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This week’s edition!

Arts

Monmouth Community Players to present “Steel Magnolias”

The cast of Monmouth Community Players’ upcoming production of “Steel Magnolias” is (clockwise from the left) Kathleen Nation (Ouiser), Julie Poulin (Truvy), Emily Trefethen (Annelle), Jeanne Fletcher (Clairee), Colleen Mahan (M’Lynn), and Sabrina Yocono (Shelby).

The Monmouth Community Players will present Robert Harling’s critically acclaimed play, “Steel Magnolias,” from February 1 through 10 at the historic Cumston Hall in Monmouth. Centering on the lives of six southern ladies who gather at a small-town beauty parlor, the play is alternately hilarious and touching – and, in the end, deeply revealing of the strength and purposefulness which underlies the antic banter of its characters.

Truvy runs a salon out of her carport in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done. Assisted by her eager new apprentice Annelle, who may or may not be married, Truvy generously dispenses hairspray and pearls of wisdom to the ladies of the neighborhood. These include Ouiser, the town’s rich curmudgeon; Clairee, the former mayor’s wife who has a raging sweet tooth; M’Lynn, the local mental health professional who clashes regularly with her headstrong daughter, Shelby, who is about to marry a “good ole boy.”

The show is sponsored by Monmouth Federal Credit Union and directed by Adam P. Blais, who also serves as scenic designer. Emily Trefethen is the costume designer, Paula Masselli is the property designer, and Josie French is the stage manager. Original music will be composed by Mike French.

Cumston Hall is located at 796 Main Street in Monmouth. Performances will take place on Fridays and Saturdays, February 1, 2, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m.; and on Sundays, February 3 and 10 at 2 p.m. General seating tickets are $12/10. For more information, call (207) 514-4929 or see www.monmouthcommunityplayers.com.

 

Flamenco Vivo will present “La Pasion Flamenca” on Thursday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Lewiston Middle School, just one of the performances in a winter schedule by L/A Arts that is sure to heat up this season’s coldest nights. See story in the Digital Edition, page 10.

 

Rosenberg to direct “God of Carnage” at CLT

Richard A. Rosenberg (Photo by Rachel Morin)

Richard A. Rosenberg, noted director and actor in many plays at Community Little Theatre, will direct “God of Carnage” by Yasmina Reza with translation by Christopher Hampton.

Originally performed in France and London, it opened to rave reviews there, winning the Lawrence Olivier Award. On Broadway, it was a smash hit, winning three Tony Awards in 2009. The show will be produced February 8-17.

Rosenberg has been in rehearsal with his cast for the past month. He has selected veteran and seasoned actors well known to Community Little Theatre and other venues for this challenging play. He has cast Mark Hazard and Cheryl Reynolds to play Alan and Annette Raleigh, opposite Roger Philippon and Michelle Vasquez-Jacobus as Michael and Veronica Novak.

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“My Old Deere,” by Marvin Jacobs, is one of the works of painters Ardys Arlin and Jacobs will be on display at the Woman’s Hospital Association (WHA) Rotating Art Gallery through the remainder of December. The gallery is in the main lobby at Central Maine Medical Center. Artwork may be purchased through the Woman’s Hospital Association Gift Shop. A percentage of proceeds benefits CMMC.

 

LAVA Fest serves up holiday laughs

AudioBody

Come laugh this holiday season with the Lewiston-Auburn Variety Arts Festival, formerly Phyzgig North, now known as LAVA Fest. This wonderfully funny vaudeville troupe, which sold out three packed houses last year, makes three return appearance on December 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and on December 15 at 2 p.m. for a children’s matinee.

All three performances will take place at Bates College’s Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College Street in Lewiston. Tickets for the evening performances are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors; tickets for the matinee performance are $10 for adults and $8 for children under 14. To reserve tickets, call the L/A Arts box office at 782-7228 or see www.laarts.org.

LAVA Fest presents incredible illusions, captivating storytelling and side-splitting physical comedy featuring the talents of Leland Faulkner, Antonio Rocha, Karen Montanaro, Fred Garbo, “YoYo People” John and Rebecca Higby and Matt and Jason Tardy (a.k.a. “AudioBody”).

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Annual Christmas concert with Mitch Thomas and Friends

Mitch Thomas (Stacey Kane Photo)

You won’t want to miss “An Advent Afternoon of Christmas Music” with Mitch Thomas and Friends. The annual concert will take place on Saturday, December 22 at 2:30 p.m. at the Auburn United Methodist Church at 439 Park Avenue.

