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Comedy night returns to Franco Center

Comedian Tom Hayes

On Friday, January 25, a trio of New England comedians will take the stage for the second of three comedy nights presented this season by the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston. Performing at the event will be Tom Hayes of Boston, Jay Grove of Concord, New Hampshire and Portland’s own Tammy Pooler. Doors for the 8 p.m. program will open at 7:00. A cash bar will be available.

Hayes, who remains physically active despite losing a leg to cancer at age 12, has the appearance of a man more likely to help someone prepare their tax returns than to make them laugh. When he’s not performing at comedy clubs throughout the northeast, he works as a motivational speaker. His motto in life is: “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

One of nine children in his family, Jay Grove calls himself the Granite Gun. An imposing figure, he describes his ethnicity as half African-American and half French-Canadian, a mixed heritage he draws upon in his act.

Pooler was recently named by the Portland Phoenix as “Portland’s Best Emerging Comedic Artist.” Note the absence of the word “female” in the name of the award. Just as Hayes gets a lot of mileage out of the fact that he looks like an accountant, Pooler’s comedy is aided by her appearance as a pretty, innocent blonde, rendering the jagged edges of her humor a bit sharper.

“Tammy’s jokes stand alone on their merits,” says Franco Center executive director Louis Morin. “But the fact that they’re uttered by someone who looks like she could be your little sister somehow makes them funnier.”

Morin says the success of the first comedy night at the Franco Center back in November was a good sign that there might be an audience for comedy on a regular basis. “We’re hoping to build on the momentum we generated the first time, which was a big success for us,” says Morin. “We weren’t sure if it was going to fly, so we only booked three comedy nights this season to test the waters. But if this one pulls in a similar audience, we’ll probably make it a regular monthly thing next year.”

Tickets for this 21+ show are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and are available anytime by phone at 689-2000 or online at francocenter.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Franco Center box office Monday through Friday between noon and 4 p.m.

 

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