Archive for Connie Francis

By Popular Demand, “CONNIE FRANCIS SHOW” Returns To Franco Center

Posted in Hot Off The Press with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2017 by Ringer

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Thanksgiving Weekend 2017

Back by popular demand, “The Connie Francis Show,” as it is often referred to, is coming back to the Gendron Franco Center for the third year in row.

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS, Louis Philippe’s musical tribute to America’s sweetheart, will be center stage for one show only, a 2 PM Matinee on Sunday, November 26th when the widely-popular, infectious and sentimental hits of Connie Francis will once again fill the air.

With the same original cast that sold out the Center’s 400-seat Performance Hall in 2015, AMONG MY SOUVENIRS features the dreamy, bouncy, trademark Connie Francis hits that are embedded in the hearts of America’s teen culture from the 50s and 60s:  Who’s Sorry Now, Where The Boys Are, V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, Lipstick On Your Collar, I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter, Stupid Cupid, Follow The Boys, Among My Souvenirs and many more.

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS is a multi-media presentation created in 1994 by Louis Philippe’s Reindeer Theatre Company in Westbrook. The songs are performed live (singing along is encouraged), while nostalgic images are projected on big-screen, and a narration of the star’s life, career and personal struggles provides more sentimental trivia and interesting biographical history.

 “This is a chance to reminisce and re-connect with friends and re-live some powerful memories of the late 50s and 60s.  It is truly one of the most moving and fun shows Reindeer Theatre Company ever staged” said Philippe.

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS will also include a few French songs which Philippe discovered in the singer’s well-noted portfolio of foreign recordings in Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, German and Irish.

Krista LeBeau Johnson of Westbrook has been the star of the show since it was reincarnated in 2013.  “Krista has an incredible appealing stage persona much like Connie’s and she easily captures the iconic Francis trademarks—her powerful and mesmerizing vocal delivery of infectious pop melodies and schmaltzy lyrics that all combine for a supreme night of nostalgia,” Philippe stated.

In addition to Music Director Philippe on piano, the back-up combo includes Bruce LeBeau of Westbrook on bass, Marc Mailhot of Westbrook on drums, Tom O’Donnell of Farmington on guitar (the original guitarist from the 1994 revue).  Narration is handled by Maureen Knott LeBeau of Westbrook.

The touring production has been hosted by public venues, service organizations, non-profit groups, and church and hospital fundraisers.  “We’re always open to bringing the show to more venues, particularly for worthy fundraising events,” Philippe said.  Interested individuals or groups can call 207-857-9002.

The Gendron Franco Center is located at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston.  All seats are $18, reserved, and can be obtained by calling the Box Office at 207 689-2000, or visiting www.francocenter.org online.

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Reindeer Presents Summertime Tribute to Connie Francis

Posted in Hot Off The Press with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2016 by Ringer

KristaConnie3August 2016

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS—Reindeer Group’s summertime tribute to America’s Sweetheart, Connie Francis—comes to the McAuley Performing Arts Center on Sunday, August 7th at 2 PM, for a concert to benefit Mercy Hospital’s employee assistance fund, “Angels Among Us.”

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS was originally presented by Reindeer Theatre Company at the Warren Memorial Library in 1994.  Last year, Music Director Louis Philippe who created the nostalgic multi-media tribute, revived the show in 2015, this time starring popular Westbrook-Windham singer Krista LeBeau Johnson.  The response to a series of local shows was tremendous, ending with a historic sell-out performance at the Franco Center in Lewiston.

“Krista is a ringer for Connie Francis,” said Philippe, who “discovered” the singer in the choir at St. Anthony Church in Westbrook.  “She captures all the smooth, powerful and schmaltzy elements of Connie’s iconic parade of hits that dominated the pop charts of the late 50s and 60s and still produce tons of memories and fun today.”

Among Connie Francis’ signature songs featured in the show:  My Happiness, Stupid Cupid, Don’t Break The Heart that Loves You So, VACATION, Frankie, Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool, Who’s Sorry Now, Follow The Boys, Lipstick On Your Collar and more.  “Who can sit through highlights of Connie’s life story and not get a rush of wholesome goosebumps when they hear ‘Where The Boys Are’ or ‘Among My Souvenirs?’” Philippe noted.

Backing Miss Johnson will be the Connie Francis quartet with Music Director Louis Philippe on keyboards; Tom O’Donnell, a member of the original 1994 pit, on guitar; Bruce LeBeau on bass, and Marc Mailhot on drums.

The cast also includes Maureen Knott LeBeau who narrates highlights of Connie Francis’ life, career and personal struggles.  An entertaining visual backdrop provides iconic images and nostalgic videos that add to the show’s emotional and sentimental appeal.

McAuley Performing Arts Center is located at 631 Stevens Ave., Portland.  General seating admission is $15/advance, $20/day of the show.  For tickets and reservations, call Reindeer Group at 207 857 9002 or email reindeer@maine.rr.com.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the ANGELS AMONG US Fund, an emergency relief fund that provides financial assistance to Mercy Hospital employees during times of unusual hardship.

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“FRANCO CENTER PRESENTS TRIBUTE TO ‘AMERICA’S SWEETHEART’ CONNIE FRANCIS”

Posted in Recent Press Releases with tags , , , , , , on November 3, 2015 by Ringer

Connie3   Krista1

November 2015

The widely-popular, infectious and sentimental hits of Connie Francis will be center stage on Saturday, November 28th at 7:30 PM, when The Franco Center presents AMONG MY SOUVENIRS, Louis Philippe’s musical tribute to America’s sweetheart.

“It was one of the most moving and fun shows Reindeer Theatre Company ever staged,” said Louis Philippe, of the multi-media show he created in 1994—and has wanted to present since. “With a line-up of those dreamy, bouncy, trademark 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 some powerful memories of the late 50s and 60s.

The star of the show is Krista Johnson of Westbrook, who sang in a church choir that Philippe directed. “With such a strong commanding voice, a commercial appeal and a graceful and confident stage persona, she had all the ingredients to make this stage tribute successful,” Philippe said. “So I told her about the show 20 years prior and asked if she’d like to reprise it.”

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, so I rushed home and devoured every YouTube video and every article I could find online, 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.”

The 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 more.

The musicians will include Philippe, Music Director, on piano, Bruce LeBeau on bass, Marc Mailhot on drums and Tom O’Donnell on guitar (the original guitarist from the 1994 show).

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS is being presented in the Franco Center’s Heritage Hall. Doors will open at 6:30 PM with a cash bar and an open concession counter. Tickets are $15 and can be obtained by calling 207 689-2000.

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REINDEER TO REPRISE TRIBUTE TO CONNIE FRANCIS, STARRING KRISTA JOHNSON

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , on July 26, 2015 by Ringer

Connie3Krista1

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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