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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at Mainetoday.com. You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the WCHS TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.

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Posted: December 11, 2017

With guest stars and wacky antics, The Fogcutters Super Fantastic Christmas Extravaganza is sure to live up to its name

Written by: Aimsel Ponti
Fogcutters horn player Steve Smith Photo by Port City Photography

Fogcutters horn player Steve Smith
Photo by Port City Photography

I’m hoping for a fluffy dusting of snow this weekend, but I know one thing for sure: It’s definitely going to be foggy — very foggy! And I mean that in the musical sense of the word, because on Friday night, The Fogcutters Super Fantastic Christmas Extravaganza is happening at the State Theatre, and I’ve been waiting all year for it.

Here’s a little taste of The Fogcutters:

Last year was the first Extravaganza, and it was one of the shining stars of my holiday season. My pals and I nerded out all night right up front. I’m going for a repeat performance, and I hope many of you will join me. You won’t regret it.

iSiripong/Shutterstock.com

iSiripong/Shutterstock.com

The show has a retro nostalgic feel to it, with a giant living room set right out of the ’60s. It’s like a holiday variety show that your parents used to watch on the old black-and-white. And like any worthy variety show, The Fogcutters’ version features a fabulous array of guest stars who will be dropping in all night to share songs and good cheer. Confirmed guests include Sara Hallie Richardson, Dilly Dilly, Phil Divinsky, Dominic Lavoie, Zach Jones and Spencer Albee. I couldn’t have picked a better lineup of Maine talent if I tried.

Richardson and Jones are both living in California, but they’ll be back in town for the holidays to grace the stage with their tremendous vocals. Erin “Dilly Dilly” Davidson is another favorite of mine, and we don’t hear all that much from her these days, so this appearance is extra-special. Permit me to slip a quick request in to Santa in the form of studio time for Dilly in 2018.

Phil Divinsky is also no slouch when it comes to impressing with his pipes. I can’t wait to hear what he’ll be belting out for us. Dominic Lavoie of Dominic and the Lucid will bring a psychedelic-rock vibe to the show, and Spencer “Beatles Night” Albee will surely leave his mark on the stage he’s stood on many times before. We’ll also hear from the incredible vocalists Anna Lombard and Gina Alibrio.  And when I say incredible, I mean INCREDIBLE.

But wait. There’s one other guest I’ve got to mention, and it’s hard to describe this guy if you weren’t at last year’s show, but I’ll try.

His assumed name is Uncle Maurice. When he’s not Uncle Maurice, his real name is Tony McNaboe, and he’s an absolutely incredible singer and drummer with a long history of musical accomplishments in Maine. But for this night only, his alter ego, Uncle Maurice, will be pulling on his polyester pants and Mr. Rogers-style cardigan and sporting an intentionally shaved-to-look-like-male-pattern-baldness head, and he will be an absolute riot. He unofficially stole the show last year with his antics, which included running around the theater with a cordless mic singing “Feliz Navidad” like a crazy person. It was entirely awesome. Uncle Maurice, I’ve missed you!

Fogcutters vocalists Chas Lester (left) and Megan Jo Wilson (right) Photos by Port City Photography

Fogcutters vocalists Chas Lester (left) and Megan Jo Wilson (right)
Photos by Port City Photography

Despite all the excitement about the guests at this show, it’s essential to remember the No. 1 reason why you should go to this show: The Fogcutters themselves, all 19 of them. With singers Megan Jo Wilson and Chas Lester, plus four trumpet players, five saxophonists, drums, guitar, bass and piano, they are truly a sensational modern big band, and seeing them live is an exhilarating and memorable experience.

They’ll be playing a lot of new and older holiday hits with some surprise twists, and if the show is anything like last year’s, you’ll be smiling the entire time. To ready yourself, be sure to listen to their 2012 EP, “Jingle Them Bells.”

So, please, consider this a dipped-in-eggnog-then-rolled-in-crushed-candy-canes invite to this show. I’ll level with you. My Christmas spirit has taken some hits these past few years, but this show is the one thing I can count on to make my heart grow at least three sizes. Join me. We need this.

The Fogcutters Super Fantastic Christmas Extravaganza

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15
WHERE: State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland
HOW MUCH: $16 in advance, $20 day of show
TICKETS & INFO: statetheatreportland.com

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