NEW PORT RICHEY — Tickets go on sale Saturday for the Richey Community Orchestra's 2016-17 season, which will open with a "Great American Songbook" concert Nov. 13 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge. The 50-piece orchestra will perform six concerts, including two dinner shows at Spartan Manor in New Port Richey.
"Expect a lighthearted and fun season," executive director Denise Isaacson said, adding that all but one concert will feature performances by multiple guest soloists. "We are really jamming a lot of entertainment into every show. It's a lot of bang for the buck."
Conductor Stephen Brown is back for another year, as is the Richey Community Chorus.
Of special note is a guest appearance by Paul Wilson, of hit movies Big Stone Gap and Shooting the Prodigal and the band the Wilson Van. He will perform a tribute to Elvis at the March "Rock Around the Clock" dinner show. Those wanting to see that show might want to get their tickets early, Isaacson advised, as sales for dinner shows are typically brisk.
Other highlights will include Sinatra tribute vocalist Tom Tiratto as the season opener, Jimmy Ferraro and Dee Etta Rowe performing Broadway highlights in April and an opera gala in February featuring four opera stars from Florida.
Season shows include:
• "The Great American Songbook," 3 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge. Features American songs from the 20th century that have been immortalized in the movies, including selections by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and others. The guest artist will be Tom Tiratto, performing his "Tribute to Frank Sinatra" show. The Richey Community Chorus will also perform. $15, open seating.
• "Cool Yule" dinner concert Dec. 11 at Spartan Manor in New Port Richey. Special guests for this show will be entertainers and husband-and-wife team Michele James and David Pruyn, who have performed at Disney World, Busch Gardens and other venues throughout Florida. Cocktails will be served at 1 p.m. (cash bar), followed by a full-course dinner at 1:30. The show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $40. Seating is at tables of 10. Reservations required.
• "Opera Gala," 3 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge. The concert will feature music from the world's most famous operas — Puccini's La Boheme and Tosca, Mozart's The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni, Verdi's La Traviata and Rigoletto, Bizet's Carmen and others. Guest performers will be Ashley Lowe, Lothar Bergeest, Dawne Eubanks andRobert Lischetti. Tickets are $15, open seating.
• "Rock Around the Clock" dinner concert, March 19 at Spartan Manor. The special guest will be Paul Wilson, who will tribute to the King with songs such as Jailhouse Rock, Love Me Tender, All Shook Up, Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog and others. Cocktails will be served at 1 p.m. (cash bar), followed by a full-course dinner at 1:30 p.m. The show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $40. Seating will be at tables of 10; reservations required.
• "Broadway Gold," 3 p.m. April 23 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge. This show will pay homage to unforgettable classic songs from Broadway's hottest shows and revivals, including Hello Dolly!, Chicago and Miss Saigon. Joining the orchestra will be Broadway veterans Jimmy Ferraro and Dee Etta Rowe. Tickets are $15. Open seating.
• "Parisian Pops," a Mother's Day dinner concert, May 14 at Spartan Manor. Guest performer Fiona Frensche will sing favorite pop tunes with a French flair, including C'est Magnifique, La Vie en Rose, C'est Si Bon and I Love Paris. The orchestra will perform selections from Phantom of the Opera, April in Paris, Clair de Lune and others. Cocktails will be served at 1 p.m. (cash bar), followed by a full-course dinner at 1:30 p.m. The show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $40. Seating is at tables of 10; reservations required.
Contact Michele Miller at [email protected] Follow @MicheleMiller52.