REINDEER TO REPRISE TRIBUTE TO CONNIE FRANCIS, STARRING KRISTA JOHNSON

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July, 2015

In September of 1994, Reindeer Theatre Company presented Among My Souvenirs, a musical tribute to America’s sweetheart, Connie Francis, at the Warren Memorial Library Auditorium in Westbrook.

“It was one of the most moving and sentimental shows Reindeer ever staged,” said Louis Philippe, Reindeer’s Artistic Director who created the multi-media show. “With a line-up of crazy popular Connie Francis hits performed live, interspersed with a narration of her life, career and personal struggles, along with nostalgic images of the star, audiences were completely captivated and enthralled to re-live powerful memories of the late 50s and 60s.

The star of that show was Kammy Marcotte, a very talented local singer. “I can recall how the shows would end and nobody wanted to leave,” Philippe remarked. “Ever since the show closed 11 years ago, people have been asking about it and I’ve always dreamed of bringing it back to life…but I never found the right singer.

(20 years later) Enter: Krista Johnson of Westbrook who began singing with the St. Anthony’s Church choir which Philippe directed. “She came to the choir a little meek but clearly she had strong vocal skills and an immense passion to perform,” Philippe said. “After a couple of months, Krista began doing more solos and one day in the middle of Mass it hit me: THAT’s the perfect voice to re-create Connie Francis.”

Johnson jumped at the opportunity. “Finally, I was given an opportunity to share my gift,” the enthusiastic singer shared.

“But I had never heard of Connie Francis before,” Krista admitted. “So I rushed home and devoured every YouTube video I could, read every article I could find, and immediately downloaded 20 of her songs. Now, I feel honored to be singing her greatest hits. I love her schmaltzy style, her smooth voice that is so effortless,” she said.

“There are many songs I emotionally connect with,” Krista noted, “many lyrics that bring me to different times and experiences in my life, and sometimes I get carried away while singing Connie’s songs.  Just recently my husband pointed out a few songs he felt “were written for me to sing.”

Those songs are what made Connie Francis the top-charting female artist of the late 50s and early 60s, an international recording star, a television and movie star and a top concert draw. Her hits include: “Who’s Sorry Now, V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, Where The Boys Are, Lipstick On Your Collar, Stupid Cupid, A Second Hand Love, Follow The Boys” and many others that will be performed in Among My Souvenirs.

Reindeer’s goal is to have another creative property that is mobile and can be easily reconfigured and presented in various formats—as a dinner-theater show, a concert tribute, private functions, senior groups, nursing care facilities, etc. A similar Reindeer show Philippe created in 2012, Forever Frank, a tribute to Frank Sinatra, continues to entertain audiences in various formats.

The public debut of the reprise of Among My Souvenirs is Friday, August 21st, 7:30 PM at the Westbrook Eagles, 89 Saco St., Westbrook. Seating is limited and reservations are required. General Admission is $15, $12 for Seniors. FMI & Reservations, call Reindeer at 857-9002.

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One Response to “REINDEER TO REPRISE TRIBUTE TO CONNIE FRANCIS, STARRING KRISTA JOHNSON”

  1. Jean Pearson Says:

    My favorite singer while growing up was Connie Francis. I bought every record she made & still have many of them. I cannot wait to hear Krista sing the tunes that I grew up with.

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