Originally created 05/07/99

Ramblin' Rhodes



Those of you heading for Myrtle Beach, S.C., in the coming months should be aware of a highly entertaining, multifaceted production staged in the 2,000-seat Alabama Theatre.

Celebration '99 is a dancing and singing revue created by Opryland Productions of Nashville, Tenn., that offers something for nearly everyone's musical tastes, including gospel, blues, country, rock, patriotic and pop music.

The evening is packed with great songs interspersed with elaborate production numbers. It pays tribute to superstars such as Garth Brooks; Frank Sinatra; the band Alabama (which owns the theater); Elvis Presley; the big band era, including Count Basie; and includes patriotic standards performed in front of a gigantic flag.

A highlight is a tribute to Garth Brooks, which features Kyle Henry of El Paso singing Ain't Going Down Till the Sun Comes Up while flying high over the audience, suspended to his flying apparatus by just two belt clips.

Another is the Sinatra segment, which inclues the lesser performed When I Was 17 and ends in classical style with a trench-coated Sinatra look-alike placing his trademark hat on a tall mike stand and leaving the stage as the spotlight focuses on the hat and fades to black.

Shows are at 2 and 8 p.m. Tuesday and May 18, 25; June 19-24; Sept. 14, 21, 28; and Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26, and at 4 and 8 p.m. June 17; July 8, 15, 22, 29, 31; and Aug. 5, 12, 19 and 30-31.

Tickets are $26.50 (tax included) for adults or $12.75 (tax included) for ages 3-16. Call (800) 342-2262 for reservations.

The theater also stages concerts. Acts include: the Lettermen, Saturday; Deana Carter, May 15; the Drifters and the Platters, June 2; Bryan White, June 5; John Berry, June 12; Martina McBride, June 18; the Oak Ridge Boys, June 25; Billy Ray Cyrus, July 3; Judy Collins, July 9; Blood, Sweat and Tears, July 16; Debbie Reynolds, July 23; Diamond Rio, July 30; Kathy Mattea, Aug. 6; Lee Greenwood, Aug. 13; Collin Raye, Aug. 21; Ray Price, Aug. 28; Loretta Lynn, Sept. 4; Ricky Van Shelton, Sept. 11; Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, Sept. 18; Jim Nabors, Sept. 25; Connie Francis, Oct. 2; the Oak Ridge Boys, Oct. 9; a Patsy Cline Tribute, Oct. 16; Mickey Rooney, Oct. 23; and Alabama, Oct. 29-31.

Mr. Conway and Mr. Korman's show is at 9 p.m. All other shows are at 8 p.m. Prices vary. Call (800) 342-2262 for more information.

Don Rhodes has written about country music for 28 years. He can be reached at (706) 823-3214 or at ramblin@groupz.net.