Christopher Eisenberg got his start on stage playing a young Michael Jackson in the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s revue “Soul Crooners” when he was 8 years old. Now he’s singing the music of Frank Sinatra in a one-person show he is creating in the latest phase of his varied performing career.
Eisenberg stars in “Frank & Me,” in which he’ll sing such favorites as “Fly Me to the Moon,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “You Make Me Feel So Young” and others.
Growing up, the music of Sinatra has always been there, even as he pursued a career in theater and as a rapper and R&B singer. In 2010, at the age of 12, he competed on “America’s Got Talent.”
“My grandmother passed away a few months before I was born and there was nobody bigger for her than Frank Sinatra,” he said. “I wanted to connect with her even though I couldn’t meet her. I learned about her fascination in his music, his swagger. For some reason, I always felt that he’s the man I wanted to be. There’s a hint of the bad boy, but also chivalry, someone you could bring home to mom.”
Performances at 7:30 p.m. March 26 and 27 sold out quickly. A third show has been added at 7:30 p.m. April 4. Tickets are $25-$100. For more information: 941-366-1505; westcoastblacktheatre.org
The performances come just days before the release of his first solo studio single, “Too Many to Count,” an R&B song recorded under his stage name Chris Louis. He wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered the song as part of his new solo contract with Range Music. The music and video are due to be released March 31.
In 2019 he was signed by RCA Records as part of Next Town Down, a group of five singers performing music “to get people on the dance floor all night.” But COVID got in the way of the group’s development. “We had great momentum and it just stopped,” he said.
Eisenberg moved back home to Sarasota, performed with WBTT at the National Black Theatre Festival last summer and has been working on his own music and his Sinatra show.
He credits WBTT founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs with being “a big inspiration during quarantine. He said every artist should have a one-person show ready to go. So that really led to the creation of this show.”
Now 25, Eisenberg said he connects to Sinatra’s lyrics more as he ages. “He had the most amazing ballads, where you could relate to the heartbreak, or the mature love or the young love. I picked all the songs I’m doing because I connect with them personally in my life.”
For ticket information: 941-366-1505; westcoastblacktheatre.org