Archive for Reindeer

JUST ANOTHER DAY IN CLOWN TOWN – And How Was Your Day?

Posted in Hot Off The Press with tags , , on November 18, 2017 by Ringer

November 2017

I went to the Mall this morning.  I opened a door for a lady who accused me of sexual harassment and abuse for forcing my power as a man over her will and infringing on her rights.  Another woman was right behind her but so as not to offend her, I purposefully did not open the door for her.  She quipped, “Asshole, I guess chivalry is dead, what are you too weak to be nice to females twice in a row?”

I saw this very cute baby in a stroller while on line at the food court. I told the mother “what an adorable child.”  She told me “You best be mindin’ your own business, you pedophile, or you get me screamin’ for a cop.”

I saw a display in a restaurant window offering complete homemade Thanksgiving dinners-to-go for $89, heated, packaged and ready to serve.  I popped in and told the cashier, “What a great idea!” One short, shabby-clad obese lady on her way out interrupted, “You think it’s a great idea to glorify them damn pilgrims killing all them Indians and stealing their land?”  “No,” I replied, “I think it’s a great idea if short people stay away from the buffet.”  At least the cashier enjoyed it.

I decide to support the establishment and have breakfast there and read the newspaper:  “Sex Crimes By Moore, Trump Punishable By Death; Franken Forgiven” headed the story of the U.S. Senate introducing a bill to make any sexual indiscretions—true, alleged or imagined—a capital crime if committed by Republicans.  Experts stated “After all, they have a higher moral standard and should know better.  Democrats don’t know better due to decades of environmental conditioning but will face investigation by the Ethics Commission.”

More Headlines:  “Referendum Effort Underway To Allow Marijuana Vending Sales In Public Schools;”  “Illegal Immigrants Sue State For Ending Food Benefits”—claiming they are still entitled to free money even though the State ended the program because it ran out of funding; “Local High Schooler Suspended For Asking Fellow Asian Student His Nationality;” “Gorham Car Dealer Faces No Consequences For Stealing Customer’s Money And Not Delivering Car”—Dealer Owner David McGovern II evades authorities for years, leaving customers, Maine District Court, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Maine’s Attorney General powerless victims; “Non-Profits Requesting Audit of CYLNK Redemption Service”—after realizing their bottle refunds from fundraising efforts are lower than anticipated, possible skimming suspected;  “South Portland City Council To Consider Sharia Law.”

I decided to go to church.  I prayed that young black men find mercy, discernment and positive opportunities.  The priest told me I was being racist.  The 3rd collection was for Planned Parenthood; I didn’t give any money. The 4th collection was for a LGBTQ mission group; I didn’t give any money.  The 5th collection was for a gubernatorial candidate’s campaign; I didn’t give any money.  On my way out, the usher pulled me aside and said, “You’re either a bad Catholic or one cheap bastard.”  “And with your spirit,” I retorted.

 “Clown Town,” I thought to myself while driving home, reflecting on the lyrics of a song by a great award-winning songwriter named Gladys Shelley.  What were the chances that I would get an incredible opportunity to meet her when I moved to NYC in 1979, and that she would become my friend and mentor?  She often invited me to Sunday dinner at her Fifth Avenue apartment that she shared with her five chihauhaus.  As fate would have it, because I was thin and quick to cross through Central Park, she nicknamed me “Reindeer,” which I later adopted as the name of my company.

This amazing lady, who owned Palisades Park, was almost 70 years old then, but so full of life and creative energy.  Sometimes she’d call me with short notice and tell me her limo driver was going to pick me up and that we were going to some popular cabaret to listen to some singer who was showcasing some of her material.  Over the years she’d give me sheet music for me to learn and would put me in a studio to do demos of her songs…what a thrill!  And of course she was in the audience when I proudly presented some of her songs in my very own showcase at Palsson’s.  But my most special Gladys Shelley milestone is a single release of her song “My World Is You” translated in French by my mother for the dual-language release “Ma Vie C’est Toi.”  We were all so proud.

When I got home, I was welcomed with unconditional love by my energetic little girl patiently waiting for Daddy to take her for a w-a-l-k.  While we walked, I reflected on my crazy day and an ever-deteriorating crazy world—as Gladys would say, “Clown Town.”

