Bernie & Pauline Fortier, Ushers
What made you want to start ushering for CLT? Our daughter was involved in her first play, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, when she was 12. As a result of her involvement with CLT and later with the Lewiston H.S. drama program, we became more interested in theater and thus, began ushering at CLT.
How long have you been serving as volunteer ushers? Approximately 13 years.
What's your favorite part about volunteer ushing? Greeting and welcoming patrons
What does the role of a volunteer usher entail? The most important role is to greet people and make them feel welcome.
What has been your favorite musical to usher? Favorite Musical: Joseph and Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Favorite straight show? Favorite straight show: Proof
What's your life like outside of the theater? Bernie is a Latin teacher at Lewiston High school and enjoys playing hockey. Pauline is a Mary Kay consultant, volunteers at Seniors Plus as a Medicare Counselor, and volunteers for AARP as a tax preparer.
What's one show you would like to usher for at CLT? Sound of Music
If you were trapped on a desert island but had access to the soundtrack of just one musical, which musical would you want that to be? Hamilton
Why do you think that community theater is an asset to our communities? CLT allows local people to showcase their talent. It also exposes people to a wide assortment of shows and is an important component of making Lewiston Auburn a major destination for the arts.
This past week, CLT lost long-time member Bruce Gerry, after his long struggle with kidney disease. Bruce began working with CLT in high school nearly 40 years ago. Though he had moved to Utah several years ago to be closer to family, he also maintained his connection with CLT.
He was perhaps best known for his smaller character roles and has appeared in over 40 shows. Bruce had his share of featured and leading roles, including but not limited to Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, Hermann Preysing the crooked businessman in Grand Hotel, and his two favorites, Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind as well as Henry in The Lion in Winter. He will be missed – but not forgotten! Rest in peace our friend!
To make a donation to support Bruce's family during this difficult time, please do so here:
CLT is proud to announce the cast of their next production, Gypsy, taking the stage this April. Written in 1959 by Arthur Laurents and music by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy tells the story of famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee. The story is told from the perspective of Gypsy’s mother, Mama Rose, who is a hard pushing show business mom. Rose is determined to make a star of her talented daughter, June. But when June finally has had enough of her mother’s constant pushing and decides to leave, Rose switches her focus to her other daughter Louise. Louise is then brought to a burlesque house and “learns the business.” She is launched on her career of success – but what happens to Rose in the process?
The pivotal role of Mama Rose will be undertaken by Jennine Cannizzo of Portland. Audiences will remember Jennine as the Matron “Mama” Morton in CLT’s recent production of Chicago. Her bombastic voice is a necessity in the role of Rose; a role which has been called the female King Lear, with singing! Ethel Merman once made her reputation in this role, featuring both songs “Everything’s Coming up Roses” and “Rose’s Turn.” In the role of Louise is Joanna Clarke, also of Portland, who goes from being a wallflower to arguably the best known stripper in history. June, Louise’s “more talented” sister, will be played by Mackenzie Richard. Both Louise and June also have younger incarnations within the show, being played by Maria Groover and Zoe Dinnerstein, respectively. CLT favorite Michael Litchfield will portray Herbie, Rose’s hapless love interest and the much put upon manager for the girls.
There are a number of wonderful cameo roles in this production. In the show stopping “You Gotta Get a Gimmick” three strippers (Mazeppa, Electra, and Tessie Tura) educate Louise in “the business.” Mazeppa, the horn player, will be portrayed by Nicole Chase, Eileen Messina will “light up the stage” as Electra and Renee Mahon Davis will dance “the ballerina” Tessie Tura. “All I Need Now Is the Girl” is another show stopping number, which will be undertaken by Chris Hodgkin in the role of Tulsa.
The rest of the cast includes Graci Gillen, Molly Gouette as News Boys; Zach Gagne, Mason Lagasse and Maxwell Draper as Farm Boys; Louise Groover, Ansley Watson, and McKayla Prophett as Toreadorables and Sophie Messina as Agnes; and Jim McKinley, Roger Philippon, Mitch Thomas, Phil Vampatella, Dan Crawford, Scotty Venable, and Ernie Gagne in character roles throughout the production.
The Director for this production of Gypsy will be Paul G. Caron. Known to CLT fans primarily for his work directing music (just recently for Chicago as well as CLT’s Gypsy in ‘92), Paul “crosses over” every few years to direct. Rebecca Caron, an established CLT Music Director (and Paul’s niece) will be serving as the Music Director. Adam Blais will be responsible for the choreography, bringing the “bump and grind” front and center! Brandon Chaloux will serve as assistant director to the production Completing the Directorial team is Kay Warren serving as Producer. Kay also serves as CLT’s Executive Producer.
It takes an array of people to stage a production of this size. The Stage Manager for Gypsy will be Jackie McDonald. Stephen Brakey will serve as Assistant Stage Manager. Jackie and Stephen will be assembling a team to ensure that set changes happen quickly and fluidly, keeping the audience very much in the moment as the show progresses from location to location. Karen Mayo, CLT’s Executive Director, will be undertaking the task of costuming the cast – which means finding period costumes ranging from suits to stripper outfits. Karen, too, will have a team to assist her in finding, adapting or making over 100 costumes. Sound and lights will be designed by CLT’s popular technical team, Tom Anderson and Richard Martin, respectively.
Producer Kay Warren will be wearing an extra hat – that of undertaking finding and organizing props. She will be assisted in this task by Sue Caron. Local architect and CLT Board Member Bill Hamilton will be designing the many and unique sets, ranging from interior apartments to burlesque theaters. These sets will in turn be decorated by Jessica Henson. Completing the crew, CLT Artistic Director John Blanchette will manage the print publicity and CLT Marketing & PR Chair Danielle Eaton will manage the digital media.
Gypsy will run March 31, April 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Show times are 7:30pm with matinees at 2pm.
Order Tickets HERE or call the Box Office at 207-783-0958.
CLT is a local, volunteer driven, non-profit organization.