AUBURN — If you want to take a “Sentimental Journey,” you need go no farther than the Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theatre on April 23-25.
That’s where you’ll get to revisit old memories, courtesy of the Studio Theatre of Bath’s popular eight-member vocal group Sentimental Journey.
“Sentimental Journey — Nostalgic Musical Memories” — CLT’s spring fundraiser — is a musical revue of hits of the Andrews Sisters, classics written by Hoagy Carmichael and Irving Berlin, and melodies made famous by the big bands. Those flashbacks to the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s are in the show’s first act.
The second act features material from Broadway’s “West Side Story,“ hits like “No, Not Much” by the Four Lads and some early rock ‘n’ roll numbers like “At the Hop.”
The show, a blend of music and comedy, offers a variety of group vocals with tight harmonies and solo numbers spotlighting each of the singers.
One of the singers is Ron Bouffard, a veteran CLT director, performer and board member. He is soloist in one of the show’s most popular numbers, “Cry,” which was a Johnny Ray recording that Bouffard performed when he appeared in “Forever Plaid” several years ago.
Formed about eight years ago, Sentimental Journey’s performances sold out at the Chocolate Church in Bath and other small venues. After a four-year hiatus, the group reformed this year.
“This is a perfect fundraiser for CLT because it comes all ready to take the stage,” Bouffard said. “It’s the perfect genre of music for CLT’s audiences.”
The eight-member group was the idea of Jan Closson, who appeared in CLT’s productions of “Ruthless” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” Each of its seasons is different. Highlights of this show, according to Bouffard, include an a cappella rendition of “Tuxedo Junction,” as well as the smoky sound of Suzanne Rankin’s performances of “Good Morning, Heartache” and “Satin Doll.”
Another highlight of the show is a “Moonlight Serenade” segment when members of the audience are invited to come up for a dance on-stage.
Female performers, besides Crosson and Rankin, who has appeared in a variety of roles and performances, including “Music Man” at Maine State Music Theater, are Donna Griffin of Boothbay and Beth Saufler of Georgetown.
Besides Bouffard, the men are Sheldon Bird of Bath; John Strong of Newcastle; and Courtney Babbidge, who is the show’s music director and will provide piano accompaniment.
Babbidge teaches music in the mid-coast area and has been part of the pit band at Maine State Music Theater. He recently directed student shows at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham and a musical at Lewiston High School.
Bird, who plays bass in a variety of numbers and has a dynamic bass voice, was in the Studio Theatre production of “Jesus Christ, Superstar” in 1997.
Pat Jordan will play drums and there will be guitar accompaniment and a ukulele in the show.
Costumes for “Sentimental Journey — Nostalgic Musical Memories” are good fits for each era. There are multicolored rhinestones galore on the black gowns of the big band period, as well as chic hats and padded shoulders. The men wear double-breasted suits and fedora hats. For the 1950s and 1960s, styles are updated to include flared skits and white gloves.
Stand-up comedian John Atar will be master of ceremonies for the Friday and Sunday performances; Wayne Otto will do the job on Saturday night.
Go and do
WHAT: “Sentimental Journey — Nostalgic Musical Memories”
WHO: Community Little Theatre fundraiser
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 23-24; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25
WHERE: Great Falls Center for the Arts, 30 Academy St., Auburn
TICKETS: 783-0958 or www.laclt.com