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Broadway Dolls take stage for Franco Center Gala

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The Broadway Dolls, five singers, dancers and actresses who regularly perform in Broadway’s biggest shows, will perform classic songs from Broadway and Motown at the Franco Center’s Annual Gala on October 26.

Broadway standards, Motown hits, stilettos, mini-skirts, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and desserts, and plenty of wine and champagne all await patrons at the Franco Center’s annual gala fundraiser concert by the Broadway Dolls on Saturday, October 26.

Patrons with $35 tickets may attend a pre-concert reception at 6 p.m. and one, called “Broadway Bubbly,” after the show where they can mingle over champagne and dessert with the five women in the Broadway Dolls. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Fans of musicals in Maine might remember Broadway Dolls founder Hollie Howard, who has performed in Broadway musicals including “Hairspray,” “A Chorus Line” and “Mamma Mia!” Howard spent part of the summer of 2007 in Maine, playing the title role in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at the Maine State Music Theater in Brunswick.

“I was scheduled to come back the next summer to perform in ‘All Shook Up,’ but then I landed a part in ‘A Chorus Line’ that I couldn’t turn down,” Howard says.

After a quick trip to Maine last weekend, Howard says she’s excited to come back later this month with the rest of the Broadway Dolls, who bill themselves as “the Official Girl Group of Broadway,” to perform an evening of well-known Broadway songs and the biggest hits of Motown’s girl groups.

“I went on a little mini-vacation to Maine with my boyfriend and family last weekend,” says Howard, “It was just beautiful with all the leaves turning color, much more so than in New York City. We drove by the Franco Center and ate at some really great restaurants. We can’t wait to play there!”

The Broadway Dolls are a rotating cast of 17 singers, dancers and actresses who perform in Broadway’s biggest shows. The cast at each Broadway Dolls concert is somewhat dependent on who can break away from their roles on Broadway for an evening to perform in cities around the country.

Rounding out the cast for the Franco Center’s Gala are Coleen Sexton (“Wicked,” “Jekyll & Hyde” and “Legally Blonde”), Nicolette Hart (“Rent,” “Legally Blonde” and “The Wedding Singer”), Chelsea Packard (“Wicked,” “Hands on a Hardbody” and “Promises Promises”) and Heather Parcells (“Wonderland,” “A Chorus Line” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”).

In a 2011 review, the Boston Globe called the Broadway Dolls “a tough act to follow” and “a reminder of how insanely talented Broadway performers are.”

Tickets for the concert can be purchased anytime online at www.francocenter.com, by phone at 689-2000, or at the Franco Center box office from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Also, on the day of the concert, Hollie Howard and at least one of the other Broadway Dolls will present a master class for all ages on musical theatre and Broadway auditions from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Plavin Dance Studios, located in Bates College’s Merrill Gymnasium, Russell Street. The registration fee for the class is $20. Free public parking is available for visitors behind the ice rink. For more information or to register, call (646) 537-1708.

o register, call (646) 537-1708.

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