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CLT, Franco Center seek actors and singers for “Come Out Swingin’: A Lewiston Story”

In February, L/A Community Little Theatre of Auburn and the Gendron Franco Center of Lewiston will co-produce the world premiere production of “Come Out Swingin’: A Lewiston Story,” a musical written by Portland native Brian Daly. Open auditions are scheduled for Sunday and Monday, September 24 and 25, at 6 p.m. They will take place at the Franco Center at 46 Cedar Street in Lewiston. Those unable to attend at these times are encouraged to call the director to request an appointment. Callback auditions will be by invitation.

Production dates for the show will be Friday and Saturday, February 2 and 3, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 4 at 2 p.m. Friday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. has been reserved as a snow date, if needed.

“It’s May of 1965, just months after the assassination of Malcolm X, and the controversial Muhammad Ali-Sonny Liston title bout has been moved at the last minute to the unlikeliest venue ever for a world championship fight – Lewiston, Maine, a Franco-American mill town in decline,” says Brian Daly, the musical’s writer and composer. “The fictional Mickey St. Pierre, second assistant deputy city manager of Lewiston, sees this as his hometown’s one and only chance to take its rightful place among the world’s great cities. By dint of his boundless enthusiasm, he gets the colorful characters of Lewiston fired up to play host to celebrity jetsetters and the world’s top sportswriters.” As word gets out, what follows is a musical adventure through the neighborhoods of Maine’s second-largest city.

Richard Martin and Mitchell Clyde Thomas of the Franco Center will serve as the director and music director for the show, with regular CLT contributor Jake Boyce of Portland choreographing the dancing. Martin and Thomas are also long-time directors at CLT and serve on its board of directors.

Those auditioning may be asked to audition in all three parts (vocal, choreography and dialogue) to be considered for roles. The play features numerous lead and supporting roles, both singing and non-singing, and an ensemble. In preparation for the audition, singers are asked to bring sheet music for the piano accompanist. No prerecorded music will be allowed and there will be no a cappella singing. Recorded samples of six of the show’s songs are posted on the show’s Facebook event page and can be sent directly by request. If you have questions about singing auditions, contact Thomas in advance at 838-1722 or mthomas@francocenter.org.

The show requires a great deal of movement. Time will be allotted for participants to change clothes and shoes prior to the beginning of dance auditions, if needed. Those with all levels of dance experience are welcome to audition. Please bring character shoes, sneakers, or jazz shoes.

The principal and supporting roles include six men and six women. All but two are solo singing roles and the ages vary. Five of the roles ideally require black male vocalists who will make up the singing group “The Sapphires” and must be able to do some strong Temptations-style singing and dancing. The role of Preston, the cool and charismatic African-American leader of the group, includes dialogue.  

The ensemble, representing the citizens of Lewiston and those who have come to town for the fight, will be made up of all ages and will provide singing, dancing, and some dialogue. Neither of the boxers in the infamous 1965 fight are characters in the show.   

To request a perusal script, ask questions, or request an alternate audition time, contact director Richard Martin at 754-9828 or rmartin@francocenter.org.

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