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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.

The large ensemble presenting the show represents some of L/A Community Little Theatre’s most talented performers, with scores of productions here and in other places to their credits.In addition to Messina, the singers are Michael James Litchfield, Renee Mahon Davis, Duane Glover, Sophie Messina, and Gerry Therrien.

The orchestra is comprised of conductor Paul G. Caron on keyboards, Neil James on acoustic and electric guitar, Shane Davis on bass guitar, Will d’Ambruoso on percussion, Mike Plossay and Michael Truchon on trumpet, Bruce Theriault on trombone, Blaise Spath on reeds, Alex Wong on cello, and Kate Gray and Linda Vaillancourt on violins.

The theme of the show is “Doo-Wop to Disco.” Along with the music, the revue offers a nostalgic look back at the culture and current events of the period, with a humorous look at vintage print ads interspersed between album covers and info about the original performers.

“As the country went through major changes in this time period, we looked towards music and entertainment to help see us through,” said Franco Center Executive Director Mitchell Clyde Thomas, who serves as the show’s announcer. “Big Bands and vocalists gave way to this new thing called Rock ‘n Roll, along with the Golden Age of Country, Folk, Psychedelic Rock, and the rise and fall of Disco. We are so happy to bring back this talented ensemble for a night of great entertainment!”

“We know how much the Franco Center audiences love singing along with us,” said Messina. “Wear comfortable shoes – we expect everyone to be dancing in the aisles!”

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. A cash bar will be available. Tickets are $18 for adults; students will be admitted free of charge. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 689-2000 or see

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