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Franco Center debuts Comedy Nights

The Franco-American Heritage Center is trying something new this season by presenting three nights of stand-up comedy. The first show in the series will take place on Friday, November 16 with Rob Steen, a Boston comedian who has appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” topping the bill.

Each comedy night will feature performances by three comedians. In addition to the headline set by Steen, the November 16 show will include warm-up sets by Steve Guilmette of New Hampshire, who has performed at the Boston Comedy Festival, and Maine’s Chuck Grover, a recent runner-up in a contest seeking Portland’s funniest comic.

“This is new for us, but I think it will work,” said Franco Center executive director Louis Morin. “We’re trying it as a first step in our efforts to make the Franco Center a more vibrant place for younger audiences.”

But not too young: the comedy shows are limited to audiences ages 21 and over. The shows, which will take place in the Franco Center’s downstairs Heritage Hall, will begin at 8 p.m., but the doors will open at 7 p.m. so patrons may avail themselves of the Hall’s cash bar before the first comic hits the stage.

“It’s a fact that, to a certain degree, there’s a proportional relationship between the humor quotient of any comedy performance and the beer intake,” said Morin, illustrating his point by drawing an upward sloping line graph—with the vertical axis labeled “humor” and the horizontal axis labeled “beer”—on a nearby bar napkin.

Tickets for all comedy shows are $10 in advance and may be purchased at the Franco Center box office, online at FrancoCenter.org, or by phone at 689-2000. The other two comedy nights will take place on January 25 with Tom Hayes, Jay Grove and Tammy Pooler and on April 12 with Mike Koutrobis, Jody Sloane and Pat Napoli.

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