"A Grand Night in Las Vegas" is hoped to be a grand night in Steubenville for the Grand.
And "thank you, thank you, thank you very much" is what event organizers hope to be saying afterwards to public response making this fundraiser a big success.
This is an evening that will combine live entertainment, food, giveaways and gambling - an evening that chairman Francesca Carinci of the Grand Theater Restoration Project predicts will be "one of the most extravagant concerts that I believe we've had in this city in recent history."
Billy Petrella and Francesca Carinci with ‘Elvis’
-- Photo by Janice R. Kiaski
"A Grand Night in Las Vegas" will be held April 14 at Froehlich's Classic Corner at Fifth and Washington streets, Steubenville, with doors opening at 7 p.m. and five back-to-back shows in addition to "Las Vegas gambling" - black jack, roulette, craps and poker - going on throughout the evening that extends to 1 a.m.
Shane Patterson, an Elvis impersonator from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, will perform two shows, each with a completely different playlist of songs and both with "his Vegas showgirl" Julie, who'll be "packing her feathers and finery."
The entertainment lineup goes like this:
8 p.m., Dean Martin tribute with Bob Morelli, Pittsburgh's own Dino impersonator;
9 p.m., Elvis and his Vegas showgirl;
10 p.m., Cher tribute;
11 p.m., Elvis and his Vegas showgirl.
Midnight, Frank Sinatra tribute.
"There are two Elvis shows so if you can't be there for the early show, come for the late show at 11 p.m. This event will be going on until well after midnight," notes a publicity e-mail sent by Scott Dressel, president of the Grand Theater Restoration Project.
In a recent interview, Carinci and Billy Petrella, a member of the event committee along with Donna Keagler and Dressel, explained that there will be a cigar bar on the patio, and "We are having real Las Vegas gambling, and it's for money, not prizes," said Petrella.
There will be professional male and female dealers courtesy of the Bikini Bar in Chester, Carinci added.
"We're trying to push the card with this event," Carinci said.
"This is going to be a spectacular event, over the top, something we're bringing to Steubenville because people always say there's no entertainment here, and this is probably one of the biggest events we've ever had downtown," Carinci said.
Carinci said the showgirl is bringing her Vegas stage costume, head dress and all.
"That in itself will be cool to see," she said.
Patrons can have their photos taken with Elvis for a donation, and there will be a keepsake CD of candid photos available for a $20 donation, courtesy of Kristy Seditz. Money from pre-sales of it will benefit the Grand also.
All those attending will be eligible for free giveaways.
"It's going to be cool stuff," said Carinci of a Marilyn Monroe tote bag "full of Marilyn stuff," including a robe with her face embroidered on the back, and also a Dean Martin bag. "There will be giveaways through the night of free Las Vegas type things," she said.
General admission tickets are $50, which includes all five shows, food and access to the gambling tables.
In addition, there are about 25 VIP tickets for $150 each, which include all of the above plus front row seating for the shows, beverages, complimentary champagne at the shows and access to the high rollers room on the lower level.
Tickets are available in advance at several locations, including Two Brothers Dry Cleaners, Froehlich's Classic Corner, Tri State Financial, Carinci's Law Office and Village Sleep Center in Steubenville and the Center of Music and Art in Wintersville.
For information, call (740) 284-8008.
Tickets also can be ordered online using the paypal donation button on the website www.historicsteubenville.org
Carinci said the Elvis impersonator and showgirl heard about the Grand Theater restoration project through a Facebook link, "and they were interested in this."
"They are super excited about coming for this," Petrella added.
"They think the project is wonderful, and they want to see the Grand Theater," Carinci said. "They are very big theater people, and somehow they got a link about this."
Proceeds from this fundraiser are earmarked for plumbing for the theater, because in order to have an event there, functional restrooms are a must.
"That's why we need to get plumbing," Petrella said.
The lobby restoration is finished, complete with crown molding, paint and carpeting.
"The lobby is gorgeous," Carinci said. "The furnace and gas line are done, and everything we've set out to do, we've done," she added.
"We have come amazingly far," she said. "The lobby is done, and it looks beautiful."
Petrella said roof work is about 75 percent completed on the adjoining building recently donated.
"A lot of people have questioned why we took on a second building. The reason why is it has an elevator," Carinci said.
The two said repairing the roof is by far cheaper than the expense of an elevator and digging an elevator shaft. Having an elevator is essential to the project moving forward.
While progress is being made, a restoration effort takes time and money, according to the two.
"Restoration is preserving a part of the history of this town," Carinci said.
"We're preserving a part of our heritage."