Archive for Reindeer Theatre Company

“The Connie Francis Show” Returns To The Franco Center for 4th Year

Posted in Hot Off The Press with tags , , , , , on October 25, 2018 by Ringer

 

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November 2018

It was September of 1994 when Reindeer Theatre Company presented its debut performance of AMONG MY SOUVENIRS, a tribute to legendary princess of pop, Connie Francis, in the upstairs auditorium of the Warren Memorial Library in Westbrook.

It was a show that was a long-time in the making, a jukebox musical created by Louis Philippe, RTC Artistic Director, that heralded the journey, accomplishments and challenges of “America’s Sweetheart.” Tidbits of her childhood and career were narrated, while the audience strolled down memory lane watching nostalgic images and listening—and singing along—to some of her timeless hits.

“My most vivid memory of AMONG MY SOUVENIRS was that at the end of the show, nobody wanted to move,” recalled Philippe.  “It’s as if the audience—some teary-eyed and overwhelmed with sentiment— had been transported to a period of time when life was simple, easy, carefree…and they did not want the show to end.”

The show was a remarkable success for its limited, grassroots, run, Philippe said, but it wasn’t until 2015 when “The Connie Francis Show”—as many affectionately refer to it as—was resurrected.

Philippe had been wanting to bring AMONG MY SOUVENIRS back to life and was inspired to do so when he heard the voice of Krista Lebeau Johnson singing in the choir he had been directing at St. Anthony of Padua in Westbrook. “I recall Krista’s voice reminding me of someone and during Communion one Sunday I got a big-time revelation.  While she had no clue who Connie Francis was, she jumped at the chance to sing in a show and within days rehearsals had commenced.”

After 21 years, AMONG MY SOUVENIRS 2.0  was rolled out at the Westbrook Eagles on August 21, 2015, before a full house of family, friends and Connie Francis fans.  “A power point presentation replaced the slide carousel and the script was revised, but Krista and the 4-piece ‘Connie Combo’ successfully recreated some powerful, emotional musical memories of the late 50s and 60s.”

The Franco Center in Lewiston took a chance and booked the show in November of 2015, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Ticket sales were higher than anticipated and the show was moved to the main performance hall upstairs.  That event sold out with 426 attendees, so by popular demand, the Center brought back the show in November of 2016…and 2017…and now 2018.

“It’s almost like one of those cult musicals like Rocky Horror or Mama Mia where everybody goes and sings along, reminisces, reconnects and has a predictably very fun time,” Philippe said.

Among the songs one can expect to enjoy: “Among My Souvenirs, Where The Boys Are, V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, Frankie, Lipstick On Your Collar, Guess My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own, Who’s Sorry Now, I’ll Follow The Boys, Stupid Cupid” and more.  Plus for this performance only, the audience will be treated to a special “Connie Christmas Sing-along.”

In addition to Miss Johnson as the featured singer, the “Connie Combo” includes Philippe as Music Director on piano, Tom O’Donnell on guitar (a member of the original 1994 cast), Jimmy McGirr on bass and Joe Napoleone on drums.

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS (The Connie Francis Show) will be at the Gendron Franco Center, 46 Cedar St., Lewiston, for one show only on Sunday, November 18th at 2 PM.  Doors will open at 1 PM with a cash bar. For tix and info, call the Box Office at (207) 689-2000 or visit  www.francocenter.org.

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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 THEATRE ANNOUNCES SUMMER SINATRA DINNER-DANCE EVENTS

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , on June 13, 2012 by Ringer

Reindeer Theatre Company today released its dates for its summer tour of “FOREVER, FRANK” dinner-theater fundraising show that celebrates the music of Frank Sinatra.

Join your host Louis Philippe and his cast of talented young singers—Andrew Silver, Nathan Sipe and Dylan Turner—as they present an array of signature Sinatra hits that will get their audience dancing, singing and swooning up a swinging storm.

FOREVER, FRANK is a fun interactive dinner-theater experience that not only features those classic Frank tunes, but some of Frank’s favorite Italian dishes served up by Luigi’s Famous Pasta Bar—who promises nobody will go home hungry.

The FOREVER, FRANK itinerary includes:

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 6 PM—St. Patrick’s Church Hall, Portland, to benefit St. Brigid’s School.

FRIDAY, JULY 20, 6 PM—St. Anthony’s Parish Hall, Westbrook, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 6 PM—St. Pius X Church Hall, Portland, to benefit St. Brigid’s School.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 6 PM—American Legion, Dunn Street, Westbrook, 7:30 PM (show only), to benefit Reindeer’s Alternative Music Program.

Tickets are $15.  Seating is limited.  Reservations are highly suggested, and dancing and audience participation will be extremely encouraged.

For tickets and information, call 857-9002 or visit http://www.reindeergroup.org.