Thomas will perform several seasonal favorites, including some of his own compositions and arrangements.  The free event features several other local artists, including: Maddy Leslie, who just finished starring the Public Theatre’s A Christmas Carol; her sister, Mia-Angelina Leslie; Tiffany Warren, who was “Dorothy” in Community Little Theatre’s The Wiz; Nakesha (Kay) Myrick, Warren’s sister, who has appeared in and directs shows at CLT and her home church; and Lena Warren, Tiffany and Kay’s mother, who was “Auntie Em” in The Wiz.

Also performing are popular local singers, Kristen Thomas and Caroline Young Coffin; bassist, Jeff Munson; guitarist, Neil James; organists, Norma Rice-Gould and Jon Whitmore; and vocalists, Hayden and Elias Thomas.

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UU Theater presents “Ho Ho Holiday Drag Show”

Miss Jacinda, among others, will appear in the Ho Ho Holiday Drag Show.

UU Theater will present a “Ho Ho Holiday Drag Show” on Saturday, December 8 at 7 p.m. Christopher Dufour will host this seasonal extravaganza, featuring performances by Shaneeda Diet, Daveena, Jacinda, Miss Eon, Roxie Devoe and Mystyk. This buffet of beauties in fabulous frocks will bring the season to life with inspiring fun and holiday music.

Admission is $5. Proceeds will benefit the home of UU Theater, the First Universalist Church of Auburn. The church is located at 169 Pleasant Street (enter on Spring Street across from the Dairy Joy). Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Ample free parking is available and the building is accessible. For more information, call 783-0461 or see www.auburnuu.org.

 

Public Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” opens Friday

The Public Theatre’s acclaimed adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” plays for one weekend only, Dec. 7 through 9. Pictured here is Joel Leffert as Scrooge, with Maddy Leslie.

Lewiston-Auburn’s professional theater company, The Public Theatre, will present their acclaimed adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” for one weekend only on Friday, December 7 at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 8 at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday December 9 at 2 p.m.

The Public Theatre’s original adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale featuring six actors and a fiddler has become a favorite holiday tradition in Lewiston-Auburn. Tickets are $18 for adults and only $5 for children ages 18 and under. Gift certificates for tickets to this production, or any play scheduled throughout the remainder of the season, are also available. For tickets, call the box office at 782-3200 or visit www.thepublictheatre.org.

“A Christmas Carol” is sponsored by Twin City Times, Rent it, Agren Appliance, and the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society. Season underwriters are the Sun Journal, Platz Associates, Schooner Estates, Down East Magazine, Gleason Media Services and Austin Associates.

 

Annual Messiah Sing-along at Congregational Church

The Augusta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is excited to invite the community to its 10th Annual Messiah Sing-along, with performances taking place at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 14 at the High Street Congregational Church in Auburn and Saturday, December 15 at Hope Baptist Church in Manchester.

Handel’s Messiah was completed in 1741, with composition beginning on August 22 of that year and finishing a mere 24 days later on September 14. Despite its swift creation, only minor errors were found within the 259-page masterpiece.

Described as “a meditation of our Lord as Messiah in Christian thought and belief”, Messiah differs from many of Handel’s other oratorios in that the soloists do not take on dramatic roles, there is no single, dominant narrative voice and very little use is made of quoted speech. It is a musical tour de force that has stood the test of time by remaining internationally popular for 270 years, featuring “Comfort ye”, the “Hallelujah” chorus and the closing “Amen.”

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Franco Center restores granite buttresses

For at least the sixth time in 12 years, the Franco-American Heritage Center has scaffolding around a portion of its historic edifice as a local masonry company works to shore up three of the buttresses holding up the building’s distinctive spire.

The work, which began last week and is being partially paid for by a $40,000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation—money being matched by private donations—is expected to take another month to complete.

Over $6 million has been raised to renovate the Franco Center since it was purchased from the Catholic Diocese of Portland in 2000. Executive Director Louis Morin estimates that approximately $1.5 million still needs to be raised to fully complete needed structural work to the building.

Construction of the Franco Center, which used to be known as St. Mary’s Church and served mostly French-Canadian immigrants in what became known as Lewiston’s “Little Canada” neighborhood, began in 1907 and was completed in 1927.

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