CLT and CMMC team up for this benefit event.
LEWISTON – “You’ve gotta have heart” is more than just a line from the “Damn Yankees” song. It has special meaning to the Twin Cities, thanks to an upcoming benefit concert that will aid both the physical and the artistic hearts of residents.

“Broadway – LA from the Heart,” a fund-raiser slated for April 24 and 25 at Lewiston Middle School Auditorium, marks the first time Lewiston-Auburn’s Community Little Theatre and Central Maine Medical Center have teamed up for a major benefit event.

CLT’s Endowment Fund and CMMC’s Cardiac Care Capital Campaign for the Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute will share in the show’s proceeds.

A stellar list of Broadway tunes will be performed in solos, duets, and ensembles. Some of the popular performers taking the stage in “Broadway – LA from the Heart” are Steve Dupont, Ron Bouffard, Paul Stickney, Renee Davis, Michelle Mahon, Marie Dittmer and Cynthia O’Neil.

Dupont, Bouffard, Davis and Mahon were recently seen in CLT’s “Singin’ in the Rain.” O’Neil has appeared in performances at Portland Players and Lyric Theatre.

Vince Knue, well-known performer, director and acting teacher from the Portland area, is directing this two-hour variety show.

“It’s truly a variety show in the Broadway sense,” Knue said.

“It covers about 70 years of American musical history going all the way back to Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.” From that show, Stickney and Mahon will perform “You’re the Top.”

Eileen Messina, choreographer, is putting together some exciting production numbers for the show. They include the opening number, “We Start the Day” from the Maltby and Shire show “Baby,” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” from “Guys and Dolls.” That number features Stickney as Nicely Nicely Johnson.

Stickney and Dittmer pair up for a duet of “Two People in Love” from “Baby;” Mahon and O’Neil sing “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” from “Pal Joey;” and Davis is featured in “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” from “My Fair Lady.”

“Getting Myself Ready for You,” a comedy number from “High Society,” will be performed by Knue and O’Neil.

Two guest soloists from the Portland area also will be part of the production, Knue said. They are Leslie Chadbourne who will sing “Some People” from “Gypsy.” She played Mama Rose in a Lyric Theater production of “Gypsy” directed by Knue.

Also from Portland is Jaye Churchill, conductor of Musica de Filia, an all-female choir. She will sing “Memories of You” from “Eubie,” the revue featuring Eubie Blake’s music.

With 35 years of theater background, Knue has numerous directing credits, including “Gypsy,” “Camelot,” “Pippin,” “I Do, I Do” and “Bus Stop.” He received his training from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. He wrote for, acted in and directed numerous productions up and down the East Coast before settling in Portland in 1985.

The show’s music director is Keith Witherell of Cape Elizabeth, who is music director at South Portland’s Lyric Theatre. His music direction credits include “A Chorus Line,” “The Music Man,” “West Side Story” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

Tim Pinkham is producing the show. Denise Knue is designing the women’s evening gowns. Rounding out the production crew is Richard Martin, lighting designer; John Blanchette, stage manager; Doreen Traynor, box office manager; and Rachel Morin, publicist.

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