The Best is Yet to Come: An evening with Sinatra at the Old Town Theatre

September 25, 2021

Yvette Mendoza

Erin Juarez and I spent the evening time traveling to the 50’s at the Old Town Theatre’s Tribute to Frank Sinatra. This authentic concert, performed by Dave Halston, created an atmosphere of romance and nostalgia. The Theatre’s Sinatra Experience attracted almost 300 guests that came from all over Texas (some even from San Antonio) to Huntsville! The crowd was eager to come in before showtime just as much as we were to volunteer at the Old Town Theatre.

We had the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful concert and meet the audience members, from councilmembers to a Vietnam veteran, as we ushered them to their seats. The crowd kept growing as they began swarming the entrance to the Theatre, and Erin and I had the warmest smiles to greet such well-dressed and kind families and friends.

Getting closer to show time, more Sinatra fans were settling down in their seats.

At last, the piano accompanist began to play, and the words “Come fly with me” were being sung.

Everyone’s eyes were star struck at the beautiful music being played. While Erin and I were admiring the music, we had quickly switched gears from ushering to grabbing the camera and capturing the magic of Frank Sinatra’s music being performed.

Moving all around the theater we created the gorgeous star effect through the camera when capturing Dave Halston’s movements that mimicked Sinatra.

We continued to snap as many pictures as possible…

…and then it was time for a brief intermission. At that time Erin and I helped with the raffle ticket drawing. We were very successful collecting money to help fund the non-profit, Old Town Theatre. Now it was finally time to draw the winning tickets.

Erin went on stage with Mrs. Lauren Edwards to choose the winning raffle tickets. The crowd lit up when the winners were announced and given their free tickets to the next concert!

Before leaving the Old Town Theatre, we sat in seats and sang along to the Theme from New York, New York. And that was the best way to finish off a night in the Golden Age.

Oldies at the Old Town Theatre: Marty Haggard Performs

Jessica Cuevas 

On the evening of 9/11, the LEAP Ambassadors and Jocelyn Vazquez volunteered at the Old Town Theatre, where Marty Haggard–son of Merle Haggard– where an appreciative crowd enjoyed the show.  

To our delightful surprise, there was an opening act by rising country singer Stephen Sweeten. While he sang and his guitarist strummed, his wife and son were selling his merchandise and recording his performance. Unfortunately, since we were either ushering guests to their seats, selling raffle tickets, or taking photographs, we were unable to sit in for the show but given that the theatre has excellent acoustics, we were able to hear him. We even had a chance to work with his son to take a few photos of Sweeten.

The audience enjoyed the music, as did we, as Sweeten played a mix of covers and originals.

When Sweeten’s set ended, we announced the winners of the raffle…

…which made a few audience members happy. They have tickets to see Moe Bandy on December 3 (buy tickets here!) 

If ever there was a down-to-earth performer, Marty Haggard is that performer. He remained seated throughout the show, after telling he was a singer, not an “actor.”

Sitting or standing, however, he was a hit, performing the hits of his father, whom he described as “the greatest country music singer-songwriter in history.”

He did the songs justice, and he resembles a thinner version of his father.

 As the event was wrapping up and the Old Town Theatre was getting ready to close, we stood by the doors and thanked the guests for coming while providing them with a calendar of upcoming events.

The crowd, however, was more interested in spending time with Mr. Haggard.

And that included us:

It was a good night, with strong performances all around.

By the way, the Old Town Theatre’s next event is on September 25th at 7:00pm, featuring a Frank Sinatra tribute. Purchase your tickets today and do not miss the Sinatra experience! 

On behalf of the LEAP Center, I would like to thank the friends of the Old Town Theatre for giving us the opportunity to help in our community! 

Although our volunteerism was complete, our night wasn’t. We moved on over to the wonderful Sam’s Table, where we had dinner and desert. We had eaten here previously, and it has great ambience and food, so we were eager to return.

The event was close to Yvette’s 19th Birthday, so we celebrated that, too, with pie…

…and cake.

After a nice night of volunteerism and eating, we left as happy as Yvette looked!

Old Time Help at the Old Town Theatre

Fresh off volunteering at the Wynne Home Arts and Visitor Center, we also wanted to help out in the downtown area. So, with rivet-gun in hand, we headed to the Old Town Theatre to do some light cleaning and affix numerals to the Theatre’s chairs.

The theatre is the only vintage venue in Huntsville, and it is the community’s finest example of Art Deco architecture–while also featuring the art work of world-renowned muralist Richard Haas.

And while it may be an local architectural treasure and a work of art in itself, it also had a disordered numbering system on the seats, which makes ushering pretty difficult.

So, we set about correcting that. With only one rivet gun, we set up a system of three people helping: one advance man putting in the number plates and rivets, one riveter, and one person taking left-over parts….

Yvette the Riveter

While three were riveting, others were cleaning, and we took turns doing all the tasks, so that we’d all be cross-trained. Stephanie did her best Carol Burnett impression….

…Quinn tried to get a break from Yvette and Morgan, and Morgan even tried her hand at vacuum repair.

About three hours later, we had a mostly-clean theatre, seats with a correct numbering system, and more skilled volunteer force….

…and some ideas for some fall activities–all of this in time for our sold-out Gene Watson show!