LEWISTON — An ensemble of area performers, young and old, will come together Saturday, April 30, for “Cabaret,” a night of song, laughter and razzle-dazzle hosted by entertainer Louis Philippe.

Among those who’ll take the stage in the newly renovated Heritage Hall at the Franco-American Heritage Center are Laura Hurd Whited, Louis Grassi, Paul Jalbert, Debbie Poulin, Teresa Dyer, Don Spear, Thomas Ferent, Laurie Sidelinger, Marc Mailhot and Ellen Tucker.

Philippe, as Father Frenchie, is the self-proclaimed Ambassador of Goodwill intent on bringing a message of hope and love to everyone. Complete with a broken French accent, misused language, double entendres and colorful characters, he shares typical everyday lifetime experiences as a traveling Catholic priest in Maine.

Whited, who trained at the Boston Conservatory, has performed in many cities around the country, most regularly in “The Best of Broadway,” a fundraiser for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, at Merrill Auditorium. Last summer, she played Judy Garland in the one-woman show “The Property Known as Garland,” a fictional backstage account of the legendary singer’s final concert.

Singer-songwriter Grassi’s debut recording, “Mystery of Myself,” features four of his own compositions. A year and a half later, he released two more EPs, which gave way to his first full-length album titled “Manifestation.” Early 2011 marked the start of a national radio campaign promoting his single “Scrap Paper.”  

Jalbert has performed in Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theatre plays and sings in local churches. He was also affiliated with Magic Pops Chorus for several years and is a member of Just Us Entertainers..

Poulin has always enjoyed singing but didn’t perform in front of an audience until her debut in the late 1990s with the Magic Pops Chorus.  In 2000, she was asked, and did join, Just Us Entertainers.

Theater actress Dyer has played Countess Aurelia in “Madwoman of Chaillot,” Lady Olivia in “Twelfth Night” and the white witch in “Queen of Narnia.”

Spear, a humorist, raconteur, oral historian and occasional song-and-dance man, is known as “The Pondering Pundit.” He began his stage career in 1943 at the Boy Scout Camp in Raymond and continued developing his stagecraft at Morse High School before going on to graduate from University of Maine and Georgetown Law School. 

Ferent, a veteran of community theater, has appeared in productions at Deertrees in Harrison, Eastern Slope Playhouse in North Conway, N.H., Sebago Schoolhouse in Standish, Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts in Norway and at the Denmark Arts Center in Denmark. His roles include Mr. Biggley in “How to Succeed,” Ragpicker in “Madwoman of Chaillot,” Horton the Elephant in “Seussical,” Miles Gloriosus in “Forum” and Sir Toby Belch in “Twelfth Night.”

For almost two decades, Sidelinger performed with the Lewiston-based band Horizon, traveling from Canada to Boston.  Most recently, she and five other female vocalists from the Lewiston-Auburn area (Kathy Haley, Deb Morin, Bonnie Edwards, Bette Sanborn and Jeannie Martin) performed at The Girls of L-A: The Divine Divas Of Song concerts at the Franco center. 

Mailhot performed literally thousands of gigs with pioneering Maine bands Love Inc. and Pegasus in the 1960s and ’70s, and now performs with The Chapparals and as a solo artist.  He has written, recorded, toured extensively and produced music.

Tucker has performed in theaters on the East Coast from Florida to the Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick. She plays the guitar and recently performed her songs in New York City and at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.   

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $18. For tickets, call 689-2000 or visit francocenter.org. There will be a social hour with cash bar at 6:30 p.m.


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