“REINDEER STAGES ITS FINAL SHOW AT WARREN LIBRARY”

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , , , on November 29, 2008 by Ringer
November 29, 2008
ATTN:  A & E / Lifestyles / Listings /Assignment Editors
“REINDEER STAGES ITS FINAL SHOW AT WARREN LIBRARY”
*****     for immediate release     *****

Reindeer Theatre Company will be presenting its very last show at the Warren Memorial Library Auditorium, “Goodnight Reindeer!” for two weekends in December.
Goodnight Reindeer! is a musical variety Christmas show with songs and skits performed by some of the young actors who have been part of Reindeer shows the past three years.
Show dates are December 12, 13 & 14 and 19, 20 & 21.  Fridays and Saturdays are at 7 PM, and Sundays are 2 PM Matinees.
Tickets are $10 for Adults and $5 for Children under 18 and Seniors. FMI, 857-9002.
The Warren Memorial Library Auditorium is located at 479 Main St., Westbrook.  Recently, the Library’s Board of Directors announced its search for a single tenant who can pay market rate as well as its consideration of turning the performing space into office space. 

The future plans for RTC is not known.

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“AMERICAN IDLE Comes To Westbrook”

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , , on April 23, 2008 by Ringer

April 23, 2008

Father Frenchie CDs
Cast of American Idle

AMERICAN IDLE Comes To Westbrook

***** for immediate release *****

No, it’s not a typo, though this AMERICAN IDLE is a reality show, just not the same one that involves singing and a British judge.

This AMERICAN IDLE is a family comedy being staged by Reindeer Theatre Company the first three weekends of May at the Warren Memorial Library Auditorium, 479 Main St., downtown Westbrook.

Written by Craig Sodaro, the story focuses on Dr. Bruno Slacker, a clinical psychologist who concocts a plan to make lots of money with a wacky challenge…on his own reality television show.  The show is loaded with colorful characters who provide fun moments for all ages.

Reindeer’s IDLE features an array of local “veterans” and newcomers alike:  Sophie Braun-McGovern of Scarborough, Justin Cedrone of Portland, Josh Cohen of Scarborough, Alex Cottrell of Westbrook, Nicole Gile of Gorham, Kiara Tringali of Windham, Acy Jackson of Portland, Andrea Kostovick of Scarborough, Brian and Robert Lawson of Westbrook, Brock, Cassidy and Vance Leighton of Westbrook, Jesse Lupica-Nowlin of Portland, Jessica Merrill of Windham, Merrill Porterfield of Scarborough, Matt Rairdon of Westbrook and Andrew Silver of Westbrook.

Directed by Ellen & Mark Munson and Louis Philippe, AMERICAN IDLE runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 2 – May 18.  Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 PM and Sunday Matinees are at 2 PM.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children under 18 and seniors.  FMI, call 857-9002.

 

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“Reindeer Stages AMERICAN IDLE”

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , on April 7, 2008 by Ringer

April 7, 2008

Reindeer Stages AMERICAN IDLE

***** for immediate release *****

Reindeer Theatre Company is presenting AMERICAN IDLE the first three weekends of May at the Warren Memorial Library Auditorium, 479 Main St., downtown Westbrook.

Not to be confused with TV’s American Idol, RTC’s American Idle will showcase the acting talents of 18 area young individuals in this comedy written by Craig Sodaro.

The story focuses on Dr. Bruno Slacker who has been trying to find his way to Easy Street all his young life. Having pursued one harebrained scheme after another to get rich quick, he’s finally hit on a scheme he’s sure will work. Claiming Americans work and worry too much, Bruno claims (on national television, no less!) that if they’d only become idle, they’d live longer. To prove his point, he invites eight ambitious contestants to spend a week in “Idle House,” his version of a reality television show.

Any subjects who can last the week will split a million dollar prize. Unfortunately, Bruno doesn’t have a million dollars, his mother is trying to undermine his project, and his subjects can’t quite leave the real world behind them—sneaking boyfriends, assistants and partners into the picture to complicate his experiment. By the time the wacky challenge reaches its conclusion, only one surprising subject is left standing!

Reindeer’s cast of American Idle features an array of local “veterans” and newcomers alike:  Sophie Braun-McGovern of Scarborough, Justin Cedrone of Portland, Josh Cohen of Scarborough, Alex Cottrell of Westbrook, Nicole Gile of Gorham, Kiara Tringali of Windham, Acy Jackson of Portland, Andrea Kostovick of Scarborough, Brian and Robert Lawson of Westbrook, Brock, Cassidy and Vance Leighton of Westbrook, Jessica Merrill of Windham, Merrill Porterfield of Scarborough, Matt Rairdon of Westbrook and Andrew Silver of Westbrook.

Directed by Ellen & Mark Munson and Louis Philippe, AMERICAN IDLE runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 2 – May 18.  Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 PM and Sunday Matinees are at 2 PM

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children under 18 and seniors.  FMI, call 857-9002

 

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