 “Thank you, Heavenly Father,” I profoundly adulated, “for this crazy day, for the plate I was given, for making me who I am, for your countless miracles and gifts.”  “You’re welcome, my Son,” He said, “Keep up the good work and know that I am always with you.”

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–Louis Philippe

 

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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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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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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 LAUNCHES NEW STATEWIDE COMPETITION FOR YOUNG DJs

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by Ringer

May 11, 2012

REINDEER LAUNCHES NEW STATEWIDE COMPETITION FOR YOUNG DJs

Reindeer Records—creators of The Rock-Off and The Off-Ramp competitions—are launching another unique and exciting competition, this one for young DJs across Maine.

The Reindeer Spin-Off is an opportunity for young DJs under the age of 21 to show their creative deejay skills and stage personality while being able to rock a crowd with some great music.

The Spin-Off kicks off with a summer pilot series at Club Texas in Auburn.  Showcase dates are Sunday July 22 and Sunday July 29, with the Finals set for Sunday, August 19.  Additional showcase dates are possible depending on demand.

Each Showcase will feature up to 8 artists who will be evaluated by a celebrity panel who will apply the same criteria used in similar events in major cities nationwide—Music, Technique, Image, Stage Presence and Audience Appeal.

The deadline for interested DJs to sign up is Sunday June 10.  FMI – contact Reindeer at 857-9002 or events@reindeergroup.org, or visit www.reindeergroup.org.

The Spin-Off is designed to raise money and awareness for Reindeer’s Alternative Music Program (RAMP) and its efforts to create and implement an accredited music program for Maine’s Alternative Education students.

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THE RESISTANCE WINS REINDEER’S OFF-RAMP:EXIT 27 COMPETITION

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2012 by Ringer

May 6, 2012

THE RESISTANCE IS “BEST YOUNG BAND IN MAINE”

The Resistance, a neo-classic style alternative/hard rock quartet from the Waterville area, took the honors of “Best Young Band in the State of Maine” in Reindeer Records’ statewide Off-Ramp: Exit 27 high school band competition.

Since last November, The Resistance was one of three bands that faced unique music industry-based tasks that were evaluated for certain criteria by various panels of judges.  The tasks included Songwriting (this year’s theme was “Second Chances”), The Recording Studio Experience, Marketing, Live Event Production and Music Video Production.

The Resistance represented Maine Central Institute, Erskine Academy, Warsaw Middle School and Edward Little High School and featured Sierra Carey on lead vocals, Jerad Smith on lead and rhythm guitar, Jessica Smith on drums and Patrick Buzza on bass.

“The Resistance did consistently well on all the tasks,” said Off-Ramp Executive Producer and Reindeer Group President Louis Philippe.  “Not only are the musicians talented, but the band leadership is very defined, their goals and passion are very clear, and they embrace challenge and responsibility in a role-model way…that’s a recipe for success,” Philippe added.

“When we first saw this band in last year’s competition, they were a soft-spoken shy band from up North that was right out of the box for the first time.  Today, they proved they are serious about their music and professionally-focused with a tremendous attitude.  Plus, they’re great kids, they truly deserved to win,” Philippe noted.

The results were announced Sunday in a video broadcast on Reindeer’s website, www.reindeergroup.org, which also includes music and videos from all of this year’s participants and critique sessions for fans who were following the bands on their journeys.

Other contenders included Last Man In Space from Mount Blue High School and Saint Monday from South Portland High School (which had been recently disqualified).

In addition to the title, The Resistance won some cash, as did some of the other participating musicians.  “Rather than give one winning band a huge lump sum, we reconfigured the prize money to reward all the bands for their commitment, hard work, and superb effort,” explained Philippe.

The Off-Ramp is designed to raise money and awareness for RAMP (Reindeer’s Alternative Music Program) and the larger goal to create, produce and implement an accredited music curriculum for Maine’s Alternative Education outlets.  More info can be found on Reindeer’s website.

Early registration for next year’s competition, The Off-Ramp: Exit 28, will begin in August—but it’s never too early for potentially interested bands to sign up.

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