” and “Volare.”

Jim Cavallaro attempted some Dean Martin-esque phrasing on “You Belong To Me” and later went “All The Way.”

“Tony” Barrasso told us how “It Was A Very Good Life” and took us to “Chicago” before the group, which had earlier shone on “Candy Man,” closed with “New York, New York” and “You Make Me Feel So Young.”

Remembering one fun time and having another is what this show is all about.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.