Vandergrift’s Casino Theatre hosts annual holiday extravaganza |
Valley News Dispatch

Vandergrift’s Casino Theatre hosts annual holiday extravaganza

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Courtesy of Patti Donghia-Albert
“Hometown Christmas 2019: Counting Down to Christmas" is Dec. 6-8 at the Casino Theatre in Vandergrift. Pictured are (back row) Hope Albert, Jordan Zellers and (front) Michaela Whaley, Mrs. Claus, Santa Claus, and Kate Myers. Sitting on Santa’s lap is Emerson Celo. The dog is Baxter Albert.
Courtesy of Patti Donghia-Albert
“Hometown Christmas 2019: Counting Down to Christmas” is Dec. 6-8 at the Casino Theatre in Vandergrift. Hannah Crosby (left) and Kaylie Smith are in the show.

Get in the holiday spirit at “Hometown Christmas 2019: Counting Down to Christmas.”

This 24th annual event will feature songs that exude happy feelings this time of the year. There are three performances at the Casino Theatre in Vandergrift. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8.

“Each year the show is different,” says show director Patti Donghia-Albert. “We do a variety of songs. We hope to be a part of everyone’s holiday.”

She says there will be plenty of music sung by a choir and other tunes performed by soloists from the 1940s to today.

One of the favorites is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” And, of course, no holiday concert would be complete without Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. When they enter, guests will recognize “A Song of Santa,” which features 10 familiar Christmas songs, including “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

“The performances showcase good, local talent,” says Donghia- Albert of Washington Township. “We have performers of all ages from 5 to those in their 70s. They’ve been rehearsing for weeks.”

There are 27 adults and 27 children in the show. Accompanying the performers will be 14 orchestra members, as well as a stage crew. It takes 90-100 people, all who volunteer, to put on such an event.

These people want to be involved in this show to help raise money for the restoration of the theater. The place is currently adding an extension to the lobby. They’ve raised more than $250,000, Donghia-Albert says.

One of the unique performers will be Baxter, Donghia-Albert’s dog. The canine, a registered therapy dog, gives an added twist to the show, she says, which enhances the performance. This will be the third year the Saint Berdoodle is part of the event.

“This is not a musical, but there will be singing and dancing,” says Donghia-Albert. “It’s more like a holiday extravaganza with dancing, and singing, skits and some reflection.”

Tickets are $17 and $10.

Details: 724-567-5049 or

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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