Everyone has fundraisers and Thunder Bay Theatre is no different.
This year, TBT is trying something new. To show Alpena how important the town is to the theatre, a spring gala with a Las Vegas flair is being held Friday and Saturday. Artistic Director J.R. Rodriguez, along with company members Kat Tomaszewski and Bunny Lyon, will be bringing "A Night at the Copa" to the stage.
The evening will consist of two shows. The first will feature Lyon and Tomaszewski playing swinging tunes from the world of jazz and Broadway. They will also welcome special guest, Jean Martin Brown.
"We're lucky to have Ms. Brown back here at TBT," said Rodriguez. "I've heard nothing but great words about her voice and I couldn't be more excited."
The second part of the show is pure Sinatra. Rodriguez will perform his one-man tribute to Old Blue eyes, telling stories from the famed Copa Room at the Legendary Sands Hotel Frank, Dean and Sammy's playground.
"It's not Frank Sinatra on stage. It's me telling the stories that made me fall in love with these guys," Rodriguez said. "My dad introduced me to Frank's music when I was 5 years old. It gets inside you. I came up with the concept of doing a show about Frank around 10, 12 years ago, and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me."
Rodriguez just performed the show in Key West, Fla., back in October 2010 for his friend Anne O'Shea (executive producer of the Oscar nominated movie, "The Kids Are Alright").
"It had been a while since I had pulled it out," he said. "It went over well. When the board here at Thunder Bay asked if I would do it as a fundraiser, I said I'd be happy to if we can find some locals to join me."
This will be the first time in seven years Rodriguez has done the show with live music. He said rehearsals are going well.
"We ran a few songs last night and it's rough, but I already see how these musicians go with it and make the songs sing," Rodriguez said. "That's how talented Bunny and Kat are."
Since this is a gala there will also be hor d'oeuvres presented by JJ's Steak and Pizza House.
Both Friday and Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.
The public is invited to come join TBT as these four performers take the audience back to Vegas around 1960 and sing some groovy chimes that have lasted over a half-century. For reservation call the box office at 354-2267.