Originally created 08/27/99

Styx may flow into Bell Auditorium in October



DOMO ARIGATO:

Theatrical rockers Styx, best known for the ballads Babe and Lady and conceptual albums including Paradise Theater andKilroy Was Here, are considering performing in October at Bell Auditorium.

"Styx is huge," beamed an enthusiastic Austin Rhodes, an Augusta radio personality and member of the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center Authority.

Er, yeah, Austin, in 1979 -- not 1999 -- Styx was huge.

But to give Styx-heads their due, the regrouped band has released an album this year, Brave New World, on CMC International records. The group's 1997 release, Return To Paradise, a mix of new and old material, went gold.

Vocalist/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung performed on the new album but is not touring with the band, according to the official Styx Web site.

The only October dates listed on that site are Oct. 7 in Wilkes Barre, Pa.; Oct. 8 in Big Flats, N.Y.; and Oct. 9-10 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Other acts expressing interest in the Bell include R&B princess Mary J. Blige (February), the Statler Brothers, magician David Copperfield and country legend George Jones -- all holding dates in March.

Just because an act is reserving a date doesn't mean the show will materialize.

"They may or may not come," said authority chairman Bill Maddox.

Getting closer to reality is the Broadway series at the Bell. Tentative titles are Annie in September, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in January, Chicago and Smokey Joe's in February.

Also, the half-Broadway show, half-Riverdance knock-off Spirit of the Dance may return to the Bell in February, and a performance by the African-American Philharmonic may be staged in January.

Linda Roberts, assistant general manager, says that the civic center is also working on an R&B concert in late September.

MORE MUSIC, MORE MUSIC:

In other music news, tickets for Paine College's 10th annual live jazz concert, Jazz 10, to be held Sept. 5 at Jessye Norman Amphitheater, are on sale at Pyramid Music and Video, Home Folks and Waves Music locations, as well as the college's business office, Suite 109 Haygood-Holsey Hall.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 the day of the show. For more information, call 821-8223. The event benefits Paine College and the United Negro College Fund.

Kent Kimes covers entertainment and arts for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3626 or kkimes@augustachronicle.com.