Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center of Gardiner has a new Center Stage Series with three evenings of entertainment for all ages.

A great antidote to Maine’s long winter, according to the center, the series will offer theatrical shows of storytelling, comedy, juggling and music.

Shows are 7:30 p.m. on the following Saturdays: Nov. 6, Michael Lane Trautman, a visual comedian and storyteller; Jan. 22, Michael Parent, Franco-American storyteller and musician; and March 5, Michael Cooper, “the masked marvel.”

Trautman will perform a show called “My Misspent Youth.” Trautman combines the universal appeal of an accomplished mime with the wit and improvisation of a stand-up comic, plus inventive juggling and unusual magic, according to the center. He has performed all over the world since 1976.

This “astonishing physical comedian” gives a “wonderful family show” that is “the most deliciously entertaining time you’ll ever spend with a single performer.”

Parent will present “Tales and Tunes.” A storyteller, author, musician and juggler, Parent draws upon his Franco-American heritage to perform a unique blend of stories and songs in both French and English.

Parent’s shows include songs accompanied by various instruments, folk tales and original stories (sometimes including juggling). He has performed for a wide range of audiences, including at theaters, schools, libraries and festivals.

Cooper’s show will be “Masked Marvels and Wondertales.” Cooper is truly a “moving sculpture,” combining mythical and autobiographical stories of courage and wonder to produce “an eye-popping theatrical extravaganza,” according to the center. Featuring his handcrafted masks and his stilt dancing, his shows range “from the madcap to the sublime.” Cooper has entertained audiences of all ages around the world for almost 30 years.

The January snow date will be Jan. 29, also at 7:30 p.m., and the March snow date is Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m.

The Center Stage Series will be in Johnson Hall, 280 Water St. More information is at www.johnsonhall.org.

Tickets for ages 13 and up are $12.50; for Johnson Hall members, $11.50; and for children, $10. A series ticket is $30, members’ series tickets are $27 and child series tickets are $25. People can call for reservations, 582-7144, or e-mail [email protected]


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