SHARON – Frank Sinatra would have turned 99 last week. Does that make him an historical figure?
Alison Schemrich, who is performing in "Christmas My Way – A Sinatra Holiday Bash" Friday through Sunday at the James E. Winner Jr. Arts and Cultural Center, Sharon, said she wanted to do the show because she "love(s) historical-type things."
"I'm very into period clothing," said the Thiel College, Greenville, freshman and resident of Saxonburg.
The cabaret-style show is based at a fictional club called Frank's, set in the 1960s. It's from David Grapes and Todd Olson of Summerwind Productions, the same company that wrote "My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra," which was staged at ACC in 2013.
There are no characters per se, but the actors have scripted lines, often delivering Sinatra anecdotes, between crooning 50 Sinatra favorites and Christmas songs.
"I'm a campier version of myself," said Renee DiAlesandro of New Castle. "I'm the prankster of the four or us."
The other two of the four are Anthony Ventura of New Castle and Delila Danch of New Wilmington.
"The show is written for two couples," said director Maria Ackley of South Pymatuning Township. "We went for three girls and one lucky guy. We use that to play off of."
"I'd never been in a cabaret so that interested me immeasurably," Danch said. "Also, I'd never done a show here and I'm always open to new things,"
"Here" is the Theatre on 3 at the ACC.
"I love it," said Danch, who has performed with New Castle Playhouse and in high school. "It's so different from what I'm used to. It's very classic."
The show also will feature 16-year-old Miranda Woge of Hermitage and 12-year-old Ava Coates of Hermitage as elves, the stage design of artist Tony Kropp, and paintings of artist Alana Jewel.
Maureen Murray-Jaklic will lead a trio from the piano.
Members of the audience will be drawn on stage for a non-traditional version of "The 12 Days of Christmas."
"It's timeless," DiAlesandro said of Sinatra's music, which she heard in her grandparents' home when she was growing up.
"You can put on one of his songs now – everyone's going to recognize it and everyone's going to enjoy it," said DiAlesandro, a veteran of New Castle Playhouse and Comtra Theatre, Cranberry Township, Butler Countyy, productions.
Schemrich said she came into the show as the odd man out, so to speak, because the other three cast members already knew each other, but the feeling didn't last long.
"They're probably the easiest cast I have ever worked with," said Schemrich, who prepared for "Christmas My Way" at the same time as "No Way to Treat a Lady" at Thiel.
Ackley praised her "very young, very energetic" cast and hoped theatergoers would give them a listen.
"There are a lot of things going on in the community this year," she said. "We should be one of them."