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Tom Titus

THEATER --

June 14, 2001

What do Frankie Avalon, Red Buttons, Diahann Carroll, John Davidson,

Frank Gorshin, Florence Henderson, the Kingston Trio, Debbie Reynolds and

Suzanne Somers have in common?

Apart from being show-biz headliners, they all will perform in

one-night trips down memory lane at Orange Coast College's Robert B.

Moore Theatre next season.

OCC's newly announced performing arts season also includes a pair of

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Grecos -- Buddy and Jose II -- on separate programs, Betty Garrett, Gogi

Grant, the Peking Acrobats and an act very close to my heart, the

Platters. Not to mention Fran Jeffries and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and

a return visit from another of my favorites, "Forever Plaid."

Reynolds, who blossomed as a teenager in the movie classic "Singin' in

the Rain" with Gene Kelly nearly 50 years ago, will kick off OCC's

performing arts season with a concert Sept. 15. The Kingston Trio will be

in residence the following afternoon, followed by Carroll on Sept. 22 and

a big band concert called "Swingin' the Century" on Sept. 23.

Some of the best of Broadway will arrive Sept. 29, when Joel Briel,

Gary Mauer and J. Mark McVey become the "Leading Men of Broadway" in a

concert featuring songs from "Les Miserables" and "Phantom of the Opera."

The next day will find the Platters, joined by Buddy Greco and Joanie

Sommers, in OCC's "Forever Fifties" concert.

The music of George Gershwin will be featured Oct. 27, followed by the

OCC Big Band Jazz Concert the next day. Somers will perform Nov. 16, with

Gorshin's impressions taking the stage Nov. 25.

Grant will headline the "Holiday Christmas Show" on Dec. 21, joined by

the Crew Cuts, the Chordettes and the Ted Herman Orchestra. Frankie

Avalon will be the Dec. 22 guest, while Tom Mullica will open the new

year Jan. 5 with a program of Red Skelton impressions.

"Our Sinatra," a big band musical celebration, is ticketed for Jan.

11, followed the next day by "Stars of Magic."

Buttons, Jeffries and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra will stage a "Command

Performance" on Jan. 20, followed by the Peking Acrobats on Feb. 8, the

Masters of Harmony on Feb. 16 and Rhapsody in Taps on Feb. 23.

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, a swing and jump blues

band, will play March 2, followed the next day by the "Forever Plaid"

encore.

Garrett, Henderson, Roberta Linn and Mary Lou Metzger will perform as

the "Fabulous Ladies of Song" on March 24.

Jose Greco II will continue his father's flamenco dance artistry April

6, with Tony Sandler headlining "Chevalier: Maurice and Me" the next day.

OCC's Big Band will return for another concert May 19, while the Tex

Beneke Orchestra will present "A Salute to the USO Shows and Glenn

Miller" on May 25.

Clearly, OCC's performing arts season is aimed at the seasoned (one

might even say senior) theatergoer, but younger audiences also might get

a kick out the stuff that Grandma and Grandpa swung to eons ago.

* TOM TITUS writes about and reviews local theater for the Daily

Pilot. His stories appear Thursdays and Saturdays.

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