LARGO — For officials at the Largo Cultural Center, adding Blackberry Smoke, an up-and-coming Southern rock band from Atlanta, to the 2012-2013 season lineup is proof that the small venue is growing in stature.
"Blackberry Smoke has really taken off, and to have them here at this time is great,'' said Ron Mondora, artistic director of the cultural center off East Bay Drive.
This week, the center staff is putting the finishing touches on the season brochure it will mail out next week. The lineup includes Grand Ole Opry veteran Marty Stuart and Bret Michaels, former frontman for Poison, who also gained fame in 2010 for winning ABC's Celebrity Apprentice.
Several months ago, Blackberry Smoke joined record label Southern Ground Artists, owned by successful country musician Zac Brown, also of Georgia. Since then, the band has been busy.
"Actually, we originally had Blackberry Smoke scheduled for Sept. 25, but because of how well they were doing, they added several arena shows, so we changed the date," Mondora said. "We are just happy to have them.''
Here are the highlights of the 2012-2013 season:
• Eight O'Clock Theatre, the community theater troupe based at the center's Tonne Playhouse, will present The Full Monty, Sept. 14 to 23.
• Bret Michaels brings his "Get Your Rock On" tour 2012 for one show Oct. 5.
• Blackberry Smoke comes with special guest the Mojo Gurus on Oct. 17.
• The 5th Dimension featuring Florence LaRue will perform classics such as One Less Bell to Answer, Never My Love and Wedding Bell Blues on Jan. 12.
• Marty Stuart performs with his Fabulous Superlatives on Jan. 18.
• The California Guitar Trio and the Montreal Guitar Trio will feature virtuoso guitarists from four countries Feb. 2.
• Jazz musician Jane Monheit returns Feb. 14.
For a complete list of the Largo Cultural Center's offerings, including Eight O'Clock Theatre, visit largoarts.com. You can register to get presale ticket information via email as well as notifications of new shows.
For ticket information, call the box office at (727) 587-6793.
Piper Castillo can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4163.