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Performing arts center plans busy new season

Mark your calendar for March 2001, as Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center presents the world premiere of an opera written by famed conductor Anton Coppola.

Sacco and Vanzetti, sung in Italian and English, is among the highlights of the 2000-2001 season announced Thursday.

The opera is about the sensational 1920s trial of two Italian immigrants who were convicted and executed for a murder that many believe they did not commit. The opera premiere will bring national attention to Tampa, said center president Judith Lisi, so to tell the world that this is the city of origin, the center's opera company is renaming itself "Opera Tampa," Lisi said.

Also coming to the TBPAC next season is the play Wit, a touching and humorous view of the final days of ovarian cancer victim Vivian Waring, starring Monica Bishop Steele. Spalding Gray comes to the center in November with his monologue Morning, Noon and Night.

The King Stag, with its masks, costumes and puppetry made famous by Broadway's The Lion King, is a musical for the family.

The center's theatre company _ having lampooned Tinsel Town in Hollywood Nights recently _ now tackles TeleVision, from Ozzie and Harriet to All in the Family to Seinfeld.

Also announced Thursday, the playhouse will be renamed Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall for her significant donation to the arts in the Tampa Bay area.

Here is the 2000-2001 season at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Tickets to most shows go on sale June 1. For information and tickets, call (813) 229-7827 or (800) 955-1045, or check

BROADWAY: Annie Get Your Gun, Oct. 10-15; Cinderella, Nov. 28-Dec. 3; The Scarlet Pimpernel, Jan. 30-Feb. 4; Fosse, Feb. 27-March 4; Cabaret, March 20-25; Larry Gatlin in The Civil War, May 8-13. Subscriptions: $142.20-$425.50.

BROADWAY ENCORES: The Phantom of the Opera, Dec. 20-Jan. 13; Les Miserables, Feb. 13-25. Tickets: TBA.

OPERA: The Marriage of Figaro, Nov. 17-19, $19.50-$55.50; Sacco and Vanzetti, March 16-18, $19.50-$55.50; An Evening of Verdi & Puccini, May 19-20, $9.50-$45.50.

CABARET: A Christmas Carol Cabaret, Nov. 24-Dec. 23, $21.50-$27.50; TeleVisions opens Feb. 3, $24.50-$27.50.

PLAYS: Wit, Nov. 2-19, $15.50-$21.50; Zora Neale Hurston, March 1-18, $15.50-$21.50; Aristophanes' Lysistrata, May 31-June 17, $15.50-$21.50.

MUSIC: Riders in the Sky, Oct. 20, $12.50-$21.50; Marcus Roberts, Feb. 25, $14.50-$24.50; Rhythm & Brass, March 29, $14.50-$24.50; Mass Ensemble, April 27, $19.50-$29.50; Heritage O.P., April 29, $14.50-$24.50; The Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle Choir, June 23, $21.50-$44.50.

DANCE: Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Oct. 26, $18.50-$48.50; The Whirling Dervishes, Oct. 27, $16.50-$24.50; David Parket and The Bang Group, Jan. 12-14, $10-15.50; Donald Byrd/The Group, Jan. 20, $24.50-$34.50; Diavolo, March 10, $24.50-$34.50; Dance Theatre of Harlem, April 21, $18.50-$48.50.

THEATER: Late Nite Catechism, Oct. 3-29, $19.50-$29.50; David Gonzalez in Sofrito! Nov. 4, $12.50-$21.50; Spalding Gray, Nov. 17, $19.50-$29.50; The King Stag, Jan. 31, $24.50-$34.50; Cyrano de Bergerac, March 8, $14.50-$24.50; Blue Palm in 20first Love, April 27-28, $15.50; Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight!, April 28, $7.50-$42.50; Theatre Talipot in Passage, April 28, $21.50-$31.50.

PERFORMANCE SERIES: Claire Porter's Portables, Oct. 6-8, $15.50; Glenis Redmond in Mama's Magic, Feb. 2-4, $15.50; The Joe Goode Performance Group, Feb. 6, $12.50-$21.50; NijinskySpeaks, March 23-24, $12.50-$19.50; Yenta Unplugged, March 30-April 1, $15.50.

WOMEN'S WORK SERIES: Wit, Nov. 2-19, $15.50-$21.50; Shakespeare Had a Sister, Feb. 9-19, $10; Through Men's Eyes, May 11-19, $13.50.

COMMUNITY: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute, Jan. 15, free; Community Arts Ensemble, April 11, free.

WEE FOLK SERIES: Don't Count Your Chickens Until They Cry Wolf, Nov. 4; Pillow Full of Wishes, Dec. 2; Tales for the Very Young, Jan. 13; Kuumba for Tots, Feb. 17; The Frog Prince, March 3. Ages 3-5. Tickets $5.50; Subscription $22.

KID TIME SERIES: The Boxcar Children, Oct. 22; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Nov. 19; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Jan 21; Footprints on the Moon, Feb. 18; The Five Senses, April 29. Ages 5-11. Tickets $5.50-$10.50; Subscription $22-42.