LEWISTON – There are few things stronger than the allure of performing on a stage. After a four-year absence from theater, Dennis St. Pierre has returned to stages from Maine to Colorado and has his eye on a bright future.

St. Pierre will bring his vocal talent to the concert stage of the Franco-American Heritage Center Friday, Dec. 5, for a Christmas show titled “A Broadway Noel.”

Beginning at 7:30 p.m., St. Pierre and guests from New York and Maine will present a program of show tunes and operatic selections as well as Christmas hits and traditional French holiday songs with a choir.

“Fate has its own way of bringing people back to things,” St. Pierre said.

Several reversals of luck had convinced St. Pierre that his chances of national success as an actor/singer had disappeared, so he had not been on many stages in the past few years.

He had earned a shot at appearing in three episodes of the NBC comedy/drama show “Ed.” In 2004, despite a campaign by fans to keep the series on the air, NBC cut the show from its lineup due to poor ratings, deep-sixing the last three shows in which St. Pierre would have appeared.

Around that same time, St. Pierre was headed for the lead role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway production of “Les Miserables.” Just before that opportunity came to fruition, the show closed.

St. Pierre decided it was time for him to come back to his native central Maine and work on other endeavors.

He and his wife, Sine, founded Happily Ever After Productions, a nonprofit organization focusing on children’s radio theater.

That effort has been successful and a new play is in the works, but developments of recent months are leading St. Pierre back to the national spotlight.

About a year ago, Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick contacted St. Pierre and offered him the starring role in last summer’s production of “Les Miserables.”

St. Pierre said he hesitated some, but added, “My wife said, ‘Go for it.'” That show won rave reviews and led to a call from Denver in September for another staging of “Les Mis.”

One actor’s misfortune was the reason for St. Pierre’s good luck. Broadway veteran Randall Keith was to play the lead, but he broke his leg in an accident onstage. St. Pierre got a call offering him the part; and on the evening of that call, he was aboard a flight to Denver.

“I had one day of rehearsal and I went into the show,” St. Pierre said. His performances there also won kudos from critics and audiences.

Recently, St. Pierre has auditioned for a part in Broadway’s “Mama Mia.”

Other opportunities on the horizon are another appearance on the Maine State Music Theatre stage next summer and a 2010 national tour of “Les Miserable.”

He said there’s also a chance that he will star in May at the Chocolate Church in Bath in a play called “God Touches,” written by local playwright Paul Baribault.

St. Pierre is producing “A Broadway Noel.” He said highlights will be songs for which he is known, including “Music of the Night” and other songs from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Mis” and “The Secret Garden.” He will also offer operatic selections.

His guest performers from New York City and Maine are opera singer Devin Dukes; opera and musical theater singer Jennifer Mcleod and musical theater singer Jason Hersom.

St. Pierre’s career includes appearances with Don Knotts, Theodore Bikel, Debbie Boone, Stella Parton and many more. He has been in six national and international tours and dozens of theater productions nationwide.

Television appearances include “The Practice,” “Ally McBeal,” “NYPD Blue,” “Passion” and “The Bette Midler Show.”

Pierre’s Web site, www.dennisstpierre.com, includes a link to a YouTube video of St. Pierre’s performance of “Bring Him Home” from the Denver production of “Les Mis.”

“A Broadway Noel” will include a nine-piece orchestra under the direction of Ray Libby.

Tickets for the show are $14 in advance, $12 for seniors and students. Special reserved seats are offered at $20.

For reservations, call 689-2000, visit the Franco-American Heritage Center’s box office or log on to www.francoamericanheritage.org.

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