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Big acts are scarce

Victor Borge, Hal Holbrook and Billy Ray Cyrus are the biggest acts appearing at St. Petersburg's city-owned arena and theater in the next six months. Bayfront Center, which includes the arena and Mahaffey Theater, announced its 1992-93 season recently.

Country singer Cyrus performs at the arena in November. Holbrook brings his Mark Twain Tonight impersonation to the theater in February. Borge, the perennially popular pianist-comedian, is at the theater in March.

Bayfront Center has been hobbled by financial constraints. As a result, its 1992-93 programing is limited.

Last week, the St. Petersburg City Council moved to try to improve matters for future seasons. The council decided to let the Bayfront Center Foundation out of its commitment to make payments on the $25-million renovation of Mahaffey, which was finished in 1988.

The council decision means the city will make debt payments on the renovations without financial help from the foundation. As a result, the foundation was freed frommaking a $339,000 payment in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 and other payments in the future. Now, the foundation plans to turn its efforts to raise a $5-million endowment to underwrite shows at the arena and theater.

The next show features Saturday Night Live alumnus Dennis Miller, who is at Mahaffey on Sunday. Later this month, there's the second annual Bayfront Blues Fest, featuring Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.

Highlights of the season include a six-day run by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in January; the New World Symphony, with sing-along conductor Mitch Miller, also in January; the Stars on Ice tour, with figure skaters Kristi Yamaguchi, Paul Wylie, Brian Orser and Scott Hamilton, in February.

Some familiar performers appear in December. Comedian Rich Little presents his version of A Christmas Carol. The Temptations and Four Tops are on a double bill.

Several theatrical events are on the agenda: God's Trying To Tell You Something in October, Peter Pan in December, Annie in January. Hal Roach does Irish comedy on St. Patrick's Day.

Three local arts organizations have performances at Mahaffey. Bay Area Civic Opera is presenting Rossini's Barber of Seville in November. Dance Theater of Florida, with dancers from Russia's Kirov Ballet, puts on nine performances of The BAYFRONT 2D

Nutcracker in December. In March, Romeo and Juliet is staged in two performances by the new Bay Ballet Theater.

Tickets may be purchased at the Bayfront Center box office and Ticketmaster outlets. A service charge is included on all tickets. Call 898-2100.

1992-93 Bayfront schedule

Dennis Miller, Fri., Oct. 16, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, $22.50.

God's Trying to Tell You Something, Sat., Oct. 24, 3 & 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, $16 at 3 p.m., $21 at 8 p.m.

Bayfront BluesFest '92, Sat., Oct. 24, 4 p.m., Arena, $6.50 advance, $8.50 day of show.

The Barber of Seville, Bay Area Civic Opera, Fri., Nov. 6, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, $35, $25, $20, $15.

Billy Ray Cyrus, Sat., Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m., Arena, $17.50.

Peter Pan, Fri., Dec. 4, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, TBA.

The Temptations and the Four Tops, Sat., Dec. 5, 8 p.m., Arena, $25, $15.

Rich Little's Christmas Carol, Mon., Dec. 7, 7 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, $20, $16.

The Nutcracker, Dance Theater of Florida, Thur., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 13, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Thur., Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 19, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 20, 2 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, $30, $24, $19, $14.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Tues., Jan. 5-Sun., Jan. 10, TBA, Arena, TBA.

New World Symphony and Mitch Miller, Wed., Jan. 6, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, $28, $20, $15.

Annie, Tues., Jan. 26-Thur. Jan. 28, TBA, Mahaffey Theater, TBA.

Stars on Ice, Thur., Feb. 11, TBA, Arena, $35, $22.50.

Mark Twain Tonight, Hal Holbrook, Sun., Feb. 21, 7 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, TBA.

Romeo & Juliet, Bay Ballet Theater, Fri., March 12-Sat., March 13, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, $22, $16, $12.

Hal Roach, Wed., March 17, 7:30 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, $14.

Victor Borge, Thur., March 25, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, $27, $23, Gold Circle.