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Foellinger lineup features Chicago, Little River Band, Cherish the Ladies

Statement as issued Thursday by the parks department:

Fort Wayne, Ind – Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Al Moll was joined today by corporate and media sponsors as he announced “A Summer Like No Other,” the 2013 summer concert lineup at Foellinger Outdoor Theatre. Radio station Fun 101.7 WLDE, the media sponsor for the Theatre’s signature concerts, broke the big announcement on-air this morning that Chicago will perform on TUESDAY , August 27. The concert season, which begins May 19, will feature nationally acclaimed musicians such as the Little River Band, America and Kansas. In addition, well-loved acts like Cherish the Ladies and The Lettermen will return to the stage.

“The Parks & Recreation Department is committed to bringing the highest quality performances to Foellinger Theatre for the lowest possible cost,” said Director Moll. “A few years ago, people told us they had no idea Foellinger Theatre existed. We’re not hearing that anymore. Now, we’re viewed as one of the top locations for national entertainment.”

Starting in 1967, well before all the hits started flowing, Chicago established a reputation for its powerful live show. Fueled by a passion for music, Chicago’s members exploded the conventions of what rock music could or should be. The result was a groundbreaking new form, played by extraordinarily talented musicians. Early fans like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were sufficiently impressed - they took the group out on their respective tours. Once the group began making records, fans rewarded the group with record sales of 100,000,000, 21 Top 10 singles, 5 consecutive Number One albums, 11 Number One Singles and 5 Gold singles. An incredible 25 of their 33 albums have been certified platinum. To date, Chicago is the first American band to chart Top 40 albums in five decades - a landmark accomplishment. Some of their hits include: “If You Leave Me Now,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” “Look Away,” and “Saturday in the Park.” Chicago will perform on Tuesday, August 27 at 8 pm.

Director Moll also announced Foellinger Theatre improvements that will increase capacity and allow for more programming options. Phase 1 of the project will provide an additional 48 ticketed seats beneath the roof, including a new patio seating area within 30 feet of the stage. This phase will also include functional and cosmetic drainage improvements, new landscaping at the eastern edge of the theater, and will expand the enclosed area to the east of the theater by 18,000 square feet. This expansion will accommodate standing room only seating as well as a space for event tents.

Phase 2 involves adding a new building to the expansion area for concessions and a covered pavilion for group rentals. The area will include patios, pergolas planted with climbing vines, beautiful landscape beds, shade trees, and public art.

The new facility will be available by reservation for private, pre-concert rental and for rental independent of theater events.

Little River Band will hit the stage on June 22. The group was formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1975. It was originally a blend of musicians who had enjoyed success in other Australian acts. Their new focus was to get airplay on American radio, and they achieved that goal with good songwriting, powerful vocals, and guitar harmonies. They immediately claimed their place as one of the great vocal bands of the ‘70’s and the ‘80’s. Worldwide album and CD sales now top 30 million. They also set a record for having Top 10 hits for 6 consecutive years—the first band to achieve that mark. Their hits include: “Happy Anniversary,” “Lonesome Loser,” “Take It Easy on Me,” and “Man on Your Mind.”

America is scheduled to perform July 20. America’s journey has found them exploring a wide variety of musical terrain. Their best-known tunes, which also include "I Need You," "Ventura Highway," "Don’t Cross The River," "Tin Man," "Lonely People," and "Sister Golden Hair" were cornerstones of 1970’s Top 40 and FM rock radio. Yet beyond their impressive catalog of hits, listeners would discover there was always much more to America than surface perceptions. The combination of Gerry Beckley’s melodic pop rock and Dewey Bunnell’s use of folk-jazz elements, slinky Latin-leaning rhythms and impressionistic lyric imagery contrasted well with Dan Peek’s more traditional country-rock leanings and highly personal lyrics.

Kansas will make an appearance September 14. The band has produced eight gold albums, three sextuple-Platinum albums (Leftoverture, Point of Know Return, Best of KANSAS), one platinum live album (Two for the Show) and a million-selling gold single, “Dust in the Wind.” KANSAS appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the ‘70’s and ‘80’s and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan. In fact, “Carry On Wayward Son” was the #2 most Played Track on classic rock radio in 1995 and went to #1 in 1997.

Along with local favorites, several tribute bands will enhance the lineup this summer: Parrots of the Caribbean, a Jimmy Buffett tribute will perform for the first time. BritBeat, the Beatles tribute band from Chicago, Midnight Special, a journey back to the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, and Hotel California, featuring Eagles hits, will return.

The Theatre has nine free, family-friendly movies on the schedule that will start at 9 pm this year, rather than 8:30, allowing more time for the Theatre to darken. Madagascar III will kick off the movie season on Wednesday, June 19. More recent releases such as ParaNorman, Brave, The Lorax, Hotel Transylvania and Oz: The Great and Powerful will be shown on the big screen Wednesday evenings throughout the season. Free movies are sponsored by 97.3 WMEE.

The 2013 Foellinger Theatre Summer Concert Series is sponsored by Lincoln Financial Foundation, Sweetwater Sound, Fun 101.7 WLDE, Whatzup, WGL 1250 The River, WMEE, PBS39 and Northeast Indiana Public Radio. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.foellingertheatre.org, by calling 260-427-6000, or by visiting the Parks & Recreation Department office at 705 E. State Blvd., Mon – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm.

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