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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS : Lancaster Goes Country : Answering public demand, the performing arts center rounds out its regular diet of classical, art and folk artists.


The Lancaster Performing Arts Center is going country.

For the first time in its three-year history, the center will host country artists to complement its regular diet of classical, pop and folk artists. Among the country acts scheduled to perform are Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs and Kathy Mattea.

"We wanted to give people more-balanced entertainment," said Bruce Spain, the center's manager. "That's what people wanted."

The center, Spain said, will also feature more local theater. Last year, only two performances of one play, "I Do, I Do," originated from the Lancaster-based Cedar Street Theatre. This season, there will be two productions ("Sweet Charity" and "Kiss Me, Kate") in the main theater, which seats 758, with four performances each.

"The community has been asking for us to help the local arts programs," he added, "and we are."

Among the other highlights of the center's third season, which begins Sept. 30, will be: Smokey Robinson, the Vienna Boys Choir and the Neil Simon play "Plaza Suite," starring Michael Learned, formerly of "The Waltons."

Here's the lineup of the center's coming season:

* Lee Matalon, Sept. 30. * The Beatles, A Tribute, Oct. 1. * Snoopy, The Musical, Oct. 8. * Salute to Benny Goodman, Oct. 9. * Emmylou Harris & Band, Oct. 22. * William Steed Woodwind Quintet, Oct. 23. * "Adam and Eve," Nov. 2. * "Storm Reading," Nov. 12. * Chinese Magic Revue, Nov. 14. * Smokey Robinson, Nov. 20. * "The Nutcracker," Dec. 4-5. * Mr. Jack Daniel's Band, Dec. 9 * Ricky Skaggs, Dec. 10. * Alvin and the Chipmunks, Dec. 15. * Navidad Flamenca, Dec. 18. * "101 Dalmatians," Jan. 5. * Elvis to the Max, Jan. 8. * Hungarian Folk Ensemble, Jan. 15. * Vienna Boys Choir, Jan. 19. * "Sweet Charity," Jan. 27-30. * Tuck & Patti, Feb. 5. * Lar Lubovitch Dance Co., Feb. 8. * William Graham as Cole Porter, Feb. 12. * Christopher Parkening, Feb. 17. * Antelope Valley Jazz Ensemble, Feb. 19 and May 13. * Hans Christian Andersen, Feb. 26. * Rhapsody In Taps, March 5. * Mummenschanz, March 10. * Red Grammer, March 11. * Avner the Eccentric, April 8. * I Solisti Di Zagreb, April 23. * "Plaza Suite," April 27-28. * Kathy Mattea, May 6. * "Kiss Me, Kate," May 19-22.

For information about tickets and show times, call (805) 723-5950.

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