Go, See, Do | Celebrating Frank Sinatra’s birthday, ‘Almost There’ holiday musical and more

photo by: Contributed photo

Joey K and a Three-Set Band performs Frank Sinatra songs at Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St., in 2017. The band will return for the gallery's "A Swingin' Affair" event on Saturday to celebrate Sinatra's 103 birthday.

Jennifer Burkhead believes she was born in the wrong era.

“I’ve always preferred the movies, the dances, the music, the clothes of the 1940s and 1950s,” she told me on Thursday.

Luckily for Burkhead, she is the director of the Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St., which gives her the perfect place to celebrate these kinds of things each December. This Saturday, the Cider Gallery will host a birthday party for the late, great singer Frank Sinatra, who would have turned 103 years old on Wednesday.

“I took it upon myself to throw a house party that’s themed exactly the way I want,” she said. “However, I came to find out 100-150 people feel the same way, so I don’t feel very guilty.”

Burkhead said she first came up with the event, “A Swingin’ Affair,” in 2015, when Sinatra would have turned 100. To celebrate, she invited the public to dress up in ’40s- and ’50s-era clothing, have a few drinks and listen to Sinatra music.

She said she has a “personal obsession” with his music and found that other people in the community enjoy it, too. So Burkhead has kept the tradition alive.

“I planned it as a one-off event, but people kept asking, ‘When’s the Sinatra party?'” she said.

During the Saturday event, Joey K and a Three-Set Band will perform Sinatra songs all night long.

“It’s all Sinatra,” Burkhead said. “We’ll overload you until you’re sick of it.”

photo by: Contributed photo

Joey K and a Three-Set Band performs Frank Sinatra songs at Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St., in 2017. The band will return for the gallery’s “A Swingin’ Affair” event on Saturday to celebrate Sinatra’s 103 birthday.

A dance instructor will be on hand to help people learn how to swing dance. Finger foods will be available, as well as a cash bar featuring era-specific cocktails.

The event will also include a raffle with proceeds benefiting Just Food in Lawrence. The event begins at 7 p.m. Saturday and tickets are $20.

Here’s what else you can go, see and do in the next week:

“Almost There” at Lawrence Free Methodist Church

In celebration of Christmas, a local church choir will perform a musical this weekend focusing on the religious reason for the holiday.

The Lawrence Free Methodist Church’s Celebration Singers, a seasonal choir, will perform “Almost There,” a Christmas-themed performance based on the songs of musician Michael W. Smith, at 6 p.m. Sunday in the worship center, according to the church’s website. The church is located at 3001 Lawrence Ave.

“Almost There” is a song written by Smith and features the singing of contemporary Christian singer Amy Grant. The song features references to Mary giving birth to Jesus Christ.

The performance focuses on the travel of Joseph and the pregnant Mary to Bethlehem prior to the birth of Jesus. It will include several classic Christmas carols, as well.

The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the performance.

“Annie” continues at Theatre Lawrence

photo by: Ashley Hocking

Adelle Spiess rehearses a scene from “Annie” with other cast members on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, at Theatre Lawrence. Spiess plays the role of Annie.

This weekend is the final chance to see the latest production of the classic musical “Annie” in Lawrence.

As I wrote before, there are two local girls performing as the titular character Annie for the production. Adelle Spiess will lead the show during the 7:30 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday, and Vivi Riffel will lead the show during the 2:30 p.m. performances on Saturday and Sunday.

“Being and sharing the same role has made us friends,” Spiess told me last month. “It’s really fun because someone has your back and makes it less stressful.”

The production is at Theatre Lawrence, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive. Tickets cost $26.99.

“Candy Construction” at Lawrence Public Library

So what would the holidays be without a gingerbread house?

The Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., is challenging children ages 5 and up to see who can build the best homes out of sweet treats.

The library will have all the fixings needed to construct a small gingerbread house in the building’s auditorium during its “Candy Construction” event at 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to the library’s website. The event is free and open to the public.