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Franco Center plans Mardi Gras party

The Kelly-Laurence Quintet will play dance music from the Great American Songbook and Big Easy jazz.

Genuine Cajun cooking and the Kelly-Laurence Quintet will be the featured attractions when the Gendron Franco Center presents its latest must-experience dinner-dance event, a Mardi Gras party on Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m.

In the great tradition of those legendary New Orleans celebrations, Franco Center party-goers will be treated to a great night of dancing to the sounds of the Great American Songbook and Big Easy jazz, accompanied by free-flowing spirits and authentic Cajun cuisine. The menu will include Jambalaya with chicken and shrimp, Andouille sausage with peppers and onions, Cajun-roasted sweet potatoes, and King Cake for dessert.

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Maine Event Comedy at Bear Bones Beer

Colleen McCauley

Maine Event Comedy will present Boston’s Colleen McCauley at Bear Bones Beer on Thursday, February 21 at 7 p.m. She’ll be joined by Danny Jordan, Julie Poulin, and special guest Chris Fritz. An open-mic will follow the show.

Mouthy and brash, McCauley is a smart-ass voice in Boston comedy and not much different from her role as “Cathy” in the classic film “Good Will Hunting.” She’s played Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun and the Regent Theater in Arlington, Mass. And worked with top New England headliners Juston McKinney, Lenny Clarke, and Steve Sweeney.

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CLT announces cast of “Avenue Q” 

Here at a recent rehearsal are cast members (l. to r., from front) Cody Watson and Ricky, Kay Warren (who plays Gary Coleman), Ashleigh St. Pierre and Lucy, Becca Tinkham and Bear #1, Madison Rozells and Bear #2, Jordan Payne Hay and Kate Monster, Michael Litchfield and Rod, Dan Kane and Trekkie Monster, Michael Pullen and Princeton, and Christopher Hodgkin (who plays Brian). Absent from the photo are Myra Diehl (Christmas Eve) and Maxwell Draper (Ensemble).

Director Paul G. Caron has announced the cast for the upcoming CLT production of the hit musical comedy “Avenue Q.” This puppet-filled comedy, with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and book by Jeff Whitty,is an “autobiographical and biographical” coming-of-age parable addressing the issues and anxieties associated with entering adulthood. Winner of the Tony “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, Avenue Q is “part flesh, part felt, and packed with heart.”

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Adult ed. programs provide options for those seeking high school credential

A Lewiston Adult Education graduate and children head to the gym for commencement ceremonies in June 2018.

Lewiston Adult Education and Auburn Adult & Community Education are offering free programs for adults seeking to get their high school credential. Both programs give the High School Equivalency test, the HiSET, which has replaced the GED as Maine’s high school equivalency exam. It consists of five subtests on a computer: Language Arts Reading, Language Arts Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Those who are at least 17 years old and not enrolled in school may take the HiSET.

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Governor’s Address: My Budget Is About Hope

Earlier this week, I spoke to the Maine state Legislature to deliver my first biennial budget proposal. It was a powerful moment in the presence of the three branches of government as our administration took the first step in planning for a new and better future for our state.

We did this without raising taxes, while preserving the Rainy Day fund for state government, and preserving the sources of revenues that Mainers have come to expect for education and health care.

The budget I presented is about Health, Opportunity, Prosperity, and Education. It is about HOPE.

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Local foodies line up for “Shine on Lewiston… Let’s Go Eat!”

A huge crowd filled the Franco Center’s Heritage Hall as visitors taste-tested the food offerings, talked with restaurant owners, and visited with LYAC and fellow community members.

“Wow, I want to go to Lewiston to eat!” says a post on the City of Lewiston’s Facebook page showing photos from the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council’s recent event, “Shine on Lewiston… Let’s Go Eat!” The council hosted the gathering at the Gendron Franco Center to highlight Lewiston as a food and dining destination.

The response was excellent, with eager attendees standing in line by 5:20 p.m. prior to the 6 p.m. opening. The twelve local eateries donating food items for sampling were Fish Bones Grill, DaVinci’s, Marco’s, Fran’s Restaurant, Pedro O’Hara, Cowbell Grill & Tap, Forage, Mother India, Luiggi’s Pizzeria, The Cupcakery, E. Claire & Pastries, and the Italian Bakery.  

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Popular “Bandstand to Billboard” returns to Franco Center

The cast of this lively revue includes Eileen Messina, Michael James Litchfield, and Renée Mahon Davis.

For the fourth year, the Gendron Franco Center will present the popular musical revue “Bandstand to Billboard – In the Groove” on Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Conceived by Eileen Messina, a long-time actor, director, and choreographer at L/A Community Little Theatre, the show features a fun and sometimes romantic collection of 1950s, ’60s and ’70s hits that charted in Billboard Magazine and teens danced to on American Bandstand.

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Sacred Heart Church presents third annual Cabaret Show

Pam Vaillancourt, who will also perform in the show, will once again serve as stage and sound manager for this year’s event.

Sacred Heart Church of Auburn will present its third annual Cabaret Show on Saturday, February 23 at 7 p.m. This variety show for all ages will once again be hosted by guest entertainer Louis Philippe.

“Cabaret Night” is just one of many events the parish has undertaken as part of a fundraising drive launched in 2015 to help purchase, refurbish, and install a 1954 Casavant Opus 2277 Pipe Organ, which was acquired through a donation to the parish from the Sisters of Notre Dame in Toledo, Ohio.

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Court St. Baptist Church marks 150th with cake, tours

Court Street Baptist Church, as it appeared in the nineteenth century

Just as the City of Auburn is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, a local church building has been a prominent part of the city’s skyline for 150 years. Court Street Baptist Church, founded in 1859, conducted its first service in its new building at 129 Court Street on January 24, 1869. This was just one month before the Maine Legislature granted the charter to the City of Auburn on February 22, 1869.

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Governor’s Address: First Steps in Combatting the Opioid Epidemic

When I took office, I gave my word to Mainers suffering from substance use disorder. I told them that they are not alone. I told them that, together, we will do everything in our power to bring them back, to make our communities, our families, and our state whole once again.

Since I took office, the Director of Opioid Response, Gordon Smith, and my cabinet have identified immediate steps we will take to address the opioid epidemic. Last week, I directed my administration to implement specific actions to address this crisis. I signed my second Executive Order, “An order to implement immediate responses to Maine’s opioid epidemic.” This Executive Order defines a number of separate but related actions that will be taken by my administration, right now.

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